Chalk talk

Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Theatre Arts


CHALK TALK is a play about a young artist, Essy Thompson, who has always been financially and emotionally supported by her father, the pastor of a small Lutheran church in rural Minnesota. At an early age, Essy was instructed by her father to always "trust her heart because that is where God speaks." Essy follows her heart, and as a result, one of the paintings she creates is interpreted by many to be nationally offensive. This produces much tension between Essy and her family particularly because many claim the piece of art bears a strong resemblance to her father. Consequently, her father and his second wife, Grace, find it difficult to explain Essy's art to his congregation. Likewise, her brother Dan, a senator for the state of Minnesota, discovers his job will be threatened unless he takes a stand against his sister. On the eve of a very important opening in New York, Essy learns that her NEA grant has been revoked. In the end, Essy discovers that three main institutions in life, the church, the state and the family, have abandoned her. This forces her to make the choice between compromising her artistic vision to suit certain people's desires, or continuing to "trust her heart."


87 pages




Northern Illinois University

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