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Lights go up on a living room with no one in it. A phone begins to ring. A woman runs out of another room with a toothbrush in her mouth. She frantically searches for the phone that is ringing, which is somewhere on the couch. Kelly: (muffled because the toothbrush is her mouth) Hold on! She finds the phone and answers it, but her “Hello” is muffled because of the toothpaste, so she grabs the vase next to her and reluctantly spits it into the vase. So begins the play that is the culmination of my Summer Fellowship. Female characters among almost all types of entertainment are largely stereotyped, limiting the range and dimension of these characters. Stereotypes are oftentimes most prominent in comedic pieces creating a false representation of women and their abilities. Drawing upon my readings of comedic plays, comedic films, stand-up comedy, and scholarly texts, I have investigated dominant trends in representations of women in comedy as well as the strengths and shortcomings of these depictions of women. Using this investigation as a springboard, I have written an annotated bibliography and research paper and begun a draft of my own comic play in which I seek to portray women as multi-dimensional, independent characters central to story told rather than merely incidental.
Hughes, Claire, "Female Comedy: History and Practice" (2018). Theater Summer Fellows. 5.
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