Date of Award

Spring 4-2014

Degree Type




First Advisor

Robert J. Hursey, Ph.D., Thesis Director

Second Advisor

Steven P. Faulkner, Ph.D., First Reader

Third Advisor

Robert L. Lynch, Ph.D., Second Reader


The purpose of this thesis is to examine through drama the concept of manhood and what our culture defines as being a man. Manhood is what my characters struggle to achieve, but they fall short of their goals due to issues of co-dependency, immaturity, and refusal to give up control; they are well-composed and obedient externally, yet struggle internally. My characters were brought up and raised in a setting with inarguable demands, explicitly on what to believe, how to behave, and what is and isn’t acceptable. They’ve never been taught/told it’s okay to say “I’m not sure if I agree with you.” In my opinion, an important part of a boy’s journey to manhood is when he chooses what to believe, how to behave and what he believes is and isn’t acceptable. I also explore men’s feelings of repression, the desire for identity, and the opportunities for choices.

I use a variety of writers as models: David Mamet, Ernest Hemingway, Quentin Tarantino, along with Jonathan and Christopher Nolan. While not all of these storytellers explore coming-of-age narratives, they all explore different types of masculinity. I believe they write the type of men my characters want to be: strong, independent, and well-defined—they are writers who have helped me better understand my characters and why they want what they want.