Performing Women: Female Characters, Male Playwrights, and the Modern Stage (Paperback)Gay Gibson Cima (author)
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Some feminists criticize male playwrights for misrepresenting and thereby victimizing women through patriarchal narratives; other feminists applaud selected male playwrights as creators of "universal" women's roles. In this bold and imaginative book, Gay Gibson Cima delineates previously unacknowledged complexities in the relationship between male playwrights and female characters in the modern theatre. That relationship has been misinterpreted, she maintains, because the contributions of female actors and the variations in their actual performance conditions and styles are too often ignored.
Taking into account hypothetical as well as historical performances of works by representative male playwrights from Ibsen to Beckett, Cima sheds important new light on the acting styles invented by women to create female characters on stage. Changes in performance style, Cima observes, may alter conventional modes of viewing and disrupt behavioral codes generated by a patriarchal cultural system.
Performing Women is essential reading for theatre critics and historians, feminist theorists, theatre professionals and amateurs, and others interested in film and the stage.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
"A significant contribution to the yet emergent field of performance criticism.... A must-read book for anyone who ever teaches... Modern Drama."* Essays in Theatre/Etudes thetrales *
"Cima illustrates how the increasing authority of playwrights in the modern theatre has eclipsed the artistic contributions of actors in general and female actors in particular. While arguments regarding formalized canon abound, this topic is given freshness and lucidity in Cima's work."* Theatre Studies *
"This book will be useful to a wide readership, including those who are only minimally conversant with feminist theory. It is formative reading for actors and directors looking for new ways to work.... The female actor comes into the world of these plays as someone armed with the kind of historical and biographical grounding that makes possible a more equalized and more productive partnership."* Theatre Survey *
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