Honors Projects

Understanding Genre in Mr. Burns: Blending Sitcom and Apocalypse on Stage


Website Welcome Page

This project seeks to discover more about the genres blended in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, the play follows a group of survivors struggling to recount an episode of The Simpsons. This play uses elements of the Sitcom genre in tandem with the Apocalypse and Dystopia genres. The pages of this website try to unpack this use of genre in the play, and to find answers to questions like: What is the structure of the Sitcom genre? What is the structure of the Apocalypse genre? Why are these genres so popular? How are Apocalypse and Dystopia similar/different? How are these structures used within the play? How are these structures challenged by the play?

A Note on the Complexity of the Play

Washburn's work is a piece of theatre that does not adhere to some of the theatrical conventions a modern audience is used to (especially in Act Three). The play also molds together many different styles of theatre throughout the play, beginning with realism, moving to presentational theatre, and including elements of a Greek Chorus and Greek Tragedy. There are certainly many layers to what is going on onstage, not to mention the scene is set in a post-apocalypse dystopia with these characters fighting for their lives while they try to make a show about The Simpsons. Hopefully, while this website might not answer every burning question about this play, it may shed some light on the viewing experience and unpack some of the genres and styles used in this play.

Click here to view the full project.


Theatre and Film


Theatre: Performance Studies

First Advisor

Kelly Mangan

First Advisor Department

Theatre and Film

Second Advisor

Dr. Heath Diehl

Second Advisor Department

Honors Program

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2020