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 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