The butcher rode fortuna
This thesis is a creative work in the form of a full-length comic play. After Wilbert's wife, the goddess Fortuna, dies a violent death at the hooves of Wilbert's prized steed, Wilbert vows to wager his fortune on the horse. The wager, set to the historical backdrop of the nineteenth century in the first act, is played out to its mediatized, twentieth-century conclusion in the second act. Drawing attention to the position of harness racing as the first modern, mass-spectator sport, the play charts the waning popularity of racing in favour of contemporary forms of gambling, slot-machines, which focus on "hitting the jackpot." Referring to early drafts and utilizing a cultural materialist analysis of the political, social and economic elements that inform the subject matter, the Afterword focuses on the development of the play and the kinds of artistic compromises and choices a project of this kind demands.