Comedy, immediacy, improv, long form, theatre, gertrude stein, theater, harold, film, digital short, 5 second films, drama
Comedy has typically been derided as second-tier to drama in all aspects of narrative. Throughout history, comedy has seen short shrift in both critical reception and academic investigation. Merit is simply placed on drama far before that of comedy. This is not for comedy’s own lack of skill or craft, but simply for comedy’s misappropriation as a narrative form. Throughout the years, by way of either competition or economic superiority, comedy has been pigeonholed into the typified dramatic structure that drama so thoroughly encapsulates. Being forced into a form that exemplifies complex, climactic structure and explicit character development, comedy in its purest form has suffered through the ages. Gertrude Stein’s theory of Landscape Drama, and, more specifically, immediacy, is best attuned to comedy in its truest form. Comedy does not require sweeping character development, obtuse narrative design, or fantastic spectacle to produce superior works of art. Comedy, when compared to drama, exists best in a much more punctuated format. Stein’s theories, while never intended for comedy, align absolutely perfectly with the comedic genre’s design. And epitomized through long form improv on the stage, and the newly-fashioned digital short made profitable by the proliferation of the internet and digital culture, comedy’s purest form has become more readily available as narrative has progressed throughout history. With this thesis, I intend to display the disparity between comedy and drama due to comedy’s misallotment into a format that does not properly encapsulate it to its most fulfilling embodiment. Through this display, I seek to uncover the debt done to the comedic form from centuries of neglect in academic query and merit in order to best prove comedy’s need for ii critical scrutiny. Further, in doing so I hope to better construe a community of comedic research and criticism in order to create better art and more diverse comedic offerings.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Hluch, Alexander, "Immediacy In Comedy: How Gertrude Stein, Long Form Improv, And 5 Second Films Can Revolutionize The Comedic Form" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 2933.