The Queerest Art: Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater / Edition 1

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From Shakespeare's gender-bending play Twelfth Night to the the critically-acclaimed Broadway hit Angels in America, from 17th century kabuki theater of Japan—performed by cross-dressing prostitutes—to the NEA-denounced performance art of Holly Hughes, theater has long been—as co-editor Alisa Solomon terms it—the queerest art.

The Queerest Art is a pioneering collection of essays by and conversations among a diverse range of leading theater academics and artists. The first anthology to bring scholars and makers of queer theater into direct dialogue, the volume explores such subjects as same-sex desire in Restoration comedy, the racialized impact of colonial Shakespeare, the cuerpo politizado of a performance artist in contemporary Los Angeles, and the nitty-gritty of getting a queer show presented in Peoria. The Queerest Art rereads the history of performance as a celebration and critique of dissident sexualities, exploring the politics of pleasure and the pleasure of politics that drive the theater.

Lively and accessible, The Queerest Art will be useful to scholars, students, artists, and theater-goers alike interested in what makes queer theater . . . and what makes theater queer.

Contributors: Jill Dolan, Brian Freeman, Randy Gener, George E. Haggerty, Holly Hughes, Ania Loomba, Tim Miller, José Esteban Muñoz, Deb Parks-Satterfield, Lola Pashalinski, Everett Quinton, David Román, David Savran, Laurence Senelick, Don Shewey, Carmelita Tropicana, Valerie Traub, Paula Vogel, Doric Wilson, and Stacy Wolf.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Eclectic array of essays."

-Theater Journal

"This stimulating collection of essays critically examines and celebrates what, for centuries, many have deeply feared and many others have known and cherished to be true-that theatre is, indeed, the queerest art. The special ephermerality and perilousness of queer existence on- and offstage make this volume's excellently rendered project of documentation through performance, writing, and publication not only admirable and necessary but urgent."

-The Drama Review

"The panel discussions...contributes a warm, witty and deliciously rhetorical piece."

-Lambda Book Report

"A rich and varied collection, featuring the voices both of academics and theatre practitioners."

-American Theatre

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814798119
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2002
  • Series: Sexual Cultures Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 1,374,810
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alisa Solomon is Professor of English/Journalism at Baruch College-City University of New York, and of English and Theater at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she also serves as executive director for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Framji Minwalla is Assistant Professor of Drama at Dartmouth College. He is currently working on a book about the pedagogy of theater history.

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Table of Contents

1 Great Sparkles of Lust: Homophobia and the Antitheatrical Tradition

2 The Queer Root of Theater

3 “Porno-Tropics”: Some Thoughts on Shakespeare, Colonialism, and Sexuality

4 Setting the Stage behind the Seen: Performing Lesbian History

5 “The Man I Love”: The Erotics of Friendship in Restoration Theater

6 “Be True to Yearning”: Notes on the Pioneers of Queer Theater

7 From the Invisible to the Ridiculous: The Emergence of an Out Theater Aesthetic

8 Queer Theater and the Disarticulation of Identity

9 Out across America: Playing from P.S. 122 to Peoria

10 “Being” a Lesbian: Apple Island and the Performance of Community

11 “Preaching to the Converted”

12 Queer Theater, Queer Theory: Luis Alfaro’s Cuerpo Politizado

13 When We Were Warriors

14 The Kids Stay in the Picture, or, Toward a New Queer Theater

15 Goodnight Irene: An Endnote

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