Publication Date

Summer 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


Matthew Spangler


American Theater, Cherrie Moraga, Medea, Medea and Jason, Modern Medea

Subject Areas

Theater history; Theater


This thesis examines the ways in which three structural factors contained within three modern American adaptations of Euripides' Medea serve to enhance the dominant personality traits of the main character. The plays used in this study are Steve Carter's Pecong (1990), Cherrie Moraga's The Hungry Woman (2002), and Neil Labute's Medea Redux (1997). While each protagonist is a re-development of the original Medea, the personalities of each are distinctive to the world of their adaptations. There are three main ways in which the structure of each adaptation works to enhance certain emotional markers within the main character.

The first analysis explores the ways in which supporting characters are used within the adaptations to enhance the personality traits of the Medea characters. Second is an analysis of the ways in which the settings of the adaptations play into each Medea's dominant traits. The final analysis explores how the narrative timeline of each adaptation affects the Medeas' individual characteristics. The purpose of examining these narrative elements together is to create a distinct theory of adaptation by which well known theatrical characters may be assessed.