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Graduate Program: Theatre and Performance Studies

Dissertations and Theses

The dissertation is the culminating project for the Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies. A formal proposal for a dissertation should be submitted for the endorsement of the Graduate Faculty. See the department's Graduate Student Handbook for proposal instructions. The Graduate Faculty will review the proposal. Sample proposals are on file in the department or by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies.

We welcome projects that include archival research, ethnography, critical theory, literary analysis, and performance studies. Dissertation work begins in the third year of the Ph.D. program and is typically completed in a student's fourth or fifth year in the doctoral program.

Search the Archive

Dissertations and theses by our graduate are catalogued in the Dissertations & Theses @ Tufts University database. In the "Advanced Search" option, search for "drama" in the "Department – DEP" category. Dissertations & Theses @ Tufts provides full text for:
  • Most Ph.D. dissertations issued after 1996
  • Most master's theses issued after 2005

Recent Dissertations and Theses

2018 - Dissertations
"An obvious caricature: The Consequences of Scientific Discourse on Theatrical Madness, 1807-1895" (Katherine Swimm)

Brief Deceptive Rainbows: Cultural Memory in Productions of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Daniel Ciba)

2018 - Theses
"But What if Instead We Imagine Black Life" Femininity, Performance, and the Black Lives Movement (Teri Incampo)

The Man Within: Depictions of Blackness in Superhero Adaptations” (Peter Spearman)

2016 - Dissertations

"Black or Red? The Construction of Identity in Langston Hughes' Plays" (Katya Vrtis)

"Forgotten Figures: The Rhetorical Function of Tecmessa, Chrysothemis, and Ismene in Tragedies of Sophocles and Selected Adaptations" (Tiffany Pounds-Williams)

"Theatre of Common Sense: Ernie McClintock, Jazz Acting, and the Black Power Aesthetic (1965-2003)" (Ibby Cizmar)

2016 - Theses

"'Am I Not A Woman and A Sister?' Performance as Political Discourse in African American Women's Literary Societies" (Jenny Herron)

"Staging as Youth Culture in Colonial-Modern Shanghai: Student Theatre from the 1890s-1920s" (Yizhou Huang)

2015 - Dissertations

"American Billing: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Shakespeare" (Danielle Rosvally)

"The American Pipe Dream: Drug Addiction on Stage 1890-1940" (Max Shulman)

"Arab and Muslim American Female Playwrights: Resistance and Revision through Solo Performance" (Megan Stahl)

"Freaks, Beasts, and Gadgets: Performing Order and Disorder in Early America" (Matthew DiCintio)

"Constructing the Sensorium: Neoliberalism and Aesthetic Practice in Neoliberal Theatre" (Paul Masters)

"Cultural Improvisations: Luigi Riccoboni and the Nouveau Theâtre Italien" (Matthew McMahan)

"Documenting Rehearsal for Revolution: Theory, Practice, and Praxis in Theatre of the Oppressed" (Betsy Goldman)

2015 - Theses

"'Of Thee We Sing:' Microhistories of the Northeastern United States through the Lens of American Folkloric Opera" (Christian Krenek)

"Spectrums of Truth: Transcribing Reality in the Documentary Musical" (Reza Mirsajadi)

2014 - Dissertations

"Private Lives on the Public Stage: Celebrity and Antebellum Theatre" (Michael Lueger)

"Without Dignity: The Outer Limits of Sexuality in Contemporary Humor Noir" (AJ Knox)

2014 - Theses

"Hell's Belles: The Adaptive Treatment of Lizzie Borden, Ruth Snyder, and Aileen Wuornos as a Process of Female Demonization" (Mary Robinson)

"Peril or Possibility? The Performance of Risk in Aerial Circus Arts and Acrobatic Theatre" (Amy Meyer)

"Spin: Goddard Lieberson and the Development of the American Musical Cast Recording" (Patrick King)