2023 Student Research Conference:
36th Annual Student Research Conference

“Overtones” and its Undertones: Text and Context

Me Crouch
Dr. Cat Gleason, Faculty Mentor

"Overtones," by Alice Gerstenberg, is a one-act play written in 1913 in which two characters are played by four actresses in a split-subject mechanic, allowing us insights into the minds of the characters without the soliloquy. Many articles talk about the psychological correlations regarding Freud's theories concerning the Id and Ego, but none on sociological correlations on how we present and perform our roles in society, a subject Gerstenberg questioned in her role as a woman of higher society. Gerstenberg's hometown of Chicago in the early 1900s was ripe for experimental theatre with themes of social commentary at the same time when social research and reform were happening. Pulling together period historiography, theatre history, and social understanding with historical aspects of Chicago's feminist and social reform movement, I wish to explore the connections in relation to modern sociological theories in hopes to reframe the narrative in a more socially-healthy understanding.

Keywords: Alice Gerstenberg, performance of self, theatre history, feminism, social understanding, script analysis, sociological theory, psychology


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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