Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Mary E. Anderson

Second Advisor

Blair V. Anderson


In 2002, Chicago's theatre critics targeted The House as the next big story in the city's theatre community. The House's first play, The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan was a critical and financial hit for the young company. Peter Pan began a five-year period of nearly unprecedented success for The House. During this time, many discussions about The House dealt with a perceived mythical quality to the type of plays the young company was creating. This study examines this question of myth in The House's plays by creating a dramaturgy that incorporates the myth theory of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Vladimir Propp and Joseph Campbell to identify and analyze the presence of elements of myth and the patterns in which they occur. These patterns can be potentially identified by examining five of The House's most significant performance texts: The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, Death and Harry Houdini, the three plays of The Valentine Trilogy and The Sparrow, this study aims to identify what elements are at work in The House's hero stories.