Thesis Title


Date of Graduation

Fall 2007


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Wayne Blackmon


Coliseum was written on the basis of a "modest proposal" I had on how to rid the Los Angeles area of gangs in the late 1980's. This "modest proposal" then evolved into a one-act play I wrote in Dr. Jones' Playwriting class at Missouri State University. Two of the central characters from that play made it into the novella version of Coliseum. Miguel became the scared protagonist and Loco became his relentless antagonist, constantly challenging Miguel at every turn. This version of Coliseum chronicles the evolution of Miguel from an unsure gang member into a mentally unstable, full-fledged killer. During this evolution, Miguel begins having conversations with a phantom voice in his head who constantly urges him to "cowboy up." It must be understood that the voice is a central character in this story, with its own thoughts, actions, and set of moral codes, and not just an alter-ego that solely belongs to Miguel. The voice also has a history of its own, which is subtly revealed throughout the story, most notably at the end.


fiction, Hispanic, gangs, Los Angeles, violence

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


© Stephen Gray Dixon