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Narratives Of Queerness: Queer Worldmaking (In) The Classroom With Undergraduate Students, Rachel Briggs Oct 2019

Narratives Of Queerness: Queer Worldmaking (In) The Classroom With Undergraduate Students, Rachel Briggs

Doctoral Dissertations

This research brings together education research, queer theory, and performance theory to consider the worldmaking potential of the queer classroom. Using students’ stories about queerness in the classroom and my own stories about the classroom, I ask what we can learn from students’ voices about how queerness is/can be performed in the classroom and through relations. This study uses critical ethnography, personal narrative, and performative writing to examine the production of subject positions in the classroom, to connect this to a queer theoretical framework, and to explore the worldmaking potential of the classroom. I interviewed seven undergraduate students at ...


Black Men Who Betray Their Race: 20th Century Literary Representations Of The Black Male Race Traitor, Gregory Coleman Jul 2019

Black Men Who Betray Their Race: 20th Century Literary Representations Of The Black Male Race Traitor, Gregory Coleman

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation, Black Men Who Betray Their Race, gathers a literary archive in order to identify and introduce the “race traitor” as a heretofore unrecognized yet important trope within 20th century African-American Literature. In addition to coping with the burden of racism, African Americans have had to put considerable energy toward negotiating the possibility of being perceived as race traitors by others within the African American community. This study tracks the possibilities and perils of black group identity in literary representations of black men, neither privileging opposition to the white world, nor celebrating black unity beyond it. Focusing on ...


Globalizing Nature On The Shakespearean Stage, William Steffen Mar 2019

Globalizing Nature On The Shakespearean Stage, William Steffen

Doctoral Dissertations

As the far-reaching consequences of human-generated climate change continue to threaten the earth, an evaluation of the historical narrative of the Anthropocene has never been more important. Globalizing Nature revises the anthropocentric narrative of early globalization from the perspective of the non-human world on the early modern stage, which showcases Nature’s agency in determining ecological, economic, and colonial outcomes. Overturning the popular narrative that European technology and military might determined the outcome of settler colonialism in ancient Britain and colonial Virginia, John Fletcher’s Bonduca suggests that the floral and microbial grafts attending colonial exchange could make or break ...


Charting The Terrain Of Latina/O/X Theater In Chicago, Priscilla M. Page Nov 2018

Charting The Terrain Of Latina/O/X Theater In Chicago, Priscilla M. Page

Doctoral Dissertations

There is a rich tapestry of Latina/o/x theater in Chicago. Through in-depth interviews, I use first-voice narratives to construct four decades of Latina/o/x theater history with the artists who were founding directors and/or members of these companies: Latino Chicago, Latino Experimental Theater Company, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, and Urban Theater Company. My aim with this project is to listen carefully to Latina/o/x artists in Chicago so that I can play a role in amplifying their voices as they articulate their experiences in this Midwestern city they call home. I organized my findings into ...


Bridging Contradictions: Socialist Actresses And Star Culture In East Germany, Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, Victoria Isabelle Rizo Lenshyn Oct 2018

Bridging Contradictions: Socialist Actresses And Star Culture In East Germany, Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, Victoria Isabelle Rizo Lenshyn

Doctoral Dissertations

In this dissertation, I argue that multiple stakeholders in East Germany (GDR)—the fans, artists, and state— adapted the star phenomenon to help validate GDR socialist culture at home and abroad, and to bridge seemingly contradictory elements within the dualistic context of the global Cold War: the individual and collective, the ordinary and extraordinary, idealism and reality, the past and present, tradition and progress, East and West. As public figures, GDR stars offered audiences multiple points of identification and helped the enlarged working class navigate its new dominant social position in GDR social life. Officially, stars offered an engaging performance ...


Interpreting Dreams: Directing An Immersive Adaptation Of Strindberg's A Dream Play, Mary-Corinne Miller Oct 2018

Interpreting Dreams: Directing An Immersive Adaptation Of Strindberg's A Dream Play, Mary-Corinne Miller

Masters Theses

This written portion of my thesis documents how I, as director, conceptualized, devised and staged an immersive adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play, with the support of a large team of collaborators including: assistant directors, dramaturgs, designers, stage managers, and actors. In this document I attempt to synthesize the discoveries I made in this process regarding the challenges and experience of directing immersive theater, including the importance of giving up directorial control and relying on my collaborators as partners in the creation of the production.

I begin with an introduction to the research I conducted into the field ...


