The Abject in Science Fiction Theatre and Marked: A Play in Two Acts
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Science fiction is not a genre commonly associated with theatre, as common misconceptions assert that theatre cannot perform the spectacle science fiction productions require. Even when done well, science fiction is suppressed as an inferior genre, that playwrights experiment with before moving on to more serious genres. This inferiority stems form the fact that since science fiction is naturally set in a future reality, it cannot rely upon the same dramatic emotions that other theatrical genres can. Instead of tragedy, whether dramatic or comedic, science fiction must find an alternative dramatic form. Successful science fiction theatre relies upon the abject, to produce a sympathetic fear within the audience, in order to deter them from one possible future reality or another. This thesis project is an analysis of how science fiction theatre can use the abject to produce this sympathetic, which concludes with my attempt at writing a play text that relies upon the abject. In this thesis, I analyze Jennifer Haley’s The Nether, Tracy Letts’ Bug, and Joel Silberman’s Human History. The play text that I have written is called Marked, which is about a a group of clones that attempt to escape their prison and confront their originals. The play grapples with themes of discrimination and the deconstruction of a person into their parts.