Date of Award

Summer 1965

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Hellman, Hugo

Second Advisor

Jones, Leo

Third Advisor

Trotter, William

Abstract

The origin of this paper can be traced to the current criticism of television's effect upon children . This criticism is manifested in publications,l as well as in the current investigation by the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency to determine the effect of television crime and violence on children. The specific attack on television programming which served as the inspiration for this thesis was former F.C.C. Chairman Newton Minow's speech to the National Association of Broadcasters in which he said: If parents, teachers, and ministers conducted their responsibilities by following the ratings, children would have a steady diet of ice cream, school holidays, and no Sunday School. What about your responsibilities? Is there no room on television to teach, to inform, to uplift, to enlarge the capacities of our children? Is there no room for programs deepening their understanding of children from other lands? Is there no room for reading the great literature of the past? There are some fine children's shows , but they ere drowned out in the massive doses of cartoons, violence, and more violence . Must these be your trademark? Search your consciences and see if you cannot offer more to your young beneficiaries whose future you guide so many hours each and every day. From this criticism came a desire to create a television program which would appeal to children and yet fulfill Minow's request for a presentation of the great literature of the past. This thesis is divided into three main parts: The Introduction, the Adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Books into a puppet play, end a Discussion of the Problems in the adaptation. TM Introduction serves as an explanation and justit1cation for the adaptation by exploring the relationship of puppetry to drama, television, and children. It then sets forth a criteria for judging a puppet play and analyzes why The Jungle Books are an ideal choice for this project. Part Two of the thesis is the adaptation of The Jungle Book into a puppet play. The script is for a one hour production. This length was imposed because of the limited attention span of children, as well as the difficulty in sustaining variety and interest with puppets for a longer period of time. Part Three is a discussion of the problems of this specific adaptation. It explores the difficulty of taking one literary form (the short story) end converting it to another form (the drama) without destroying the basic content.

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