Title of Abstract

The Creation of "Not Your Mother's Motherhood"

Submitting Student(s)

Cameron Vipperman

Session Title

Performances

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Gordon, M.F.A.

College

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Department

Theatre & Dance

Abstract

In the play that I have written for my final project, Not Your Mother’s Motherhood, the protagonist, Abby determines from a young age that she never wants to be pregnant. Her mother insists that she will grow out of her aversion to pregnancy and childbirth, but Abby insists that she will not. The play subsequently observes three different outcomes, or “timelines,” that could occur in Abby’s life, each of which show her grappling with her personal feelings, her partner Adam’s sometimes immature or misogynistic feelings, and her mother’s reactions to her ultimate decision. The play is accompanied by reflections on the writing and revision process of a new work; the casting, rehearsal, and performance process; internal dialogue regarding the somewhat sensitive topics presented in the play, including motherhood, generational trauma, and freedom of choice; and assertions about the genre, style, and place of this play in the world of theatre. These reflections explore how the play displays elements of realism and expressionism and how it fits into the genre of Tragicomedy, and, more specifically, the subgenres of Confessional Drama and Sentimental Drama. Conceived as a play, Not Your Mother’s Motherhood is best seen performed, rather than read.

Honors Thesis Committee

Daniel Gordon, M.F.A., Rachel Dawson, M.F.A., Stephen Gundersheim, M.F.A.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Winthrop University Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors, Rock Hill, SC, April 2023.

Type of Presentation

Performance of my creative work

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The Creation of "Not Your Mother's Motherhood"

In the play that I have written for my final project, Not Your Mother’s Motherhood, the protagonist, Abby determines from a young age that she never wants to be pregnant. Her mother insists that she will grow out of her aversion to pregnancy and childbirth, but Abby insists that she will not. The play subsequently observes three different outcomes, or “timelines,” that could occur in Abby’s life, each of which show her grappling with her personal feelings, her partner Adam’s sometimes immature or misogynistic feelings, and her mother’s reactions to her ultimate decision. The play is accompanied by reflections on the writing and revision process of a new work; the casting, rehearsal, and performance process; internal dialogue regarding the somewhat sensitive topics presented in the play, including motherhood, generational trauma, and freedom of choice; and assertions about the genre, style, and place of this play in the world of theatre. These reflections explore how the play displays elements of realism and expressionism and how it fits into the genre of Tragicomedy, and, more specifically, the subgenres of Confessional Drama and Sentimental Drama. Conceived as a play, Not Your Mother’s Motherhood is best seen performed, rather than read.