As a Christian theatre artist with a conservative upbringing, I continually seek to discover the role of postmodernism in faith and how this intersection correlates with theatre in a postmodern society. In a profession that constantly challenges the status quo of Christian living, and a faith that frowns upon most "secular" behavior, I find myself in a position of questioning the connection between these two components of my life. Furthermore, I am troubled by the exclusive nature of the evangelical Christian community for people who do not meet its expectations of absolute truth—namely, the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and the judgment of others. After reading several contemporary plays with religious narratives, it is safe to say that there is a correlation between Christian faith and the postmodern stage and this connection can be used to debunk these accepted truths in Christian thought. In this thesis, I explore three plays by mainstream American playwrights—Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi, Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play: A Cycle—to disrupt the metanarrative dogma that evangelical Christianity continues to force upon its "believers." These topics include the traditional evangelical treatment of homosexuality, the judgment of others, and the exclusivity of the gospel message. Using postmodern theory and the New Testament Gospels as a lens, this thesis expands the universal messages of the Gospels and makes them inviting and applicable to all people despite varying cultures, lifestyles, or worldviews.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dambrosi, Joseph, "Christ on the Postmodern Stage: Debunking Christian Metanarrative Through Contemporary Passion Plays" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 4986.