Contemporary Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain

Contemporary Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain

Contemporary Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain

Contemporary Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain

Synopsis

Plays by writers such as Tanika Gupta, Winsome Pinnock, and Amrit Wilson, among others, are included in the first monograph to document plays by Black and Asian women in Britain. The volume analyzes concerns such as reverse migration (in the form of tourism), sexploitation, arranged marriages, the racialization of sexuality, and asylum seeking as they emerge in the plays. It argues that Black and Asian women playwrights have become constitutive subjects of British theater.

Excerpt

Since the 1980s there has been a steady increase in the number of Black and Asian women playwrights working in Britain. in the main these are either women whose parents migrated to the uk, or women who arrived in the uk as young children, or women who were born and educated in Britain. Frequently college- or university-educated, they tend to work across a range of media including radio, television, film, the newspapers, and literary forms such as poetry and fiction since it is impossible for most playwrights to make a living from their theatre work. Black and Asian women playwrights often create their plays in response to calls for submissions or commissions to write for a particular company or on a specific topic. Maria Oshodi, for instance, was asked to write a play on sickle-cell anaemia by a member of staff from the Sickle Cell Centre in Lambeth (Brewster 1989: 94). Tanika Gupta responded to a call from Talawa inviting ‘new, black women to send in stage scripts’ (Stephenson and Langridge 1997: 116). Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s Besharam (Shameless) was written as part of Birmingham Rep’s Attachment Scheme, designed to promote new playwriting and nurture young writers for theatre. the emergence and publication of work by Black and Asian women playwrights in Britain (e.g. Wandor, ed. 1985; Remnant, ed. 1986; Brewster, ed. 1987, 1989, 1995; Davis, ed. 1987; Harwood, ed. 1989; Remnant, ed. 1990; George, ed. 1993; Gupta 1997; Mason-John 1999; Rapi and Chowdhry 1998) has coincided, in Theatre Studies, with the establishment of postcolonial theatre/theory, intercultural theatre, world theatre, and performance studies. These developments reflect the hold of the globalization process on the cultural imaginary. They also bespeak the histories from which these theatres have emerged, histories of colonization, of . . .

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