Theorizing the Brave: Black Girlhood, Affect, and Performance in Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
Ealey, Jordan Alexandria
Chatard Carpenter, Faedra
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“Theorizing the Brave” is a critical study of Kirsten Childs’s musical, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000). Through a textual analysis of the musical’s book and lyrics as well as a thorough consideration of the musical’s historical context and implications, this thesis investigates the overarching question: How does Bubbly Black Girl interrogate the precarious political position of Black girls and women in the theatre? Specifically, how does Childs’s musical challenge and reframe notions of Blackness, girlhood, womanhood, and sexuality? By critically engaging The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, this thesis project employs theoretical frameworks of Black feminist theory, critical race theory, and affect theory to examine how Childs interrogates and reformulates the discourse around Black girls and women in the American theatre, thereby also challenging the constrictive scripting of Black girlhood and womanhood in everyday life.