Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Creative Writing



Major Professor

Justin Maxwell

Second Advisor

Henry Griffin

Third Advisor

Beau Bratcher


Always the Icarus is an experimental play in two acts depicting the road-trip journey of meth-fueled, anti-heroine, Cartla, and her best friend, J.A. –a Juggalo with a heart of gold. Cartla desperately needs to leave the Midwestern nothingness of Interior, South Dakota after having a premonition about the fate of America’s favorite T.V. food guy, Guy Fieri. The lines between memory and vivid hallucination become desperately scrambled for the young, twisted duo as they venture from stop to stop along the lucid route to Anaheim, California. With each passing stop, Cartla is confronted by her inescapable geo-historical and geo-familial coordinates as well as a whole slew of characters who refuse to accept the idea that the coveted “American dream” may be grossly out of reach for the forgotten “trash” of the nation. But who will be the saviors of the broken and the ambassadors of the underdogs? Do the maneuvers of the father undoubtedly scar the psyche of the oblivious, devoted child? Do mythologies leave room for less-tragic margins of error?Through a theatrical narrative form stressing cyclical language and interactions, audiences are urged to question whether the mythic Icarus will always fall from the soaring, sky-heights of heaven into the cold waters below.


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