A Thousand Clowns Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Herb Gardner
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. After Sandra tries to rush to the bathroom, what does Murray hand her?

2. What does Nick collect after putting down his instrument?

3. Where does Murray joke about putting Nick's milk?

4. What does Murray do when Albert and Sandra prepare to leave?

5. Who does Murray say eats secret caramels in the theater?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the part of Murray's speech where he describes Nick as a list maker.

2. Describe the opening scene as the play begins in Act 1, Part 1.

3. Murray asks Nick why Nick hasn't told him about the situation at school and Nick replies that he hasn't seen Murray in a few days. Why haven't they seen each other and where has Nick been?

4. What does the conversation consist of between Nick and Sandra in the beginning of Act 2, Part 3?

5. Why does Arnold come to Murray's apartment in Act 3, Part 1?

6. While Albert and Sandra are having their private conversation, Murray is doing peculiar things while he waits. Describe what Murray is doing to keep himself occupied while he waits for Albert and Sandra.

7. When Nick enters in Act 3, Part 1, he states that because Murray has gone out to find a job that he has decided that he needs to take care of a matter also. What matter is this and what has Nick done?

8. When Sandra tells Murray that "this morning" she thought he was going to go get a job, what does Murray start talking about?

9. As the curtain goes up at the beginning of Act 3, Part 1, what is Murray doing?

10. Describe Leo's appearance as he enters Murray's apartment.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Herb Gardner does a fine job of developing the character of Murray Burns. Describe in detail the characterization of Murray Burns from the start of the play to the end of the play. Make sure to include details about Murray's physical characteristics, his actions, his reactions, and even perhaps what his thoughts may be. Include specific examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

A Thousand Clowns was nominated for a Tony award for Best Play in 1963. Describe what elements in the story make it a good candidate for a successful play. Why? Also discuss elements that might not be as good or desirable and why you feel this way. Would you want to see a play like this on Broadway? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Albert and Sandra are Child Welfare agents in the play A Thousand Clowns. Besides working together as partners, Sandra and Albert are also dating at the beginning of the play. Compare and contrast Sandra and Albert's characters in detail. Do they make good working partners? Why or why not? Do they make a good couple? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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