Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Steve Feffer

Second Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Bush

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Klekar

Fourth Advisor

Mark Liermann


Ghost, lesbian, gay, drama, theater, paranormal


Playwrights have been using ghost and spirit-characters in stage works since the classical era. From their beginnings as speechless, vengeful catalysts and informational narrators, the ghost-character has evolved to something that would not be recognizable to Greek playwrights. This is no more evident than in the works of contemporary gay and lesbian dramatists. Examining the selected works of playwrights Claudia Allen, Larry Kramer and Victor Bumbalo will illuminate the use of ghosts and the paranormal by these playwrights as a way to overcome personal trauma by either creating closure with autobiographical scenes or by using the absence of these characters as metaphorical ghosting. Through interviews with licensed drama therapists, we will also examine the use of the paranormal as a therapeutic tool.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access