Theatre 

Journal

Theatre Journal
Volume 58, Number 2, May 2006

CONTENTS

    Klett, Elizabeth.
  • Many Bodies, Many Voices: Performing Androgyny in Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner's Richard II
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. King Richard II [performance]
    • Warner, Deborah, 1959-, dir.
    • Shaw, Fiona, 1958-
    • Theater -- Casting -- England -- London.
    Abstract:
      This paper analyzes Deborah Warner's controversial 1995–1996 production of Richard II for London's National Theatre, with Irish actress Fiona Shaw in the title role. It explores how the voices of the director and her leading actress, of the highly divided popular press, and of Shakespeare and performance critics have created the many different bodies of Shaw's performance. Her Richard becomes, through these conflicting discourses, a "stereotypical girlie," a homosexual male, an adolescent boy, and a figure entirely devoid of gender identity. The article adds another voice to this mix, arguing that Shaw was androgynous, embodying a wide spectrum of gender identities and challenging the masculine / feminine binary. It insists on the importance of gender to the production, showing how Warner and Shaw asked the audience to read the actor's body as a dynamic dramatic text. The production also created a queer reading of Richard's relationship with Bolingbroke, intervening in the critical and performance tradition to present an androgynous alternative.
    Schiavi, Michael R.
  • The Tease of Truth: Seduction, Verisimilitude (?), and Spectatorship in I Am My Own Wife
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wright, Doug, 1962- I am my own wife.
    • Mahlsdorf, Charlotte von, 1928- -- In literature.
    • Transvestites in literature.
    Abstract:
      Doug Wright's play I Am My Own Wife (2003) made a commercial and critical Broadway smash out of the unlikeliest heroine: the dead, German, notoriously untrustworthy transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. After reviewing Charlotte's pre-Wife phenomenology, this article explores the dramaturgical techniques through which Wright kept mass audiences invested in the spectacle of a purportedly "real" protagonist whose life and persona were built upon detectable lies. Charlotte's hold over audiences has powerful resonance for our understanding of the nature of spectatorship, particularly the verisimilitude expected of, if only partially delivered by, the one-person biodrama.
    Terni, Jennifer L., 1966-
  • A Genre for Early Mass Culture: French Vaudeville and the City, 1830-1848
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    Subject Headings:
    • Vaudeville -- Social aspects -- France -- History -- 19th century.
    • Popular culture -- France -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      Vaudeville was among the most popular theatrical genres of nineteenth-century France. Rooted in classic comedy (unlike British and American vaudeville), French vaudeville was a precursor to the modern television sitcom and was at the forefront of changes that remade theatre into a spectacular media product. Vaudevilles portrayed the pursuit of social status in satirical send-ups that suggested the ways in which consumption was becoming a vehicle for the performance of new forms of identity and social exchange. In its connection to consumer culture, vaudeville invites us to reconsider assumptions that have tended to inform our readings of bourgeois and popular culture.
    Saglia, Diego.
  • "The Illegitimate Assistance of Political Allusion": Politics and the Hybridization of Romantic Tragedy in the Drama of Richard Lalor Sheil
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sheil, Richard Lalor, 1791-1851 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • English drama (Tragedy) -- 19th century -- Political aspects.
    • Theater -- Political aspects -- England -- London -- History -- 19th century.
    Abstract:
      This essay focuses on Richard Lalor Sheil, one of the forgotten names in British and Anglo-Irish drama and theatre of the Romantic period, as crucial to an examination of the contaminated nature of the tragic on the Romantic stage. Written and performed between 1814 and 1819, his plays—Adelaide, The Apostate, Bellamira, and his greatest success, Evadne—combine Gothic and melodramatic features, Renaissance models, and Orientalist themes, together with references to topical political issues and ideological concerns. The intricacies of Irish and British politics after 1800 and the international developments in post-Napoleonic Europe leave visible traces in Sheil's dramaturgy, which, in turn, plays a central role in the emergence of liberally-inspired dramatic and theatrical practices on the London stage between the late first decade and the early second decade of the nineteenth century. As the hybrid qualities of these plays are keyed to specific political and ideological concerns, they offer an important contribution to our understanding of the discontinuities in Romantic-period tragic writing for current literary-historical reconstructions and critical debates.
    Gaiser, Carrie.
  • Caught Dancing: Hybridity, Stability, and Subversion in Dance Theatre of Harlem's Creole Giselle
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    Subject Headings:
    • Giselle (Choreographic work)
    • Dance Theatre of Harlem.
    • Ballet -- Production and direction.
    • Hybridity (Social sciences) and the arts.
    Abstract:
      Dance Theatre of Harlem's staging of its first full-length nineteenth-century ballet, Giselle, necessitated a direct encounter with ballet's iconic whiteness. By transplanting Giselle from its feudal Rhineland setting to the farms of antebellum Louisiana's free people of color, the new production strove to make ballet culturally "relevant" to African Americans while easing the charged conjunction of African American dancing body and European classical ballet technique. Taking its cue from the "Creole" of the Creole Giselle's unofficial title, this essay examines the hazards and opportunities presented by "hybridity" as a mode of racial and cultural negotiation. The Creole Giselle, through the racial coding of its dancers, made visible a paradoxical combination of subjection, remembrance, and virtuosic assertion in performance.
    Magelssen, Scott.
  • Making History in the Second Person: Post-touristic Considerations for Living Historical Interpretation
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    Subject Headings:
    • Historical reenactments.
    • Historical museums.
    • Historic sites.
    • Heritage tourism.
    Abstract:
      Living history museums differ from other institutions through their use of performance, yet they forfeit the potential of performance to engender a more dynamic and responsible mode of historiography. Alternative living history models that incorporate "second-person interpretation," in which the visitors pretend to be part of the past, may be more efficacious in achieving this potential. This article explores how second-person interpretation can go beyond simply letting visitors try crafts or chores, both to make curatorial decisions and agendas visible to spectators and to give spectators more agency in determining the trajectory of their encounter with history.

