Acting (Re)considered: A Theoretical and Practical Guide

By Phillip B. Zarrilli | Go to book overview

22

RESISTING THE “ORGANIC”

A feminist actor's approach

Lauren Love

For an actor working in conventional theatre, committing to feminist performance strategies may seem contradictory, if not outright impossible. My own experiences in conventional Western theatre productions became increasingly frustrating, because my corporeal presence within its representational frames demanded my complicity with an ideology I seek to resist. The very fact of my female-gendered biology on a conventional stage, not only commodifies my presence - where I become an object to be traded between the male characters and the male spectators - but has also been complicated by feminist theorists like Judith Butler who discuss materiality itself as a reiteration of restrictive codes relating to gender and sexuality. Butler and others ask whether the female-gendered body can appear as a body that matters (Butler in Goodman 1998:286) within discourses that privilege male bodies as active social agents. Are recognizably female bodies only visible as the passive/receptive opposites of male bodies? If the female body can as Butler proposes, only be intelligible through regulatory schemas (ibid: 284), how is it possible to perform female subjectivity without reinforcing patriarchal discourses that deny that subjectivity?

In The Feminist Spectator as Critic, Jill Dolan asserts that: placing women in a representation always connotes an underlying ideology and presents a narrative driven by male desire that effectively denies women's subjectivity (1988:57). Given that the terms of women's objectification are not questioned and are in fact reified in conventional representational modes, how might I reconcile my politics with my work as an actor in conventional theatre? What is my potential to resist objectification and/or material devaluation from a position within conventional representation?

Materialist feminist theories, which borrow from the discourses of Marxism, semiotics, post-modern philosophies, and other discourses that seek to destabilize naturalized dominant ideology, seem to offer the most viable possibilities for the feminist performer to conceptualize resistant tactics.

Materialist feminists point to the construction of gender, class and race through normalizing cultural strategies that reinforce the hegemony of a male,

-277-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Acting (Re)considered: A Theoretical and Practical Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Preface xvi
  • Acknowledgements xviii
  • 1 - General Introduction 1
  • Part I - Theories of and Meditations on Acting 5
  • 2 - Introduction 7
  • 3 - The Actor's Presence 23
  • 4 - On Acting and Not-Acting 40
  • 5 - “just Be Your Self” 53
  • 6 - The Actor's Emotions Reconsidered: 62
  • Part II - (Re)Considering the Body and Training 83
  • 7 - Introduction 85
  • 8 - An Amulet Made of Memory: 99
  • 9 - Meyerhold's Biomechanics 106
  • 10 - Etienne Decroux's Promethean Mime 129
  • 11 - Actor Training in the Neutral Mask 140
  • 12 - Bali and Grotowski 148
  • 13 - Culture is the Body 163
  • 14 - My Bodies 168
  • 15 - “on the Edge of a Breath, Looking” 181
  • 16 - The Gardzienice Theatre Association of Poland 200
  • 17 - Effector Patterns of Basic Emotions 219
  • Part III - (Re)Considering the Actor in Performance 239
  • 18 - Introduction 241
  • 19 - Brecht and the Contradictory Actor 248
  • 20 - Dario Fo 260
  • 21 - Forum Theatre 268
  • 22 - Resisting the “organic” 277
  • 23 - Rachel Rosenthal Creating Her Selves 291
  • 24 - Task and Vision 305
  • 25 - David Warrilow 311
  • 26 - Robert Wilson and the Actor 319
  • 27 - Anna Deavere Smith 334
  • Notes 345
  • Bibliography and References Cited 363
  • Bibliographical Note 388
  • Index 389
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 396

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.