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Dramatic Arts, Mothers in

  • By: Beth Osnes
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Until recently, mother characters have almost exclusively been the creation of male playwrights and actors in the dramatic arts. Many societal factors, both practical and moral, have kept mothers from public expression through performance. The types of mother roles that have traditionally been presented have often been very limited, two dimensional, and generally fall into certain categories that are repeated over and again. Once actual mothers and women began creating mother characters for the stage, these characters emerged as more complex and became central, rather than merely supporting, roles in the dramas. Still, mere inclusion for mothers in the theater has not been viewed as sufficient by theater practitioners and scholars, who instead, advocate for the creation of an entirely new theatrical model better suited ...

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