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Overtones Summary
Alice Gerstenberg

Everything you need to understand or teach Overtones by Alice Gerstenberg.

  • Overtones Summary & Study Guide
  • 30 Overtones Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

Overtones Summary


Alice Gerstenberg's Overtones is considered the earliest example of a play that dramatizes the unconscious on stage. In it, Gerstenberg uses two actresses for both Margaret and Harriet to represent the single character of Margaret and Harriet. Each embodies a disparate part of the character's personality; or, to put it in Freudian terms, one is the id and the other the ego. In Overtones, Harriet and Margaret are the cultured and refined selves, while Hetty and Maggie represent the wild, primitive desires of these same women. Using two women to play one character was a unique convention that had not been seen before. This new technique, along with Gerstenberg's ability to write witty, interesting dialogue made the play an instant success. Overtones was first produced November 8, 1915, by the Washington Square Players at the Bandbox Theater in New York. At the time of its production, Sigmund Freud had recently made...

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Lesson Plan

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Overtones Lesson Plans contain 95 pages of teaching material, including:

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