theatre for social change, adolescent girls, one woman show, feminism, feminist theatre


Adolescence is a difficult time for young women. Their bodies are changing and they are being asked to conform to a new set of feminine standards if they are to be accepted (Pipher 39). Studies have found that girls experience a decrease in self-esteem during this time. They are less likely to speak their minds openly and honestly, which can lead to depression and a feeling of falseness. As young women attempt to comprehend this turbulent time in their lives, they often find strength through positive relationships with others as well as from their own knowledge and self-awareness. Reflections is a one-woman show that investigates the current challenges associated with adolescence. The play uses short monologues as well as songs from musical theatre repertoire to tell the story of three separate and unique women. The protagonist of Reflections is an eleven-year-old girl whose personality and sense of self changes drastically during the course of the show. At the beginning of the show, she speaks her mind freely and openly and is unafraid to express her true feelings. When she discovers there are consequences to acting this way, she immediately alters her behavior to ensure her peers accept her. When she witnesses her sister's strength and becomes aware of her mother's intelligence, she realizes she no longer wants to act in ways that do not reflect her true feelings. Her sixteen-year-old sister wants so badly to be accepted that she has begun altering her appearance in dangerous ways in order to fit in. Their mother is struggling to comprehend how to raise two daughters in a culture that does little to support and nurture adolescent girls. Reflections: A Theatrical Look at the Lives of Adolescent Girls outlines each characters distinct journey, using research and analysis to support their stories. In the end it offers advice on how to prevent young women from losing their sense of self during adolescence. This part of the document will present a companion piece to the production in the form of a theatre workshop. This workshop will give young women the opportunity to explore important issues in a safe space. Participants will be able to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of retribution and can begin to investigate ways to challenge social forces that oppress them.


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Graduation Date





Boyd, Belinda


Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities



Degree Program









Release Date

September 2007

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)