Author

Zoe Hu

Date of Award

2017

First Advisor

Aimee Michel

Second Advisor

Wesley Brown

Abstract

This thesis is a study of five playwrights who have engaged with theater in unconventional ways: Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Anna Deavere Smith, Suzan- Lori Parks and Young Jean Lee. It also records my attempt at their writing methods myself. Each playwright has been described as "groundbreaking," "innovative," and "strange," and I posit that part of their interest in the unconventional has to do with their personal oddness in the world—that is, as women of color they are drawn to (or pushed towards) the unconventional because they themselves are seen as inherently unconventional. I begin with the definition of unconventional that I will be working with, and follow with a short biography and description of each playwright’s style. After each playwright's section is my personal attempt to try their method of writing.

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