Performance Reviews

Sonja Arsham Kuftinec, Editor

    Leon, Mechele.
  • Viol d’après Titus Andronicus de William Shakespeare (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Strauss, Botho, 1944- Viol d’après Titus Andronicus de William Shakespeare [performance]
    • Vinaver, Michel, 1927-, tr.
    • Grinberg, Barbara, tr.
    • Bondy, Luc, 1948-, dir.
    • Odéon (Theater : Paris, France)
    Sorgenfrei, Carol Fisher, 1947-
  • The Edinburgh International Festival, and: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Edinburgh International Festival (2005)
    • Edinburgh Fringe (Festival) (2005)
    Schlueter, Jennifer.
  • The Cabinet: A Spectacle in Miniature (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maher, Mickle Brandt, 1963- Cabinet: a spectacle in miniature [performance]
    • Maugeri, Frank, dir.
    • Redmoon Theater.
    Hubbard, Robert J.
  • Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Yellow Robe, William S., 1960- Grandchildren of the buffalo soldiers [performance]
    • Bellamy, Lou, dir.
    • Trinity Repertory Company.
    • Penumbra Theatre Company.
    • Washington Pavilion.
    Muller, David G.
  • La Forêt (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ostrovsky, Aleksandr Nikolaevich, 1823-1886. Forêt [performance]
    • Markowicz, André, tr.
    • Fomenko, Piotr, dir.
    • Comédie-Française.
    Blackadder, Neil Martin, 1963-
  • Emilia Galotti (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, 1729-1781. Emilia Galotti [performance]
    • Thalheimer, Michael, dir.
    • Deutsches Theater (Berlin, Germany)
    • Brooklyn Academy of Music.
    Chirico, Miriam M.
  • The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue: A Riff on Molière (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Grimm, David. Learned ladies of Park Avenue: a riff on Molière [performance]
    • Wilson, Michael, dir.
    • Hartford Stage Company.
    Eshelman, David J.
  • Filles de guerres lasses (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Parenteau-Lebeuf, Dominick, 1971- Filles de guerres lasses [performance]
    • Binet, Caroline, dir.
    • Baraka Théâtre.
    • Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui (Paris, France)
    Freeman, Sara.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, and: Travesties (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Importance of being Earnest [performance]
    • Newell, Charles, dir.
    • Court Theatre.
    • Stoppard, Tom. Travesties [performance]
    • Newell, Charles, dir.
    • Court Theatre.
    Wetmore, Kevin J., 1969-
  • The Sandstorm: Stories from the Front (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Huze, Sean. Sandstorm: stories from the front [performance]
    • Fofi, David, dir.
    • Elephant Asylum Theater.

