Author ORCID Identifier
Master of Fine Arts
Dr. Jesse Njus
Dr. Aaron Anderson
How has the emergence of the intimacy profession in contemporary theatre practice revealed the ability for intimacy work to ultimately render visible the articulations of power and supremacy embedded in the creative process? Through theorizing on a uniquely trans and queer positioned pedagogical approach to intimacy work, I submit that the aforementioned practices can be understood as “emergent strategy,” defined by adrienne maree brown as, “a cluster of thoughts in development, observations of existing patterns, and questions of how we apply the brilliance of the world around us to our efforts to coexist in and with this world as humans, particularly for those of us seeking to transform the crises of our time, to turn our legacy towards harmony.”
Throughout this thesis document, I suggest that analyzing the best practices for successfully staging queer intimacy can reveal a power-critical method that theatre artists can utilize to challenge existing models of performance creation in the classroom, rehearsal space, and the in larger contexts of daily and civil life. Further, through an application of a variety of queer theory, I attempt to draw the grounds on which one can reframe through the position of the intimacy director towards a model in which the intimacy director is reimagined as a type of civic dramaturg, defined by LaRonika Thomas as, “a process of performing identity through changes to and impacts on the built environment…” I argue that, given both its deep influence on daily civic life and relative instability as fact, the sex/gender binary system similarly functions as a type of “built environment.” As such, my thesis asserts that a transgender situated intimacy practice works to make changes to and influences the built environment-- in this instance, the sex/gender binary system.
Additionally, this thesis effort outlines a proposed reimagination of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I will provide an analysis of the play as a means of demonstrating how the aforementioned transgender and queer positionality on staging intimacy would be applied towards the reimagination of the production. My intention with this production proposal is to assess how I could utilize both the form and content of the show to exhibit a trans-positioned intimacy.
In closing, the totality of this thesis is an effort for the author to document the emergence of her own positionality on intimacy from her lived experiences and gained perspectives as a transgender intimacy professional.
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Available for download on Wednesday, December 16, 2026