Debora Threedy

Debora Threedy

I recently retired after thirty years as a professor of law at the University of Utah. I have been involved in theater since high school, and worked for a few years in theater full-time before going to law school. For the last fifteen years, my theater life has been focused on playwriting.
I was born in Chicago and grew up in the northwest suburbs. I majored in theatre arts at Beloit College in...
I recently retired after thirty years as a professor of law at the University of Utah. I have been involved in theater since high school, and worked for a few years in theater full-time before going to law school. For the last fifteen years, my theater life has been focused on playwriting.
I was born in Chicago and grew up in the northwest suburbs. I majored in theatre arts at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where I focused on acting and directing. After college, I was a teaching assistant in the theatre department at Beloit for a year, and then spent a year as a full-time company member at the New American Theatre in Rockford, Illinois.
After becoming a law professor, I again became involved in professional and semi-professional theatre in Salt Lake City. I enjoyed some success here as an actress, including roles at Salt Lake Acting Company, and I directed a couple of shows, but eventually discovered that I was more drawn to writing plays.

Plays

  • One Big Union
    One Big Union is a play with music about the death of Joe Hill, a Wobbly songwriter executed in 1915 by the state of Utah for a murder he may or may not have committed. Considered a martyr by organized labor, his songs envisioned gender and racial equality and criticized the gross income disparities of his time. Joe Hill remains an enigmatic folk hero but beyond the mythology lies a larger story of protest,...
    One Big Union is a play with music about the death of Joe Hill, a Wobbly songwriter executed in 1915 by the state of Utah for a murder he may or may not have committed. Considered a martyr by organized labor, his songs envisioned gender and racial equality and criticized the gross income disparities of his time. Joe Hill remains an enigmatic folk hero but beyond the mythology lies a larger story of protest, still relevant a century after his death.
  • Wrestling With Angels
    The play was inspired in part by the raid on the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) church compound in Texas, when some 400 children were taken into protective custody, and the subsequent litigation regarding custody that was precedent-setting in family law circles. The protagonist of the play is a young woman attorney, Karen, who volunteers to represent one of the teen age girls in protective custody....
    The play was inspired in part by the raid on the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) church compound in Texas, when some 400 children were taken into protective custody, and the subsequent litigation regarding custody that was precedent-setting in family law circles. The protagonist of the play is a young woman attorney, Karen, who volunteers to represent one of the teen age girls in protective custody. This brings her in conflict with the girl's mother, a polygamist wife.
  • The Third Crossing
    The Third Crossing deals with race in America. More specifically, it deals with inter-racial sexual relationships and the impact our society’s prejudices have on those who dare to love across the color line. It also deals with how the offspring of inter-racial relationships trouble our conceptions of racial identity and the price of "passing". A theatrical collage of scenes and monologues, the...
    The Third Crossing deals with race in America. More specifically, it deals with inter-racial sexual relationships and the impact our society’s prejudices have on those who dare to love across the color line. It also deals with how the offspring of inter-racial relationships trouble our conceptions of racial identity and the price of "passing". A theatrical collage of scenes and monologues, the narrative arc of the play centers on the story of the “founding couple” of inter-racial relationships, Tom Jefferson and Sally Hemings. But the play includes a number of other viewpoints and stories that comment on or reflect in some way that “founding story.” There are scenes based on lectures by a feminist scholar studying Sally Hemings, excerpts from actual trials for violations of anti-miscegenation laws, a conversation with the plaintiffs in the historic case that struck down such laws, a survivor's memories of a hate crime, and others.
  • Balthazar
    What if, when Portia goes to court against Shylock, it's not the first time she has cross-dressed? The play explores the "back story" of Portia's cross-dressing and her introduction to the law, as she rebels against the gender constraints of Renaisance Italy with advice and instruction from her lawyer cousin, Bellario, who is also a gender/sexual outsider. It follows the progression of...
    What if, when Portia goes to court against Shylock, it's not the first time she has cross-dressed? The play explores the "back story" of Portia's cross-dressing and her introduction to the law, as she rebels against the gender constraints of Renaisance Italy with advice and instruction from her lawyer cousin, Bellario, who is also a gender/sexual outsider. It follows the progression of Merchant of Venice, but all of the scenes occur "offstage" from Shakespeare's play, as Portia matures from a naive girl experiencing her first crush to a married woman struggling to understand the sexual and emotional complexities of commitment in a non-traditional relationship.