Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook

Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook

Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook

Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook


Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook is a helpful, practical guide to theatre-making which explores the different ways of representing gender. Best-selling author, Elaine Aston, takes the reader through the various stages of making feminist theatre- from warming up, through workshopped exploration, to performance - this volume is organised into three clear and instructive parts:* Women in the Workshop* Dramatic Texts, Feminist Contexts* Gender and Devising Projects.Orientated around the classroom/workshop, Handbook of Feminist Theatre Practice encompasses the main elements of feminist theatre, both practical or theoretical.


Handing on ideas

Gillian Hanna: I remember talking to the women of the Royal Shakespeare Company at a weekend event which these women had organised because they were feeling really angry about the way they were being treated. Juliet Stevenson...and I kept saying to each other, 'Why isn't there some wonderful organisation whereby women who've been through all this could get paired up with a younger woman who could phone them up and say, "This shit has just done X", and the older woman could reply...'

Mary McCusker: Turn to page five of your manual, and look at diagram six for the pincer movement...

(Monstrous Regiment, 1997:62)

Picture this: a chain of six women, hands outstretched, passing books from woman to woman. This was an image created by the six women devising-performers in the Portraits of Rossetti project described in Chapter 9. It is an image that has remained with me during the writing of this book, in which I am trying to 'hand on' practical ideas, which have come largely from working with (mostly) young women concerned with feminist theatre-making, to up-and-coming generations of young women, or indeed, to any generation of women just beginning to discover feminism and feminist theatre-making. The work I present in this handbook has come from over two decades of studying and spectating women's contribution to theatre and from over a decade of finding feminist ways to make theatre in the academy.

In Britain and in North America the staffing of theatre studies courses remains predominantly male, while, on the other hand, drama degree programmes continue to recruit large populations of female students. As women tutors with feminist ideas about theatre-making

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