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What a Bitch: The Complexities of Gender in Playwriting

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20809

What a Bitch: The Complexities of Gender in Playwriting

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Title: What a Bitch: The Complexities of Gender in Playwriting
Author: Chavez, Lawrence
Advisor(s): Herrera, Brian
Committee Member(s): Avila, Elaine
Rivas, Tlaloc
Jewell, Donna
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Theater and Dance
Subject(s): Playwriting
Gender
Bitch
LC Subject(s): Playwriting
Women in literature
Mexican American women in literature
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: Harvesting pain to create difficult female characters that serve as the emotional catalysts for the plot is explored in my plays, Caballos Muertos and Señora de la Pinta. I discuss why I have chosen to reclaim the word “bitch” to describe angry Chicanas that have been a thematic necessity in my writing because of internal violence resulting from the colonization of the female body. I also reflect upon the use of contemporary feminist playwriting as an educational tool that teaches New Mexico history while at the same time allows for sensitivity concerning sexual identity and gender expression. Everyone is marginalized by looks, but the female aesthetic has a profound effect on respective societies which further complicates dynamics of love, culture and religion. I demonstrate how the shattered female body translates into emotional dialogue which organizes the force of action that drives the plot of my plays by incorporating sexual and cultural politics as well as folklore and superstition to exemplify how the oppressed female is in a constant state of ambivalence, identifying both as the person she is expected to be and the person that she really is. This is supported with historical events in New Mexico that shaped Chicano communities and the relationship they have with themselves.
Graduation Date: May 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20809

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