No one seems to object to the transcriptions and posting of AK’s comments which are at I’m putting comments and analysis on a separate blog, this one, so that people who don’t want to read such things don’t have to. This blog is set to accept anonymous comments, but I read them all and won’t tolerate flame wars. None have started.

Some of the most interesting and useful feedback on this material is coming in emails, some shared and others not shared, which I don’t want to post with names attached unless I have permission. I’m just going ahead to name the people AK named in her notes -- it’s been half a century since then, after all. Indeed, some of the email comments are arriving from people in that time period as well and those of us who know each other can probably guess who said what.

In good “discussion” mode, I’ll try to separate the issues from the people.

1. It is most moving that after fifty years the memory of personal relationships with AK have the status of love affairs, magical relationships that have inspired people for decades. They do NOT want that interfered with. Who would?

2. Likewise, there were a few people deeply wounded by past misunderstanding and schism and they, too, still hurt. To some this might be a reason to shut down, but to me it’s a reason to continue.

3. One opinion is that AK’s teaching methods are obsolete now. Students will no longer tolerate the confrontive and sometimes invasive tactics she used then. Indeed, some people wouldn’t accept them then, but they quietly went elsewhere. Is it a loss or a gain to give up the auteur model of teaching? Stanislavki was, after all, a Russian like the famously dictatorial ballet masters.

4. Is it true that academic theatre is nothing like professional theatre? You can still be tough on professional actors? (If Equity allows it.)

5. Some feel that theatre is totally different now. Whatever was important then is NOT important now. Or, to the contrary, theatre, esp. repertory theatre, is entering a renaissance that is vital and thriving across the country with new companies still being founded.

6. AK’s life trajectory is not really understandable without considering the time periods, the place, the administrators, sexism, and so on. No different from understanding a character in a play. (I confess -- this is my opinion.) All this happened before the Derrida Deconstruction craze, but we understand that, don’t we?

Mary Strachan Scriver

(Prairie Mary_

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


A thesis submitted to the graduate school in partial fulfillment  of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Speech.  Department of Speech.
Evanston, Illinois, August, 1933

CALL NUMBERS:  MAIN MI Diss 378 NU 1933 c. 2

As is traditional, this is hard-bound, plain green, and hand-typed.  There are 78 pages of text, which is small enough that I think I'll just keyboard it onto this blog.  There is also an appendix that includes the sources of ideas for her project: a way of evaluating the creativity of a potential actor.

Her premise is that many people have addressed the creativity of actors, but almost always from the perspective of a critic, looking at the end product.  Few or none have looked at the other end, the creativity of the person becoming an actor.  She hopes to create an instrument that will help to discover levels of creativity so that it can be encouraged.




Chapter one:  Classic and Medieval Theories
Chapter two:  Theories of the Romanticists
Chapter three:  Modern Theories and Investigations


Chapter one:  The Problem
Chapter two:  Analysis of Results
Chapter three:  Summary



It appears that her chief mentor was Lew Sarett, a well-known and much loved poet who specialized in nature and wilderness.  Oddly, he's not in Wikipedia but there is lots of other info about him plus his poetry if you use Google.  He was revered at Meadville-Lombard and I believe Professor Ron Engel may have done his memorial.

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