Alison Laurio

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Dr. Julia Curtis

Second Advisor

Dean Margaret Gesseman

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Foltz


This document is offered in partial fulfillment of require­ ments for a Master of Arts Degree in Dramatic Arts. It is a record of the production of Rashanon, which was presented in the Studio Theatre of the University of Nebraska at Qnaha on January 27, 28, 29, 30 and February 4, 5, and 6 of 1983. Rashornon, the play (1959), is based on two short stories which were written around 1915 by a Japanese student, Ryunos'uke Akutagawa. The film, Rashomon (1950), also based on Akutagawa's work, was written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. This document will include development of the tale from its original short story form through its use in the movie and its form for the stage. Similarities and differences in the three genres will be discussed. Also included are analyses of the plot and characters: a log of decisions and events concerning the production, forming a history of the pro­ duction itself: and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the production. The tale of Rashomon is a puzzle because it questions "what is truth?" Howard Hibbett, in his introduction to Rashomon and Other Stories, states: "In a Grove" converts an old melodramatic tale into a series of conflicting statements which undermine our prosaic confidence in distinguishing between subjective and objective truth and fiction. This question is of contemporary significance, for although the historical setting is far away and long ago, it could happen today on the streets of one of our cities. The elusiveness of truth is a component in the magnetic appeal of Rashomon. The play succeeds because it questions wherein lies the truth. I wish to thank my advisor, Dr. Julia Curtis: my committee, Dean Margaret Gesseman and Dr. Roger Foltz: and the Faculty of the Department of Dramatic Arts, whose support and concern were of invaluable assistance in the development of this project. I also wish to thank a marvelous group of actors, without whom this play could not have been presented.


Final Project, Option II Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Master of Arts, Copyright 1983 Alison Laurio.

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