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. Before Albert leaves the apartment in Act 1, Part 3, what does he call Murray?

2. Who does Murray call "courageous, free one"?

3. What does Murray complain about after opening the blinds?

4. How long has Nick been "visiting"?

5. What does Murray say he always takes in his martini?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Leo's breakdown for the time allotment with his show?

2. Why does Albert think Nick should leave the room?

3. 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?

4. Name some of the changes that Sandra has made to Murray's apartment at the opening of Act 2, Part 3.

5. Why doesn't Nick have a name and how did Murray decide to call the child Nick?

6. Why does Sandra feel the need to apologize to Murray after her argument with Albert?

7. Sandra starts sobbing about a lot of different things that are frustrating her about her job and her life. Describe some of the things that she is crying about to Murray at the end of Act 1, Part 3.

8. Describe Sandra and Murray's morning routine in Act 2, Part 1.

9. What is the "situation" at school that Nick needs to discuss with Murray?

10. After Sandra leaves and Murray rushes to the door to open it and Sandra is still on the other side, what changes with their interaction after the door opens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

By the end of Act 1 in the play, Sandra and Murray have become quite close. Why do you think they "hit it off" so easily? What qualities in Murray do you think Sandra is attracted to? What qualities in Sandra would benefit Murray in a relationship? Is this a relationship that can last? Why or why not? How do you think a relationship between Sandra and Murray would affect Nick? Would it be good or bad for Nick?

Essay Topic 3

The theme of the bonds of family is used in a different ways in A Thousand Clowns. Discuss the ways this theme is used and between which people it is most apparent. How does this theme affect each character in the play? Are only blood relatives involved? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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