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An Examination of Playwright Maria Irene Fornes Through the Practical Application of Directing Her Play: Mud

DeSoto, Rachel (2010) An Examination of Playwright Maria Irene Fornes Through the Practical Application of Directing Her Play: Mud. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This examination focuses on an investigation of playwright Maria Irene Fornes' repertoire, in the context of her style, through producing and directing her 1983 play Mud. Included in this exploration is a critical analysis of Fornes' literary work through a sampling of plays within her vast expanse of literature: The Conduct of Life, Sarita, Fefu and Her Friends, and Mud. With a focus on directing Mud as a means to understanding her larger canon of work, I examine Fornes' thematic elements, stylistic conventions, and representations—specifically seen through gender, ethnicity, and class. The influences of Fornes' Hispanic ethnicity and gender are manifest in her work and often challenge the gender roles within Hispanic culture. From these complexities stem the dramatic tension and exploration that her writing generates through her characters, settings, and dialogue. Relying on my own experience as a Hispanic female, I engage with her repertoire in a way that identifies the influences of Fornes' cultural and genetic background within the narrative structure and theme of her plays. My investigation, experienced primarily through the vehicle of directing Mud, illuminates many aspects of Fornes' work—ripe with nuances, complexities, and symbolisms. With specific attention to gender and ethnic influences on the artistic product, my exploration in directing provides an opportunity to expand the study of this specific playwright in an active context. The first-hand experience gained in understanding, dissecting, and enacting Fornes' play, Mud, is the foundation of this thesis project.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairColeman, W. Stephenanchor@pitt.eduANCHOR
Committee MemberMcConachie, Brucebamcco@pitt.eduBAMCCO
Committee MemberCummings, Scott
Committee MemberThuma, Hollyhthuma@pitt.eduHTHUMA
Date: 15 September 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 17 April 2010
Approval Date: 15 September 2010
Submission Date: 15 June 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Theater Arts
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: directing; play analysis; play style; thrust theatre
Other ID:, etd-06152010-151659
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:47
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


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