Date of Degree
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Essay about the play by the author
Full Text of "...among other things..." by Michael Tisdale
The seed for ...among other things... was planted by Isaiah Berlin’s essay “The Fox and the Hedgehog.” In it, Berlin quotes Tolstoy’s definition of history as: “Names and dates connected by fables.” Tolstoy viewed history as a great ocean and each human life as a raindrop that disappears into it. He bucked against how a small number of said drops are deemed more significant, his point being, Napoleon would be nothing without the faceless multitudes who died in his name.
...among other things... is a portrait of three of Tolstoy’s ‘raindrops’ – two that will be forgotten and one that will not. The play directs the audience to invest in the two destined for obscurity, a couple trapped in a sort of limbo, navigating, perhaps, the most challenging time of their lives. Late in the story, a seemingly insignificant third drop enters, visits, and abruptly exits. The couple’s narrative finds its resolution and then the third drop returns and reveals its historical significance. I want it to feel like the audience is at a party where they spend a third of the time talking to an old gentleman. Their conversation is pleasant, intriguing, but seemingly inconsequential. Just before they leave, they are formally introduced to the old gentleman and his name is Albert Einstein. Immediately, this knowledge recontextualizes the whole evening for them. Should it?
Cold War, Espionage, Russia, Theatre
iii, 99 pages
Copyright © 2017 Michael Tisdale
Tisdale, Michael. "...among other things...." MFA (Master of Fine Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2017.