As a young theatre educator and director, I have found myself to be most impacted by LGBTQ+ works that provide perspectives on controversial topics that exist in today's society. It has dawned on me that representation through theatre is impactful for audiences who are able to relate to the characters in the story that is being told, and through this, can find their own voice in a world where they may feel silenced. In an ever-changing educational world, we as educators are always pushed to innovate and create strategies that can elevate how stories are told through theatre. Through conversations with my students, an idea to bring awareness and introduce LGBTQ+ issues in our high school through the form of a show was presented to help tell the stories of the disenfranchised and to encourage love throughout our school community. This thesis explores and analyzes the portrayals of LGBTQ+ issues portrayed in the musical A Man of No Importance, written by Terrence McNally, specifically geared towards homosexuality and the act of "coming out." The topic of coming out continues to carry a negative stigma in today's society, and for that I produced art that speaks about love and acceptance, all themes seen in A Man of No Importance. As a gay male with a conservative Catholic upbringing, it is important for me also to explore the role religion plays within this musical and the characters whom are facing the repercussions in the story. Through this thesis, my goal is to introduce an educated perspective on how LGBTQ+ issues have been portrayed in this musical and to highlight how this and other LGBTQ+ themed shows are needed in our society to spread the message of inclusivity and love. In addition to researching, I discuss my directorial process for my production of A Man of No Importance at University High School and how its message can spark conversations about love and acceptance.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Mendez, Alex, "His Voice: The Portrayals of LGBTQ+ Issues in Musical Theatre seen through Terrence McNally's A Man of No Importance" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 100.