Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates


“The Ground On Which I Stand”

Healing Queer Trauma through Performance:

Crafting a Solo Performance through the investigation of Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum.

By: Ashley W. Grantham

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Performance Pedagogy at Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University

April 16th, 2019

Thesis Adjudicator: Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates

Committee: Dr. Keith Byron Kirk, Director of Graduate Studies and Karen Kopryanski, Head of Voice and Speech

How does this method of Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum, by extension, solo performance, uncover, heal queer trauma through witnessing and performance practice? How do these methods give us an intersectional approach to talking about race, identity, gender and bridge those divides? How does this devised work of solo performance allow the author as practitioner to claim the ground on which they stand and surrender to their own healing?

This thesis attempts excavation of the foundational theories in regard to performance structure, and to discover how healing trauma through theoretical techniques achieves liberation through their enacted practice. This is an allowance of ourselves as artists and facilitators to claim our traumatic bodies as worthy sites of invention.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission