Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Theatre Arts

Degree Program

Theatre Arts, MFA

Committee Chair

Jones, Johnny

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Smith, Siobhan

Committee Member

Smith, Siobhan

Committee Member

Kelly, Baron

Author's Keywords

fat studies; womanism; theatre; acting; August Wilson; spirituality


Rose Maxson is the 43-year-old matriarch of the Maxson household in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences. She is a character with an inviolable spirit. The unwavering force she possesses rattles the pages as she relives past loves, loss, experiences heartbreak. Imagine, how I, a then 24-year old devoid of the immense life experience that Rose encompasses found my way into her. The answer is through nurture. To nurture is a process of feeding, protecting, or rearing someone or something. It is a journey with or without a destination. Rose is in a constant state of nurturing her family, but how exactly does she nurture herself? My thesis will examine the approach I took to becoming Rose Maxson through a process that includes the nurturing my creative spirit and fostering of an academic mindset. I will explore these ideas through the lens of fat studies and womanism, an interdisciplinary field of study and sect of feminism developed by Alice Walker.

Included in

Acting Commons