Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts

Number of Pages



This thesis examines three successful American comedy plays which were produced within the last decade. The plays include Herb Gardner's I'm Not Rappaport, which won three Tony awards including best actor and best play for the 1985-86 Broadway season; Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, which premiered on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in December of 1986 to strong reviews; and John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation which opened off-Broadway at the Lincoln Center and was named best new play of the 1990-91 season by the New York Drama Critics Circle; Each of these plays demonstrate both strong comedic and dramatic elements. This thesis analyzes the humorous side of that equation to determine what comic devices are used, and how well the humor serves each play as a whole. A prime factor in this analysis includes a consideration of the comedic style of each playwright and where each was in his career when he wrote his hit comedy; Letters and questions sent to each of the three playwrights were not returned.


American; Bound; Broadway; Comedic; Degree; Element; Gardner; Guare; Herb Gardner; John Guare; Neil Simon; Plays; Rappaport; Separation; Shared; Simon; Theater

Controlled Subject


File Format


File Size

3993.6 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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