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Play Summaries

Play Summaries - Details Cannot Body Wants By Ching Woon...

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Details Cannot Body Wants By: Ching Woon Ping Citation : Chin, Woon Ping. "Details Cannot Body Wants." Post-Colonia Plays: an Anthology . Comp. Helen Gilbert. New York : Taylor and Francis Group, 2000. Playwright : Born to Chinese family in Malacca, Malaya Worked with both Universities in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States Education: o 1967- Bachelor of Arts from University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur o 1977- Ph.D from University of Toledo; Toledo, Ohio o Writer in Residence: Wilkes University National University of Singapore o 1983- Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Shanghai International Studies University o 1995- Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship Major Works : 1995 Body 1995 Seven Vietnamese Boys 1994 The Naturalization of Camellia Song o "Seven Vietnamese Boys," o "In My Mother's Dream," 1993 Details Cannot Body Wants 1985 Tales of a Shaman: Jah Mut Myths , Plot Summary : Details Cannot Body Wants is a 45 minute monologue in which a single female character, originally played by Chin herself, explores four aspects of what makes a woman, “woman”. The first of which is Details, then Cannot, then Body, then Wants. In Details the “Woman”, which is the only name by which the character is known as, talks about all the banalities and everyday “details” a woman is burdened with. The second scene, Cannot, is where the Woman rants about all the limitations a girl is taught about her sex. The third, Body, is the part of the monologue where the sexual nature of the woman is explored, as the Woman acts out various “views” of women as a sexual object. The final scene, Wants, is when the Woman acts out the various personal wants of the woman. Theme : The play enacts the societal, emotional and cultural restrictions of being an Asian woman in a world of mixed sexual and cultural influences. A feminist play, Chin wrote it in order to portray the social construct of women and particularly the concept that women are "made women" and not "born women". It is a four-part performance that explores four concepts which define and entrap women in life and stereotypes. The four concepts are Details or the details of
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life which women are burdened with, Cannot(s) or rules imposed on women in their attempt to shape their identity or destiny, Body by which women are objectified and defined culturally, especially the oversexed yet subservient view of Asian women and Wants or women's socialized wants or desires. With a three-person chorus behind her and with the aid of certain props that include an inflatable sex doll, masks, an inflatable bra and sexy costumes, the Woman’s rants represent a retaliation to the restrictions imposed on women through social construct; such as the binding of feet, the cultivation of the coy voice, the correct way a woman should sit and the male objectification of women in society. The strange combination of advertising jargon, black American rap, Christmas carols, Cantonese jingles all allude to a range of Asian and Western
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