Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed.
Give Them a Taste of Success

Unpublished, circa 1984

"... Competitive activities are felt to stimulate an intangible feeling called 'school spirit,' which everyone assumes to be good. That starts an interesting, self-serving, chain of logic. School spirit, which is caused by competitive activities, is, in turn, demonstrated by attending and supporting competitive activities. Therefore, competitive activities are both the creator and the recipient of all the wonderful benefits of 'school spirit.' on the other hand, the student who devotes himself to scholarly pursuits has never been accused of promoting school spirit.
With the subsequent dominance of competitive activities, some rather alarming switches in priorities occurred in the high school extracurricular programs. Most of these changed priorities were denied or rationalized away by people who either, for reasons of ego, or because of their strong belief in competitive activities, are unable to see another side. For economic reasons (if for no other,) they recognized the inevitability of having to live with a competitive activities and so have resigned themselves to a grudging acceptance of the status quo...
... For example, in one-to-one competition, it is an obvious fact that for every winner you create, you have also created a loser. Losing is never a pleasant process. Educators know that with adolescents, who are trying to establish their own personalities, it is not only unpleasant but it is frequently destructive. In order to cover this bothersome flaw, a gigantic myth is created that concludes that if the losing child is from another town or another school, then everything is all right. This is apparently founded on the "lofty" premise that if a child is dumb enough to be born with the wrong address, he deserves to suffer the negative consequences of being a loser."
Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed. An Analysis of the Problems of Actor-Behavior in Educational Theater
Master's Committee Chair:
Dr. Arthur L. Houseman,
and Dr. M.E. Van Nostrand

Speech Communication; Education

Degree Granting Institution:
St. Cloud State University

August, 1959
Degree: M.S. Ed
ABSTRACT: PROBLEM: Drama is a unique art in that it uses people as its tools. No artist would be justified in practicing his art without a thorough knowledge of how his tools function. Actor behavior, then, becomes an important consideration for any director of educational theater. Although much information is available on what the actor should do, there have apparently been no studies attempting to determine how a director in educational theater can best get an actor to carry out his assignment if the actor's behavior is maladjusted. This study, then, proposes to describe and to analyze problems in educational theater which arise from actor's maladjusted behavior, and to suggest some psychologically sound solutions to these problems.
PROCEDURE: Actor behavior will be divided into four divisions according to their observable characteristics. These divisions will be: overt defensive behavior, overt withdrawal behavior, behavior associated with illness, and behavior associated with stage fright. The findings of psychology will guide the analysis of these behavioral problems and the proposed solutions.
FINDINGS: Nine general conclusions emerged from the study.
    1. Carefully planned and organized play rehearsals increase the actor's likelihood of staying adjusted.
    2. An actor should be assigned roles from which it is possible for him to derive a feeling of having succeeded.
    3. Dramatic performances of accepted high quality appear to be most effective in determining adjustive behavior in actors.
    4. Adjustive behavior is of particular importance in educational theater because the nature of the activity requires an unusually high degree of inter-personal cooperation.
    5. An educational theater director need not resign himself to actor's maladjusted behavior. Remedial procedures based on understanding can be effective if they are properly administered.
    6. The exact diagnosis of maladjusted behavior is not essential in educational theater because the remedial suggestions are sufficiently similar to be relatively effective in all cases.
    7. The application of the suggested remedial procedures for maladjusted behavior should be a part of sound directorial techniques regardless of whether the actors have adjustment problems or not.
    8. Actors in educational theater need individual help and attention which the director is obligated to find time to give.
    9. A director should suggest an adjustive behavior to an actor before the actor can be expected to abandon a non-adjustive behavior. In other words, every "don't" should be accompanied by a "do."
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: If a director of educational theater is to justify his activity educationally, the welfare of the student actor must be of primary importance. Assisting the students to acquire adjustive behavioral habits can be a major contribution of this activity. Often the knowledge of what causes the actor to behave as he does will, in itself, indicate the remedy without further study. Understanding, patience, and confidence appear to be the traits most necessary for a director if he is to avoid mal-adjustive behavior by the actor.
Although the study seems to have posed more questions than it answered, perhaps it has made some small contribution to this vast unexplored area of educational theater.

Recommended Citation
Johnson, Dwain L., "An Analysis of the Problems of Actor-Behavior in Educational Theater" (1959). Culminating Projects in Theatre and Film Studies. 1.
Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed.
A Critical Study of Two Campaign Speeches by Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson

