THAR 281 NOTES

THAR 281 NOTES - THAR 281-502 October 25, 2007 Feminist...

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THAR 281-502 October 25, 2007 Feminist Theatre ***QUIZ over Cloud Tectonics moved to 11/6*** I. So…What is Feminism, Anyway? A. Civil Rights for women B. Independence for women C. Extremists II. Types of Feminism A. Liberal Feminism i. Women = Men ii. Working within the system iii. Most widely excepted idea B. Cultural Feminism i. Women (not equal) to Men; Women > Men (?) ii. Essential differences iii. Separatism iv. More extreme idea of feminism C. Material Feminism i. Women (not equal) to women because of various conditions ii. Material conditions (history, race, sexual orientation, etc.) matter iii. System sucks for everyone, not just women D. Important: i. There lots more types ii. They overlap III. Sex (not equal) Gender (not equal) Sexual Orientation A. Sex: Biology i. Female ii. Male B. Gender: Socially Constructed Performance (Behavior) i. “masculinity” ii. “femininity” C. Sexual Orientation: Desire/Practice i. Homosexuality ii. Heterosexuality iii. Bisexuality IV. Our Working Definition of Feminist Theatre A. Theatre that focuses attention on issues of gender (and/or sex) AND
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B. Connects with one or more key tenets of feminism: i. Women should have equal rights with men (job access, equal pay, physical safety, etc.) ii. Gender conventions and patriarchy oppress women (and men) iii. Importance of reclaiming women’s history and achievements iv. Women’s lives and experiences should be valued V. Feminist Theatre – Some Examples A. Early Examples i. Hrotsvit von Gandersheim – first female playwright (10 th century) ii. Aplra Ben – first popular playwright (17 th Century) iii. Susanna Rowson – wrote the first musical (18 th century) B. Liberal Feminist Theatre v. Often Realism or realistic, worked best in the feminist form vi. Women as protagonists vii. Seeking mainstream production/ recognition viii. Names to know: a. Marsha Norman – wrote Night Mother b. Wendy Wasserstein – the quintessential feminist playwright, her plays were about middle-class, educated women discussing their lives, also won the Pulitzer Prize C. Feminist Theatre Companies i. Often Developed out of Experimental Theatre Movement a. Interest in Non-Realistic forms (ie. Brecht) b. Ritual ii. Focus on Women’s Experiences iii. Process Orientation iv. Collective Organization v. Community Involvement vi. Lack of Money/ Resources VI. Feminist Theatre Company Names to Know: A. Spiderwomen Theatre i. Founded in late 1970’s ii. Native American feminist theatre iii. “storyweaving” – collectively/ collaboratively writing a play B. WOW Café i. Founded in early 1980’s ii. “be a self-identified woman and show up” VII. Feminist Theatre: Yes, No, Why? A. Cloud Nine (Carlyn Churchill: 1979)
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i. The idea is that each person is played by which gender the people wanted them to be. ii.
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THAR 281 NOTES - THAR 281-502 October 25, 2007 Feminist...

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