Play In The Woods: The Role Of The Dramaturg In Facilitating A Holistic, Slow Theater-Making Process, Claudia Nolan Oct 2018

Play In The Woods: The Role Of The Dramaturg In Facilitating A Holistic, Slow Theater-Making Process, Claudia Nolan

Masters Theses

In this thesis, I document the ideas behind and my process for Play in the Woods, an experiment in slow theater-making that serves as a model for how dramaturgs can facilitate sustainable, holistic methods of performance. This model is grounded in feminist theater practices and the aesthetic of poor theater. In creating the performance of Play in the Woods, I as dramaturg invited participants to serve as co-creators, individually crafting pieces that examined fairytales and the role those stories have played on their lives. The performance was held out of doors at the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area on the afternoon ...


Queer Temporality And Aesthetics In Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge: A Dramaturgical Exploration Of The Play At Umass Amherst, Gaven D. Trinidad Oct 2018

Queer Temporality And Aesthetics In Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge: A Dramaturgical Exploration Of The Play At Umass Amherst, Gaven D. Trinidad

Masters Theses

This master’s thesis documents the dramaturgical exploration of the spring 2018 University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Theater’s production of gender non-conforming performance artist Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge. The thesis is separated into two parts. The first half focuses on my dramaturgical analysis of Mac’s play and its exploration of queer temporality and queer embodiment, asserting the importance of queer aesthetics in American drama and its vital role in shaping the future of LGBTQIA+ politics in the United States. The second half includes reflections on rehearsal processes and performances, giving readers and fellow artists ...


Motion As Music: Hypermetrical Schemas In Eighteenth-Century Contredanses, Alison N. Stevens Oct 2018

Motion As Music: Hypermetrical Schemas In Eighteenth-Century Contredanses, Alison N. Stevens

Masters Theses

An important part of the recent growth in scholarship on meter focuses on reconstructing 18th-century listening practices. Danuta Mirka (2009) studies contemporary accounts of meter in theory treatises to build a model of 18th-century metric listening, while Stefan Love (2016) takes a corpus studies approach, arguing that surveying repertoire provides a more accurate view of meter than 18th-century theorists. But despite the known debt that much 18th-century art music owes to dance and dance music, Mirka and Love only briefly mention dance. In touching so lightly on dance, these and other authors overlook the more fundamental connection between meter and ...


Property, Postsocialism, And Post-Yugoslav Identity: A Feminist Communication Performance Ethnography, Jennifer Zenovich Jul 2018

Property, Postsocialism, And Post-Yugoslav Identity: A Feminist Communication Performance Ethnography, Jennifer Zenovich

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation analyzes how women in the postsocialist former Yugoslavia perform gender in the transition from socialism to capitalism by considering their material and symbolic relationships to property. Using performance ethnography to theorize the relational, embodied, and discursive ways in which identity has been mobilized in the former Yugoslavia, the central question is how insights from the postsocialist world can critique notions of the individual as well as global capital. Through the prism of postsocialist and postcolonial feminist theory and performance studies, I focus on three contexts: women’s feminized labor as sustaining the tourism industry in Montenegro, my rape ...


Brooklyn Bedroom: An Ethnodrama On Female Sexuality, Third World Feminism And Performance Ethnography, Ayshia Stephenson Jul 2018

Brooklyn Bedroom: An Ethnodrama On Female Sexuality, Third World Feminism And Performance Ethnography, Ayshia Stephenson

Doctoral Dissertations

Brooklyn Bedroom is a performance that interrogates societal perceptions of race and sexuality. I have utilized the writing of the performance as my method; the performance is an act of Third World feminist resistance and liberation. Storytelling is the type of research preferred by many black female playwrights. A type of qualitative inquiry, ethnodramatic work forms a bridge between individual stories and social issues affecting society with the goal of socio-political change. The source of reality for this ethnodrama is the Rose family, their history was a catalyst for the writing of Brooklyn Bedroom. I have explored their stories to ...


Kiskeyanas Valientes En Este Espacio: Dominican Women Writers And The Spaces Of Contemporary American Literature, Isabel R. Espinal Jul 2018

Kiskeyanas Valientes En Este Espacio: Dominican Women Writers And The Spaces Of Contemporary American Literature, Isabel R. Espinal

Doctoral Dissertations

We can learn and gain a lot by putting Dominican women writers at the center of our attention. Yet they rarely have that place. This dissertation looks at Dominican women authors who have lived and written in the United States —Josefina Báez, Marianela Medrano, Yrene Santos, Aurora Arias, Nelly Rosario, Annecy Báez, Ana Maurine Lara, Raquel Cepeda— and how they fit within the spaces of contemporary American society, and more broadly within world flows of peoples and cultural productions. I draw on the theories and methodologies of Gloria Anzaldúa and her generation of feminists of color, as well as subsequent ...


