Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Steve Feffer

Second Advisor

Dr. Joan Herrington

Third Advisor

Dr. Arnie Johnston

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Katherine Joslin


The Sins of Kalamazoo , is a creative work, a frill-length play adapted from the poem of the same name and other works by Carl Sandburg. This playfollows a nonlinear storyline based on images suggested by Sandburg's poem as well as portions of the city of Kalamazoo's history.

"The Sins of Kalamazoo", poses the question: "I hear America, I hear, what do I hear? America's national narrative is made up of both the shining promise of the future and of the recognition of the decay as its cultural identity becomes fragmented through time. The theatre provides an exceptional cultural space for re-examining America's perceived identity through interpretation of its past which may help to answer the question "what do I hear?" This play combines theunique shared temporal space of theatre to examine moments in American history. The play is concerned with illustrating how the re-presentation on thestage of events and images from America's past, firmly embedded in the national narrative, can aid in informing and reforming the cultural identity forged through the collective memory of the audience.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access