Conducting a pedagogy: the influence of Maria Irene Fornes's teaching and the Padua Hills Playwright Workshop and Festival on three contemporary women playwrights
Author(s)Onstad, A. J. (Andrea J.), 1950-
Contributor(s)Carver, M. Heather
KeywordsFornes, Maria Irene
Padua Hills Playwrights Workshop and Festival
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AbstractThe entire thesis text is included in the
research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file; a non-technical
public abstract appears in the public.pdf file.
Title from PDF of title page (University of
Missouri--Columbia, viewed on January 27, 2011).
Thesis advisor: Dr. M. Heather
Ph. D. University of Missouri--Columbia
Dissertations, Academic -- University of
Missouri--Columbia -- Theatre.
In some circles, Maria Irene Fornes is
as hallowed for her playwriting pedagogy as she is for her plays. Over the years, she
developed a series of exercises and a method of presentation to guide students in what
she described as "creating life." Many of these exercises were honed in various
workshops including the legendary Padua Hills Playwrights Workshop and Festival under
the direction of playwright Murray Mednick, whose pedagogical philosophy closely matched
that of Fornes. In an effort to assess the broader implications of their combined
approach to playwriting and its long-term effect on American theatre, this dissertation
examines the impact of this playwriting pedagogy on the careers of three women
playwrights, all alumnae of the Padua Hills Playwrights' Workshop and Festival,
ultimately revealing how, as with Aristotle, teachers beget disciples who beget converts
and so on, exponentially, ensuring the endurance of this unique approach to playwriting
and the survival of the art.