A Production Notebook For Paul Foster's Tom Paine

Date of Graduation

Fall 1975


Master of Arts


Theatre and Dance

Committee Chair

Howard Orms


The analysis guide for Tom Paine will be taken from Frank McMullan's The Directional Image. McMullan's analysis form is divided into two sections, "Nature and Pattern of Drama" and "Potentials of Dramatic Values." "Nature and Pattern of Drama," is concerned with basic essentials of drama, including structure, compulsion, motivation, causal progression, unity, and texture. All of these concepts are directly concerned with the qualities that make drama unique. In "Potentials of Dramatic Values," the investigation turns away from the structural elements of the play, and shifts its focus to the specific elements that create the emotional climate of the play. The main elements considered here are mood, character, plot, dialogue, and theme. This play is a tragicomedy. In Tom Paine, tragic and comic elements are juxtaposed, and at times fused together to provide an underlying serious comment about outrageous injustice. Fusion of the tragic with the farcical also brings grotesque and distorted overtones to the characters and events. The concept of this production is a good one. The primary problem with it is in regard to the methods of communicating that concept to the audience.

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies


© Donald G Buschmann


Open Access