This study explores the history of “The Anarchy,” a civil war during the middle years of 12th Century England, with the goal of creating an entertaining theatrical piece called Chaos Reigned. Historical and dramaturgical research converges to form a clear strategy for the play's development, focusing on the central figure of Matilda, contender to the English throne. In particular, contemporary chroniclers reveal much about the events of the period, but little about Matilda, apart from an apparent gender bias in their discussions of Matilda. The ultimate goal of the project is a staged reading of a historical play that resonates with modern-day audiences. The final chapter includes reflections on the success of the play, and proposes changes to allow future versions of the script to display Matilda rising above the prominent gender roles of her time. The struggle of Matilda against a male-dominated society is intended to connect her past to the present.


Madonna Hettinger




History | Medieval History | Playwriting

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 James F. Lorenzin