Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2014

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Foster, Patricia

First Committee Member

Sunstein, Bonnie

Second Committee Member

Alexander, Meredith


The essay is an exploration of a thought, an idea, an experience. To essay is simply to attempt. A conclusion is not always reached, a solution is not always found, but the writer is compelled to attempt to contain the thought, the idea, the experience, in words on the page. The performance essay makes the same attempt. But where the written essay is complete on the page, the performance essay is subject to constant transformation by the necessity of the physical body to the finished work. Not the body of the writer, but the body of the performer who stretches and bends the writer-shaped space of the essay to make it fit, completing the work in the creation of this new shape. This is the excitement for the writer of the performance essay. To surrender control of the work to another artist and see what they will make of it.


Creative Nonfiction, Feminism, Monologues, Sexuality, Theatre, Women's Studies


iv, 79 pages


Copyright 2014 Suzanne Marie Cody