Mass, Hunger, and Purification: The Actor's Body in Space in The Most Massive Woman Wins
AuthorJennings, Anna Marie
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThrough application of research in semiotics, Postmodernism, and body image, I directed Madeleine George's The Most Massive Woman Wins, a one-act play which challenges the connotation of the term "massive" and depicts the struggles of four women with negative body image. This research focuses on the sign systems of the actor's body within the stage space theorized by Antonin Artaud and Peter Brook. Additionally, this research includes analysis from feminist critics Susan Bordo and Kathy Davis on the signification of the female body in society, the construction of negative body image, development of eating disorders, and the solutions women seek in cosmetic surgery. With specific examples from my production, I illustrate the powerful signifying potential of both the actor and the space in creating a lasting image, which Peter Brook refers to as a "kernel." Statistics show many college-aged women suffer from negative body image and eating disorders. In addition to the pressure felt by women to conform to "societally established standards of beauty," today more than ever men are experiencing the same pressure. Therefore, The Most Massive Woman Wins is an especially relevant play to produce at The University of Arizona.
Degree ProgramHonors College