Book Reviews

James Peck, Editor

    Aronson-Lehavi, Sharon.
  • Ritual Imports: Performing Medieval Drama in America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sponsler, Claire. Ritual imports: performing medieval drama in America.
    • Drama, Medieval -- History and criticism.
    Chambers, Jonathan L., 1966-
  • Expressionism and Modernism in the American Theatre: Bodies, Voices, Words (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Walker, Julia A., 1964- Expressionism and modernism in the American theatre: bodies, voices, words.
    • American drama -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Jortner, David, 1971-
  • Manga Discourse in Japanese Theater: The Location of Noda Hideki's Yume no Yuminsha (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fukushima, Yoshiko. Manga discourse in Japanese theater: the location of Noda Hideki's Yume no Yuminsha.
    • Noda, Hideki, 1955-
    Brino-Dean, Terry.
  • Local Acts: Community-based Performance in the United States (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cohen-Cruz, Jan, 1950- Local acts: community-based performance in the United States.
    • Community theater -- United States.
    Orr, Shelley.
  • Performing Opposition: Modern Theater and the Scandalized Audience, and: Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Blackadder, Neil Martin, 1963- Performing opposition: modern theater and the scandalized audience.
    • Kattwinkel, Susan, ed. Audience participation: essays on inclusion in performance.
    • European drama -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    • Performing arts -- Audiences.
    Hein, Nina.
  • The Theater Is in the Street: Politics and Public Performance in Sixties America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Martin, Bradford D., 1966- Theater is in the street: politics and performance in sixties America.
    • Street theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Mosse, Ramona.
  • Theatre, Sacrifice, Ritual: Exploring Forms of Political Theatre (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fischer-Lichte, Erika. Theatre, sacrifice, ritual: exploring forms of political theatre.
    • Pageants.
    Jottar, Berta.
  • Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Taylor, Diana, 1950-, ed. Holy terrors: Latin American women perform.
    • Costantino, Roselyn, ed.
    • Latin American drama -- Women authors -- Translations into English.
    Whitmer, Olivia.
  • Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Küppers, Petra. Disability and contemporary performance: bodies on edge.
    • Sociology of disability.
    Davis, Hope.
  • Imagining Shakespeare (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Orgel, Stephen. Imagining Shakespeare: a history of texts and visions.
    • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation -- History.
    Stufft, Monica.
  • Blue Vaudeville: Sex, Morals and the Mass Marketing of Amusement, 1895-1915 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Erdman, Andrew L., 1965- Blue vaudeville: sex, morals and the mass marketing of amusement, 1895-1915.
    • Vaudeville -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Pullen, Kirsten.
  • Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shteir, Rachel, 1964- Striptease: the untold history of the girlie show.
    • Striptease -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Menon, Jisha.
  • Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dharwadker, Aparna Bhargava, 1955- Theatres of independence: drama, theory, and urban performance in India since 1947.
    • Theater -- India -- History -- 20th century.

Doctoral Projects

    McDermott, James.
    Cooper, Sean P.
  • Doctoral Projects in Progress in Theatre Arts, 2006
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    Subject Headings:
    • Theater -- Bibliography.
    • Dissertations, Academic -- United States -- Bibliography.



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