This essay analyzes four plays from the 1990s that represent women's cancer from feminist perspectives: Margaret Edson's Wit, Maxine Bailey and Sharon M. Lewis's Sistahs, Susan Miller's My Left Breast, and Lisa Loomer's The Waiting Room. It argues that women's performance narratives differ from other cancer narratives by employing "explicit bodies" onstage to mark cancerous breasts, ovaries, and wombs as transgressive sites of social meaning; by challenging the capacity of a spectatorial gaze to appropriate women's ill bodies; and by fostering reciprocity among playwrights, actors, and audience. To elaborate on these points, the essay examines the diverse representations of body politics and medical politics in the plays under consideration and discusses how and why feminist theatre can move audiences toward activism.


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pp. 1-26
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