Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Theatre and Dance: Theatre

First Advisor

Ann Haugo

Second Advisor

Kee-Yoon Nahm


As our world begins to reopen following the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries—including the theatre—will be left with starting to get back to a new normal. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, theatre also faced another reckoning within the industry: despite often being a place of refuge for many marginalized groups, racism, discrimination, and harassment has been a common occurrence within the industry. As the theatre community looks forward, many are yearning for a more inclusive theatre community. As such, the theatre community will be tasked with an overarching question of: what will our new normal look like? Through textual analysis and how underrepresented populations are represented, I will argue that Stephen Sondheim should be included in the theatrical cannon as we move into this new normal. To accomplish this, I will argue how Sondheim’s shows have historically and contemporarily rejected societal and cultural norms for women and folks of differing sexualities and have instead portrayed them as strong characters. As such, I will ultimately argue that Sondheim is political theatre and helps to confront sexist and homophobic ideologies that are counter to an inclusive world.


Imported from Goffard_ilstu_0092N_11953.pdf


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