A Creative Project In Design: The House Of Blue Leaves, A Play In Two Acts

Date of Graduation

Spring 1975


Master of Arts


Theatre and Dance

Committee Chair

Howard Orms


The Creative Project offers a student of advanced standing the opportunity to render into finalized form that which he may have previously produced only in theory. In this instance, the finalized form was a scenic design prepared and executed for the Department of Speech and Theatre at Southwest Missouri State University. The act of designing for the theatre is two-fold. The first part is developing the skills employed for design; that is, those qualities which go together to make an aesthetically correct design. The second part of designing for the theatre lies in the utility of the design. Here we are speaking of the workability in construction and usage of the design by the actor. The value of any Creative Project in design should be viewed both ways. Both the art, the aesthetic, and the craft, the workability, must be judged within any design. It has been said that the art of theatre lies in presentation, then the art of scenic design lies in execution and usage in performance. It is from the execution of the design that a student sees his true abilities and faults, and from this execution that he learns. In this case, the specific project was the design and execution of a touring set for the House of Blue Leaves, a play in two acts by John Guare. The director was Dr. Robert H. Bradley, head of the Department of Speech and Theatre. His requirements concerning the script were (1) one which would provide a number of good roles for women, (2) one from a contemporary American author, and (3) one which would be in a lighter comic vein. He selected Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, which he described as abrasive humor.

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies


© Gerald E. Miller


Open Access