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Theatre has long been considered a feminine interest for which women consistently purchase the majority of tickets, while the shows they are seeing typically are written and brought to the stage by men. Furthermore, the stories these productions tell are often about men, and the complex leading roles in these shows are written for and performed by male actors. Despite this imbalance, the feminist voice presses to be heard and has done so with more success than ever before. In From Aphra Behn to Fun Home: A Cultural History of Feminist Theatre, Carey Purcell traces the evolution of these important artists and productions over several centuries. After examining the roots of feminist theatre in early Greek plays and looking at occasional works produced before the twentieth century, Purcell then identifies the key players and productions that have emerged over the last several decades. This book covers the heyday of the second wave feminist movement-which saw the growth of female-centric theatre groups-and highlights the work of playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, Pam Gems, and Wendy Wasserstein. Other prominent artists discussed here include playwrights Paula Vogel Lynn and Tony-award winning directors Garry Hynes and Julie Taymor. The volume also examines diversity in contemporary feminist theatre-with discussions of such playwrights as Young Jean Lee and Lynn Nottage-and a look toward the future. Purcell explores the very nature of feminist theater-does it qualify if a play is written by a woman or does it just need to feature strong female characters?-as well as how notable activist work for feminism has played a pivotal role in theatre. An engaging survey of female artists on stage and behind the scenes, From Aphra Behn to Fun Home will be of interest to theatregoers and anyone interested in the invaluable contributions of women in the performing arts.
Newly revised and expanded, Women in American Theatre is a unique resource that challenges preconceptions by exploring and celebrating the heritage of women in American theater. In this new edition, the editors have collected a series of interviews and essays that address the contributions of women to theater, the recurring patterns of their participation and the problems as well as successes they have encountered in developing their careers.
The book highlights the many possibilities of the innovative work of these dramatists, and this will, it is to be hoped, help the editors to achieve one of their other key goals: productions of the plays in English." --Times Literary Supplement This thoughtfully crafted book with its insightful and informative studies elucidates an overlooked, essential component of the Latin American literary canon." --Choice Contributors discuss 15 works of Latin-American playwrights, delineate the artistic lives of women dramatists of the last half of the twentieth century--from countries as diverse as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela--and highlight the problems inherent in writing under politically repressive governments.
Based on her award-winning blog, The Feminist Spectator, Jill Dolan presents a lively feminist perspective in reviews and essays on a variety of theatre productions, films and television series--from The Social Network and Homeland to Split Britches' Lost Lounge. Demonstrating the importance of critiquing mainstream culture through a feminist lens, Dolan also offers invaluable advice on how to develop feminist critical thinking and writing skills. This is an essential read for budding critics and any avid spectator of the stage and screen.
The innovative work of The Pioneer Players, a London-based theatre society founded in 1911 by Edith Craig, is explored here for the first time, drawing on original archive research and taking an interdisciplinary approach to women's involvement in theatre during the British women's suffrage movement. This book tests the claim that the Pioneer Players was a women's theatre and investigates in a literary context the Pioneer Players' relationship to the women's suffrage movement, to feminism and to women's writing.
This book brings together the fields of theatre, gender studies, and psychology/sociology in order to explore the relationships between what happens when women engage in violence, how the events and their reception intercept with cultural understandings of gender, how plays thoughtfully depict this topic, and how their productions impact audiences. Truthful portrayals force consideration of both the startling reality of women's violence -- not how it's been sensationalized or demonized or sexualized, but how it is -- and what parameters, what possibilities, should exist for its enactment in life and live theatre. These women appear in a wide array of contexts: they are mothers, daughters, lovers, streetfighters, boxers, soldiers, and dominatrixes. Who they are and why they choose to use violence varies dramatically. They stage resistance and challenge normative expectations for women. This fascinating and balanced study will appeal to anyone interested in gender/feminism issues and theatre.
Performing Women brings visibility to the work of women who performed on the borderlines of dominant theatrical activity and engaged in dramatic enactments that contested middle-class codes of female propriety, which became normalized in the national popular consciousness. This book recovers,excavates, and remembers the contribution of both neglected as well as known figures in theatre history from north India, in languages which include Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, and cements their place in the canon of Indian theatre. It examines the diverse modes of dramatic representation andperformance - myth, folklore, ritual, and history, including everyday conversation - used by women to intervene in and challenge the agenda of social movements, which conceptualized women's emancipation but imagined their role as being primarily at the core of family life. The author argues thatwomen's presence on stage and their involvement in theatre - as actors, playwrights, directors, organizers, and characters - made important contributions to the debates on gender and nationalism at particular moments of colonial and postcolonial history.
Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook is a helpful, practical guide to theatre-making which explores the different ways of representing gender. Best-selling author, Elaine Aston, takes the reader through the various stages of making feminist theatre- from warming up, through workshopped exploration, to performance - this volume is organised into three clear and instructive parts: * Women in the Workshop * Dramatic Texts, Feminist Contexts * Gender and Devising Projects. Orientated around the classroom/workshop, Handbook of Feminist Theatre Practice encompasses the main elements of feminist theatre, both practical or theoretical.