Date of Award

Spring 2019

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts


Theatre Arts


Missy Barnes

Committee Member

Thomas Ouellette

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Luchner


My mission as a mentally ill theatre artist is to challenge the commonly-perpetuated fictions that restrict public perception of mentally ill persons [MIPs]. A meta-analysis of plays from the Greek, Medieval, Victorian, Melodramatic, Naturalist, and Post- Naturalist eras reflected just how little progress has been made at exposing and eliminating popular myths about mental illness. While the theatrical canon offers evidence for the inadequacy of current representations of MIPs, the psychological literature offers steps forward for the artists telling these stories. Efforts to improve artist sensitivity to the complex realities of mental illness fail to educate with fact alone (Dale, Richards, Bradburn, Tadros, & Salama, 2014); positive change in public representations of mental illness only occurs in response to local, personally meaningful testimonies from MIPs themselves (Corrgian, 2012; Ciszek & Gallicano, 2013). It is no longer enough to credit pathology as real; we must give credit to the expertise of she within whom it manifests. Grass Grows is my response to the call for a new Theatre of Sanity that promotes pragmatic but hopeful stories about encountering the world through the lens of mental illness.

Rights Holder

Amanda Grace Hughes