Where have all the mothers gone? : The liminalities of child loss in contemporary drama
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] My dissertation, "Where Have All the Mothers Gone?: The Liminalities of Child Loss in Contemporary Drama," focuses on the liminal states in which female characters in two specific plays, my autobiographical play And Then It Was Gone and Marina Carr's play By the Bog of Cats, find themselves due to various forms of child loss, such as infanticide and miscarriage, the social drama processes they encounter along the way, and the rituals with which they may release themselves from these transitional states. The social processing of child deaths is present in these plays as a literal (social) drama and as a concept discussed by performance studies scholar Victor Turner. As such, I draw upon Turner's notions of social drama performance and other scholarship centered around autobiographical performance. Also influential in my research are works by Leigh Gilmore and more modern feminist performance studies scholarship such as works by Judith Butler. I use these works to examine the aforementioned plays and the readings, performances, and productions thereof. And Then It Was Gone received a workshop reading at the Missouri Playwrights Workshop in 2016 and a concert reading at the Mizzou New Play Series in 2017. I directed a sold-out production of Marina Carr's play By the Bog of Cats for the mainstage season of the University of Missouri Department of Theatre in the fall of 2017.
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