Presented to
Dr. Robert Wick
St. Cloud State College
In partial fulfillment of the reqquirements for Speech 520
August, 1957
"For the subject of this study, two speeches by the presidential candidates were selected from the 1952 campaign. Although they are not on the same subject, they were given only ten days apart and were selected for that reason. In Chapters II and III the speeches are recorded. An effort was made to divide the speeches up into thought units with comments and criticisms following each unit. Basically this is a study of the motivational elements in the speeches in spite of the fact that no specific pattern of motivations was followed..."
Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed. "The Unwritten Law"
Presented to
Dr. Robert Wick
St. Cloud State College
In partial fulfillment of the reqquirements for Speech 521
August, 1957
"Thalia Massie, wife of a United States Navy officer stationed on the Island, was raped by five men. Four of the men-- none of whom were white-- were arrested and identified by Mrs. Massie as her assailants.
While awaiting the retrial of the accused, the victim's husband, Lieutenant Thomas H. Massie, forced one of the Japanese assailants to confess.
Kahahawai was brought to Mrs. Fortescue's home. There he confessed to raping Mrs. Massie. Lieutenant Massie fatally shot him.
The island was seething with race dissension-- first, because of the assault on Mrs. Massie; then, the disagreement of the jury in the original trail of the assailants; and, finally, the murder of Kahahawai."
Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed. A Critical Study and Analysis of Clarence Darrow's Plea to the Jury in the Massie-Fortesque Case
Presented to
Dr. Robert Wick
St. Cloud State College
In partial fulfillment of the reqquirements for Speech 521
August, 1957
"Clarence Darrow, who had retired four years earlier, spent his seventy-fifth birthday in Honolulu pleading the case of four defendants in what is known as the Massie case. "Many times I have been asked why I went to Honolulu. I was not sure then, and am not sure now," the defense attorney wrote five years before he died..."
Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed.
A Study of Experiments, Issue and Trends in Secondary English Curriculum

Co-authors: Valborg Gulbrandson, Marvin H. Zastrow

Presented to
Dr. Irvamae Applegate
St. Cloud State College
In partial fulfillment of the reqquirements for Education 561
August, 1958
Experimentation in the teaching of English is like giving that special plant food to the rose bushes. Both give new impetus for growth and both produce results that are most satisfying.
"It is not only the English teacher who plans and conducts these experiments. Superintendents and principals have tried innovations, always with the teachers consent, of course, but in all reported cases the outcome seems to have been a happy one. Objectives have been gained, student interest has run high and the evaluation of the examination papers shows that more actual learning was accomplished then by "book teaching" methods. It may or may not be incidental, but the pupils seemed to enjoy these experiences in experimentation..."
Johnson, Dwain L., M.S. Ed. A Director's Kit
Unpublished, circa 1983

A Guide to Instructional Theater Leadership. This is a comprehensive collection of "Mr. J's tools." In this section, you will find the Code of Actor Behavior, (a complete guide to the expectations of working on a show directed by Johnson,) a how-to guide to blocking a show, scheduling, auditions and more.

Clarence Darrow

Clarence Darrow was as close to a hero as Dwain Johnson ever had. He was fascinated by Darrow's work and had many similar world views. He studied Darrow as part of his Masters' program at St. Cloud State University. Darrow was "called a 'sophisticated country lawyer', Darrow's wit and eloquence made him one of the most prominent attorneys and civil libertarians in the nation. He defended high-profile clients in many famous trials of the early 20th century, including teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb (1924); teacher John T. Scopes in the Scopes 'Monkey' Trial (1925), in which he opposed statesman and orator William Jennings Bryan; and Ossian Sweet in a racially charged self-defense case (1926)."

Clarence Darrow on the Cause of Crime

Crime: Its Cause and Treatment, (1932) Darrow himself explains his interpretation of the origins of crime. He discusses events in the background of criminals that lead them to crime, as well as the natural phenomena and psychological faults that can cause antisocial behavior. Don't assume that this 1932 commentary has nothing to add to the discussions of the 21st Century. It's shockingly contemporary. THIS IS ONE OF THE RARE RECORDINGS TO EXIST OF DARROW'S VOICE.

NPR: Remembering the Scopes Monkey Trial

The Scopes trial - or "Monkey Trial," as it was called - dominated headlines across the country. The trial lasted just a week, but the questions it raised are as divisive now as they were back then. NPR looks back at the Scopes trial, the events that led up to it and its aftermath.

Clarence Darrow:
Attorney for the Damned
by John A. Farrell, 1957
ISBN-10: 0767927591
ISBN-13: 978-0767927598
The definitive biography of Clarence Darrow, the brilliant, idiosyncratic lawyer who defended John Scopes in the "Monkey Trial" and gave voice to the populist masses at the turn of the twentieth century, thus changing American law forever.
John Dillinger Slept Here: A Crooks' Tour of Crime and Corruption in St. Paul, 1920-1936 by Paul Maccabee, 1995
ISBN-10: 0873513169
ISBN-13: 978-0873513166
An engrossing story of a veritable Rogues Gallery of criminals, including Ma Barker and Machine Gun Kelly. An exciting and comprehensive study of St. Paul gangland based on extensive research in FBI records, John Dillinger Slept Here is good history and fascinating reading.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, 1954
ISBN-10: 9780765357151
ISBN-13: 978-0765357151
Implicitly set on Cimarron Street in 1976 Los Angeles after an apocalyptic war that ravishes the land with weekly dust storms, the novel details the life of Robert Neville in the months and eventually years after the outbreak of a pandemic that has killed the rest of the human population and turned infected survivors into "vampires". The vampires conform remarkably to their stereotypes in fiction and folklore: they are blood-sucking, pale-skinned, and nocturnal, though otherwise indistinguishable from normal humans. Neville, possibly the sole survivor of the pandemic, barricades himself indoors nightly as swarms of vampires violently surround his house.
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, 1988
ISBN-10: 9780765357151
ISBN-13: 978-0765357151
The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological horror novel by Thomas Harris. First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris's 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling.