Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Karen Mitchell


This thesis manifested itself in the form of a one-act play, which I wrote and directed at the University of Northern Iowa's Interpreters Theatre. The play is entitled "Clogging the System" and is a comedy with seven characters and one toilet, none of which were played by me. I endeavored to examine how shame functions within our society and how it is indoctrinated at a very young age by using toilets as a vehicle to explore shame based around bodily waste. Additionally, I have incorporated the burgeoning field of literature concerning how humans negotiate the taboo placed upon doing two things every human does: urinating and defecating. While much humor is drawn from the scatological, there is a void in research and comedy questioning larger cultural taboos that are reinforced by being ashamed of our bodies and the waste they produce. As such, this play has situated itself uniquely between farce and philosophy, and has bridged the gap between serious scholastic works and a good poop joke.

Year of Submission



Department of Communication and Media

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


An accompanying video of the creative work referenced in this Honors Program thesis, Clogging the System, is currently not being made available in electronic format through UNI ScholarWorks.

If you are the rightful copyright holder of this thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to scholarworks@uni.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (77 pages)