Asian American Heritage Seeking: Personal Narrative Performances Of Ancestral Return, Porntip Israsena Twishime Jul 2018

Asian American Heritage Seeking: Personal Narrative Performances Of Ancestral Return, Porntip Israsena Twishime

Masters Theses

Asian American belongings, migration patterns, and transnational identities are largely constructed in the United States as static, unidirectional, and invisible. Asian Americans complicate these constructions through the practice of ancestral return. In this thesis, “ancestral return” is constituted through one’s participation in a university study abroad program to a specific place to where one traces her heritage. I use “return” not necessarily to account for a form of reverse migration; rather “return” here names the multiple, sometimes contradictory kinds of return, including “return” to a place that one has not yet been. This project examines how Asian American identities ...


Infants Of The Spring: Disrupting The Narrative, Ifa Bayeza Jul 2018

Infants Of The Spring: Disrupting The Narrative, Ifa Bayeza

Masters Theses

This written portion of my thesis will document and codify how I as dramaturg, writer and director adapted and staged the classic Harlem Renaissance novel Infants of the Spring by Wallace Thurman. I walk the reader through how seeing as a director influenced my creative choices through key aspects of production: script development, design, and building the ensemble. The thesis will conclude with a post-production reflection and summary.


Transgressive Acts: Adapting Applied Theatre Techniques For A Transgender Community, Theo F. Lefevre Oct 2017

Transgressive Acts: Adapting Applied Theatre Techniques For A Transgender Community, Theo F. Lefevre

Masters Theses

This MFA Thesis traces my work as a joker (a la Theatre of the Oppressed) and facilitator through a three-year-long project with a trans applied theatre troupe. The troupe explored several techniques, including Image Theatre, Playback Theatre, storytelling exercises, and somatic movement. In three semester-long workshops, the troupe focused work around three sets of techniques. In the first workshop, the troupe explored the community-based interview process of Undesirable Elements, as designed by Ping Chong in collaboration with Talvin Wilks and Sara Zatz. These techniques were interrogated using queer and trans temporalities. In the second unit, the troupe practiced Augusto Boal ...


On The Contrary: Subverting The Canon With Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Christina Pellegrini Jul 2017

On The Contrary: Subverting The Canon With Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Christina Pellegrini

Masters Theses

This written portion of my thesis is aimed at documenting and synthesizing how I, as director, staged an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler through ongoing collaboration with a creative team comprised of dramaturges, designers, and actors.

I walk the reader through my exploration of Ibsen’s life and work through travel to the International Ibsen Festival in Oslo, Norway, and describe how I endeavored to lead the production’s creative team by applying feminist theories in directing and embracing the possibility of failure as a means of discovery. I discuss the casting process and establishment of an all-women ...


Women On Trial: Translating Femininity Through Journalism, William B. Ollayos Jul 2017

Women On Trial: Translating Femininity Through Journalism, William B. Ollayos

Masters Theses

The focus of this thesis is on cultural translation as a means of understanding the relationship between sociocultural identity with respect to bourgeois white female sexuality and interpretations by news journalists, writers and filmmakers. The thesis brings translation scholar Lawrence Venuti’s description of foreign and domestic texts (2008) into conversation with Catherine Cole’s analysis of journalists as active interpreters of newsworthy events (2010) to support my view of the media as a translator of sociocultural identity. The thesis outlines the construction of bourgeois white femininity within the U.S. imaginary and a more detailed account of its direct ...


Designing Hedda: Questioning The Canonical Play Hedda Gabler, As A Feminist Text Through Abstraction, Bethany Eddy Jul 2017

Designing Hedda: Questioning The Canonical Play Hedda Gabler, As A Feminist Text Through Abstraction, Bethany Eddy

Masters Theses

A thorough reflection on the process of costume design for the theatrical production of Hedda. An adaptation of Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Eva Le Gallienne, edited by Finn Lefevre and Directed by Christina Pellegrini. Performed at The Rand Theater, University of Massachusetts Amherst, February 24th to March 4th, 2017.

Ibsen is considered “The Father of Modern Drama”, with Hedda Gabler as one of his most widely performed plays. Hedda Gabler in the 1890’s was a disruptive reflection of society, and is considered by many to be a feminist work. I disagree with this assessment of the ...


