Dr. Loveless is the artistic director of the theater program at La Sierra University where she teaches script writing, acting, directing and performance classes. An award-winning director and writer, Marilynn has earned meritorious achievement awards from the Kennedy Center American Colleges Theatre Festival, for her direction of "Othello" (2005), "The Taming of the Shrew" (2006), "The Accidental Death of An Anarchist" (2007) and "A Midsummer's Night Dream" (2011).
In 2004 Marilynn received a Ph.D.— and a citation of academic excellence for achieving perfect scores from all of the examiners of her dissertation--from the School of Arts at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, for her renegade study that proves the plausibility of Mrs. Shakespeare’s authorship of the canon usually attributed to her husband William.
“At Once Cowardly and Absurd.” International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Vol. 3, 2009.
Abstract: In 1886 Caroline Dall noted that, “the literature connected with the subject [Shakespearean authorship] has now reached such proportions that wholly to ignore it is at once cowardly and absurd". This paper includes a survey of historical writings by little-known female Shakespearean literary critics that offers an intriguing insight into a parallel universe that exists quite apart from the one occupied by male members of the canonical literary criticism club and examines how the members of that club not only ratified the plays, poems and sonnets, but they also sanctioned the way in which literary criticism of the Shakespeare cannon was to be conducted. Orthodox scholars do not usually explore the possibilities of a canon from the perspective of an author that is not William Shakespeare nor do they often entertain the notion of a female author. There is something dangerously anarchic in the idea of playing with an idea or historical fact for some academics, who don’t mind talking about or analyzing play within a text, as long as they don’t have to do it. The notion of playfulness in academic discussion is explored as a tactic of negotiating boundaries that traditionally isolate and marginalize members of a diverse community of scholars.
“Revisionary Re-Reading: A New Critical Direction for the Shakespeare Canon.” International Journal of Learning Vol. 11, 2004.
Abstract: What if an extraordinarily gifted woman, of humble birth, were born in Elizabethan England and circumstances conspired to give her rare access to a world of privilege and the opportunity to learn how to read and write; how might such a clever woman have worked the system to her advantage? The very absence of information about her life provides a space for speculation about Anne Hathaway.
In 1978 Judith Fetterley argued that, “the first act of the feminist critic must be to become a resisting rather than an assenting reader.” She urges readers to enter “an old text from a new critical direction.” This paper goes one step further--authorship becomes the text and the focus of a revisionary re-reading of the Shakespeare canon.
Feminist criticism began as resistance to a patriarchal heritage that excluded the feminine voice. For women, one of the advantages of being outside the power structure is the ability to look around and see the “other” marginalized members of the community camped outside the fortress of power/knowledge—a view obscured to the power elite by the very walls they built to exclude women, classes, religions, races or nationalities. This paper examines the relationship between the historical silencing of women’s voices and recent feminist-inspired efforts to discover and in some cases re-appropriate the work of lost and forgotten women writers.
“How Many Feminists Does it Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?”
My interest in gender-specific discourse was triggered by the research I did for one of the eighteen chapters in my dissertation, “How Many Feminists Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?” which is a study of the research that examines the differences in the way men and women approach and use humor and how this might inform the way in which the author of works attributed to William Shakespeare uses humor in the plays, thereby revealing an authorial gender bias. In 2004 I read about a computer program/algorithm developed by a Professor Moshe Koppel at Bar Ilan University in Israel, which could detect whether a text was written by a male or female with 80% accuracy. I used the online version of this program to test the sonnets purported to have been written by Will Shakespeare, against some of those written by his contemporaries. I found a more recent article by Professor Koppel, in which he developed a computer algorithm that explored the use of language coded as masculine and feminine in the works of Shakespeare. The conclusion of that study was the revelation of a writer who matured in later plays, demonstrating a growing understanding of the gender-specific linguistic differences between male and female discourse. I became curious about whether or not there was a significant difference between the language coded as masculine and feminine in the performance of stand-up comedians. So I began transcribing the work of some of my favorite comedians -- an equal ratio of male & female -- and running them through the online computer algorithm created by Professor Koppel. Early results were interesting. Comedy codes as primarily feminine. I had looked at a Stanford University study that conducted MRI brain scans of male and female subjects who were shown funny cartoons, the authors discovering that men and women process humor in fundamentally different ways. I emailed Professor Koppel and shared my preliminary findings. He has kindly offered to collaborate with me on this project, developing a more sophisticated computer algorithm specifically for this task.
Since 1986 Marilynn has worked as a television producer and writing, producing more than 135 half-hour televisions shows in Australia and New Zealand, a series of television shows "Medicine and the Law" for the Australian Satellite television network and she has co-written two award-winning Christmas specials which were screened on the Hallmark channel in 2006 and 2007. In the past 11 years Marilynn has directed and/or produced more than 50 live performances at both university theaters and at local community theaters in Washington Stage and at La Sierra University.