Abstract

The presence of disabled bodies on stage has recently begun to be theorized in the context of an emerging disability culture. Does the application of feminist principles of theater-making to disability performance serve as a catalyst by which an aesthetic of disability theater can be advanced? What are the implications that emerge to the feminist theater practitioner working to create a disability theater? These questions are explored here and include the scripts for three performance pieces created by The DisAbility Project and directed by feminist playwright Joan Lipkin. The DisAbility Project uses feminist strategies in the creation of script and movement; this essay explores how these facilitate discourses about the disability experience. But it also extends to ask how an emergent disability aesthetic can complicate and expand the interrogations of feminist theater, both in text and in performance. The work of The DisAbility Project suggests that a disability aesthetic can mitigate some of the limitations feminist theater faces in constructing its own subtle re-inscriptions of normalcy, leading to a reconsideration of the use of metaphor for feminist ends. Disability theater, like disability studies, asks the viewer not just to trouble gender or ability, but the entire matrix of identities constructing—and constricting—our understanding of the "normate."

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 77-98
Launched on MUSE
2003-01-17
Open Access
No
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