The Drama Of Race: Contemporary Afro-German Theater, Jamele Watkins Jul 2017

The Drama Of Race: Contemporary Afro-German Theater, Jamele Watkins

Doctoral Dissertations

The first investigation of Afro-German theater my dissertation, “The Drama of Race,” argues that Afro-German theater empowers as Black actors take ownership of a German stage, a white German space. My dissertation highlights four crucial Afro-German plays: real life: Germany (2008), Heimat, bittersüße Heimat [Home, bittersweet Home] (2010), Also by Mail (2013), and Mais in Deutschland und anderen Galaxien [Corn in Germany and Other Galaxies] (2015). In Chapter I, I discuss the cultural conditions in which Afro-German theater emerged—after an established literary corpus by Afro-German authors. Chapter II introduces the first Afro-German play and its improvisational methods as empowering ...


Texts And Subtexts In Performing Blackness: Vernacular Masking In Key And Peele As A Lens For Viewing Paul Laurence Dunbar’S Musical Comedy, Spencer Kuchle Mar 2017

Texts And Subtexts In Performing Blackness: Vernacular Masking In Key And Peele As A Lens For Viewing Paul Laurence Dunbar’S Musical Comedy, Spencer Kuchle

Doctoral Dissertations

When Kegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s sketch-comedy show Key & Peele took Comedy Central by storm in 2012, the perceived need by the comedians to “adjust their blackness” to gain social recognition became a recurring theme. Throughout their comedic performances, language becomes a proxy for identity, and Key and Peele’s parodic employment of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and linguistic variation serves to challenge notions of black authenticity, while emphasizing the absurdity of racial essentialism.

An embodiment of Jonathan Rossing’s concept of emancipatory racial humor, Key and Peele’s comedy creates nonthreatening spaces that facilitate the contestation ...


Theatre Women And Cultural Diplomacy In The Transatlantic Anglophone World (1752-1807), Sandra Perot Nov 2016

Theatre Women And Cultural Diplomacy In The Transatlantic Anglophone World (1752-1807), Sandra Perot

Doctoral Dissertations

Anglophone theatre provided a solid cultural bridge between Britain and America and served as an influential, informative, and accessible mode of social, political and cultural exchange transported throughout the eighteenth-century transatlantic world. Unlike works focusing on colonial American restrictions on theater, or examining its subsequent role in constructing American nationhood and identity, I explore how theatre served to both cultivate and challenge transatlantic connections. I show that actresses and women playwrights played a distinctive role in this process; they exercised agency in helping shape Anglo identity, influenced the formation of the cult of celebrity, challenged physical gendered spaces and normative ...


"Daring Propaganda For The Beauty Of The Human Mind:" Critical Consciousness-Raising In The Poetry And Drama Of The Black Power Era, 1965-1976, Markeysha D. Davis Nov 2016

"Daring Propaganda For The Beauty Of The Human Mind:" Critical Consciousness-Raising In The Poetry And Drama Of The Black Power Era, 1965-1976, Markeysha D. Davis

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is a literary and intellectual history of the contributions of black American theorists, poets, and dramatists in the 1960s and 1970s towards the establishment of black critical consciousness in order to lay grounds for black people to experience a fuller existence as human beings through black-centered creations and presentations. Through the following chapters, I establish the framework and evolution of black psyche-liberation theories—spanning Du Bois’s theory of double-conscious through the contributions of black artist-theorists like Baraka, Neal, and Woodie King, Jr., followed by examinations at length of the theories of black liberation in praxis by the ...


Carmen(Es) Y Lola. El Continuo Generacional De La Educación De La Mujer Desde La Novela Y El Monólogo Teatral De Cinco Horas Con Mario Hasta La Película Función De Noche, Elisabet Pallàs Nov 2016

Carmen(Es) Y Lola. El Continuo Generacional De La Educación De La Mujer Desde La Novela Y El Monólogo Teatral De Cinco Horas Con Mario Hasta La Película Función De Noche, Elisabet Pallàs

Masters Theses

Taking as a point of reference the voice and figure of Carmen Sotillo, the present study analyzes Miguel Delibes’ Cinco horas con Mario (1966), the theatrical adaptation with the same name directed by Josefina Molina, and the film Función de noche (1981), directed also by Molina. The study addresses, on the one hand, the analysis of the mentioned works, establishing a cause-consequence relationship between Carmen’s speech and the educational paradigms of the Francoist regime in regard to women. On the other hand, the study is interested, from a general perspective, in the ideological state apparatuses and the mechanisms destined ...


Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: 60 Years Of American Dialogue On Sex, Gender, And The Nuclear Family, Amy Brooks Mar 2016

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: 60 Years Of American Dialogue On Sex, Gender, And The Nuclear Family, Amy Brooks

Masters Theses

This thesis is a two-part work. Its components, a written paper and a one-night symposium/film screening event entitled Tennessee Williams: Gender Play in 2015 and Beyond, have been closely coordinated with my dramaturgical research for the February 2015 University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Theater production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The written inquiry is structured around a chronological, selected American production history of Cat; this history, rendered in a series of three case studies, will (1) synthesize preexisting analyses of Cat’s dramaturgical profile, its impact on American theater, and its position in Williams’s oeuvre ...


The Merchant Of Venice At Umass: An Exploration In Collaboration And Representation, Elizabeth L. Pangburn Nov 2015

The Merchant Of Venice At Umass: An Exploration In Collaboration And Representation, Elizabeth L. Pangburn

Masters Theses

Through an analysis of the details of The Merchant of Venice, I will show that a costume design which only satisfies the basic role of articulating the relationships, status, time and place, etc of the play but has no point of view regarding that text’s inherent assumptions will always support, rather than subvert, any problematic issues present therein. Secondly, I will show that without tandem movement from the creative team, no rehabilitation or subversion is possible.


The Collaborative Process In Directing A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Jared L. Culverhouse Nov 2015

The Collaborative Process In Directing A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Jared L. Culverhouse

Masters Theses

With this thesis I will explore the many challenges that confront a leader on a creative project, the difficulties that prevent open communication, and the discoveries that I will use to serve myself on future projects. Through diligent notes during the multiple months that Cat on a Hot Tin Roof took to produce, I was able to re-create what my experience was and how it benefitted me moving forward.

This thesis will document the entire process from play selection, through the final product including the response from the audience. Through this document I will try and highlight, how my own ...


Mind Reading In Stage Magic: The “Second Sight” Illusion, Media, And Mediums, Katharina Rein Sep 2015

Mind Reading In Stage Magic: The “Second Sight” Illusion, Media, And Mediums, Katharina Rein

communication +1

This article analyzes the late-nineteenth-century stage illusion “The Second Sight,” which seemingly demonstrates the performers’ telepathic abilities. The illusion is on the one hand regarded as an expression of contemporary trends in cultural imagination as it seizes upon notions implied by spiritualism as well as utopian and dystopian ideas associated with technical media. On the other hand, the spread of binary code in communication can be traced along with the development of the "Second Sight," the latter being outlined by means of three examples using different methods to obtain a similar effect. While the first version used a speaking code ...


An Evaluation Of The Lighting Design Process And Composition For "A New Brain" By William Finn, James Horban Jul 2015

An Evaluation Of The Lighting Design Process And Composition For "A New Brain" By William Finn, James Horban

Masters Theses

The following pages will explore and evaluate the process and composition of my lighting design for the musical A New Brain produced by the UMass Amherst Theater Department in November 2014. This analysis will begin with an overall assessment of my lighting-design work and working methods throughout my career up to this production in order to identify the areas of personal growth that were focal points for this production. A reflection upon the design, collaborative, and technical process, and how the lessons learned from these processes apply to my career goal as an educator of theatrical design, will round out ...


A Step Of Two Or The Pas De Deux, Molly A. Hoisington Jul 2015

A Step Of Two Or The Pas De Deux, Molly A. Hoisington

Masters Theses

The second part of a two-part MFA Thesis presentation, this paper distills the content from the preceding exhibition A Step of Two or The Pas de Deux: an installation of paintings, drawings and projected video. It touches on various themes that surround [well researched] ideas about perception, dissociation, the gaze, and relationships. Most of all, this paper and the body of work it describes is about the visual representation of a sensual understanding of the world.


Encountering "Agaat": Toward A Dramaturgical Method Of Adaptation, Paul Adolphsen Jul 2015

Encountering "Agaat": Toward A Dramaturgical Method Of Adaptation, Paul Adolphsen

Masters Theses

This M.F.A. thesis in dramaturgy presents the first-ever stage adaptation of South African writer Marlene van Niekerk’s 2004 novel Agaat. Van Niekerk is an internationally acclaimed novelist, short story writer, poet, and dramatist particularly known for her lengthy novelistic excavations of Afriakner identity, in which sexuality, race, and gender collide in compelling but fraught ways. Covering nearly fifty-years of South African history—from the establishment of apartheid in 1948 through the nation’s transition to democracy in 1994—Agaat investigates everyday cycles of abuse and intimacy through the story of white farmer Milla de Wet and her ...