The constraints of the pandemic prompted Katie Johnson, Professor of English, to rethink a writing assignment for her students in her Eugene O’Neill seminar. She wanted them to have a meaningful real-life audience for their research and provide a digital publishing opportunity. Moreover, she wanted students to come away with skills that would transfer to the job market in a variety of fields. When Eric Fraisher Hayes of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation approached Dr. Johnson about creating scholar videos for his virtual season in October, she asked if there might be a place for her students’ research as well. They hatched a plan.
In dramaturgical teams, students created resource packets to accompany the premieres of two one-act “Lost Plays” by O’Neill produced the Eugene O’Neill Foundation (and directed by Hayes): The Web (1913) and Abortion (1914). For this project, students created two impressive publications totaling 63 pages. The resource packets were published to coincide with the videos’ premieres in October, virtual “live” events after which there were talk-backs. Knowing that their projects would have public audiences, the students worked hard and felt proud of their achievements.
Miami students created incredible resource packets in support of the “Lost Plays” productions of The Web and Recklessness. Click here to learn more about the issues O’Neill was wrestling with in The Web and to gain insight into the challenges of keeping theatre alive in these unusual pandemic times.
Click here to view Miami students' dramaturgy on O’Neill’s play Abortion.