Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

John Warrick

Advisor Department



The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of authenticity in autobiographical writing, then apply what has been discovered to the author’s own autobiographical play. Researching for the project involved reviewing various forms of autobiographical writing performed on the stage (including The Normal Heart, a straight play/ non-musical production, a musical, From Foster Care to Fabulous, and a “memory play” The Glass Menagerie). One thing became clear after reviewing these pieces of literature: emotional authenticity, not fact, was the driving force. This stems from the inherent power autobiographical writing possesses to inform audiences on important topics, which allows room for certain embellishments. Autobiographical work does not necessarily require every event within the story to be historically accurate. An important element is emotional authenticity, which allows the audience to connect to a topic that might not relate to them. Upon further research, it was determined for Are You Sure?: Experiences of a Gay Foster Youth to have the political/social impact it required to succeed, there would have to be a focus on the emotional authenticity of the piece.

Included in

Playwriting Commons