Theatre & Dance ETDs


Irene Loy

Publication Date



In this essay, I provide documentation for my theory and practice during this MFA degree. I begin with a short personal essay on my auto-biography leading up to and including this program. Then I follow with an overview of the theoretical underpinnings to my writing practice. Of particular importance here is the framing of listening and spaciousness as feminine and of speaking and activity as masculine, as a means of underscoring the inherent value of that which has traditionally been undervalued in the history of dramatic literature. This characterizes a move toward women's bodies, rather than away from them, including listening to women's internal experiences. I detail how listening is a playwriting tool, one which ideally precedes and functions in tandem with speaking. Next I place my work in the modern feminist playwriting tradition in America, citing Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Lynn Nottage, Marsha Norman, Sarah Ruhl, and Kira Obolensky as playwrights in my artistic family tree. Afterward, I analyze three of the plays which I wrote during this program--Plume, Gas'n'Sips, and 2am Lovely--for their common and distinctive elements, including their hybridization of Realism with Surrealism, Expressionism, and Symbolism, respectively. My unique style of writing is highlighted as a series of poem-plays, or those which feature highly theatrical stage metaphors as a means of representing onstage that which is otherwise interior. In this, I seek to signify in performance both internal and external aspects of women's lived experiences, their spaces, stories, and relationships. Then the entire script for the twelfth draft of 2am Lovely is given, followed by a short Appendix, which is an overview of the casting and rehearsal process for the university production of this play in Spring 2015.

Degree Name

Dramatic Writing

Level of Degree


Department Name

Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Moss, Gregory

First Committee Member (Chair)

Prugh, Caroline

Second Committee Member

McDuffie, Matthew

Third Committee Member

Shields, Julie




theatre, dramatic literature, gender studies, listening, feminist playwriting

Document Type