Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Acting and Directing

Committee Chair

Jay Malarcher

Committee Member

Jerry McGonigle

Committee Member

Cornel Gabara


Hedda Gabler is one of the best-known works of Realism theatre, and the character, Hedda, is a showcase of dynamic and challenging work; but her husband, George Tesman, rarely, if ever, is showcased. Here I explain why George’s character deserves more attention and actually makes for a better protagonist than Hedda. Textual analysis shows the absence of the play’s parental figures and a rubber band metaphor illustrates how all the characters are con-nected to each other. The misconceptions and subtext concerning George: a social filtering mechanism, perception of character, George’s selflessness, how he is made fun of, the heart compared to the mind, George’s supposed obliviousness, whether George truly loves Hedda, Hedda as “The Other,” George’s doing vs. Hedda’s undoing, and George’s treatment of others, when uncovered elevate George’s character status within the literary context of the play. Then, detailing a personal process for playing the role of George in a production: how to deal with the traditional aspects of performance, the language and translation, being a student during the production, which acting tools best serve me the show, and dealing with unfortunate circum-stances such as illness and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, George is shown to be a challenging role in its own right.