Play Notes

 

Study Guide for the World Premiere of

 

Herb Brown’s YOU’RE MY BOY

 

 

Produced by

 

CATCO

Contemporary American Theatre Company

CATCO’s 2005-06 season is being presented in association with the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA).

 

 

 

Compiled, edited, and written by Bill Childs, Prof. of History, The Ohio State University (childs.1@osu.edu)

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, CATCO is very grateful to the Department of History and the College of Humanities at The Ohio State University for the opportunity to share with Central Ohio--and via the web, the world--insights into the process of "putting on a show."  The last time this was done was in the spring 2001, when CATCO produced Frank Galati’s THE GRAPES OF WRATH.  See http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/childs1/grapesOfWrath.htm

Logo: OSU Department of History 

For every production, CATCO hires a dramaturg to collect information about the play (its structure and setting), the playwright, and past productions.  This information, which is often put together into an “Actors’ Book,” aids the director in establishing an approach and it helps the actors prepare for their different characterizations.  It is supplemental information that furnishes facts and context, for the director, actors, properties master, music director, and costume, scenic, lighting, and sound designers, always do their own research as well.  The key word is “collaboration”; everyone collaborates and shares information with everyone else.  In the case of YOU’RE MY BOY, an original production, the playwright Herb Brown was of course a driving force throughout the process.

The dramaturg prepares not only the Actors’ Book, but also Play Notes, which is a shorter published version of the Actors’ Book.  This publication is made available to high school students and, sometimes, the subscribers.  For the production of YOU’RE MY BOY, this web site is taking the place of Play Notes.

This web site will be updated periodically throughout the rehearsal process.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Credits

 

CATCO’s New Works Program

 

Purpose of Play Notes/Questions to Consider

 

Introduction

 

The Play

 

          Synopsis of the Play

 

          Playwright’s Notes

 

          Director’s Approach

 

          Scene Locations

 

The Playwright

 

          Biography of Herb Brown

 

          Questions for Herb Brown

 

Historical Context

 

          Historical Overview of the Postwar U.S.

 

          Historical Chronology, 1944-1961

 

          Political Parties, 1947-1961

 

          Nixon and the Media

 

          Herblock Cartoons

 

          Mamie and Pat and Women in Politics in the 1950s

 

          Plays and Films on Nixon and Eisenhower

 

The Characters

 

          Richard M. Nixon

 

                   Senate History of Nixon

                   Khrushchev-Nixon debate

 

          Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  

                   Eisenhower&Religion

 

          Other Characters

 

Thomas E. Dewey

 

Sherman Adams

         

Murray Chotiner

         

                   Pat Nixon

 

          Other Historical Personalities

 

The Artistic Process

 

          Designers’ Page

 

          Rehearsal Process (photos)

 

          Dramaturg Communications

 

Artists’ Biographies

 

          The Acting Company

 

          Production Team

 

For Further Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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