Sunday, September 30, 2012

Letters from Alvina Krause: Winter Quarter 1974

On to Shakespeare (juniors) and The Creative Imagination (sophomores--two sections) and a new class in Sensory Perception (freshmen). In thirty-five years of teaching, the class of 1977 was the only class that started acting the second quarter of their freshman year, for a total of eleven quarters of acting class.
I was teaching four classes a day five days a week--more than eighty student journals each week.

You are finding your own way most capably. You are on the right track.
Pursue: We are the decisions we make -- We are the sum total of those decisions. One night Hedda realized she was 29 years old -- Tesman was handy -- A step to suicide--
Keep exploring what we human beings are --
A new year, a new job -- lucky you! Good luck!


A new quarter. The same woes.
And it was only a decade since Krause had left NU. She carried her grievances still.

I have said it before. It's a lonely road. Accept it. Go it alone! It is far, far better than a life of compromise!
You might drop this idea into the well of egotism that is NU theatre: What is important: our own petty, jealous ego? Or the education of our students? What's our priority?
You will have to work under their system, but within it follow your own course, build your own platform. It can be done -- I did it.
If the little group here succeeds in the promotion of theatre in the park this summer, would you be interested in joining them -- acting, directing, building a Youth Theatre?



One of the things Krause missed the most about living in Bloomsburg, PA was Marshall Field's in Evanston -- on the NW corner of Sherman Avenue and Church Street.
Her birthday was January 29.

In the midst of rain, ice and snow today my Marshall Field package came today [sic].
Instantly I was back in Evanston -- the lake, Sheridan Road, the campus -- Chekhov, King Lear, [the name of a favorite student -- DD] -- Thank you --
The whole week has been one long birthday party and today your petit fours -- and a fire in the fireplace.
I stepped back a lifetime to Irina's name day ------



  1. These letters continue to excite and inform. I mentioned them to a colleague and realized, now that some of my students are teaching--this is four generations of Alvina Krause influence. Now that's a fine use for the word 'AWESOME'. (I get after my students for diminishing the word with their use of it to describe 'Kyle's party'.)

    1. AWESOME indeed. And Krause says Dean Dennis made her the teacher she became. And he was hand-picked by Robert McLean Cumnock himself to be Dean. We keep on this way, we'll get right back to Aeschylus and maybe Thespis.