Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker: Avenging women's bodies

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Abstract

Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker have challenged the gendered norms of theatrical mainstream as a way to break with patriarchal discourse. To do so, they have shaped techniques of subversion at the level of dramaturgy and representation. This essay will investigate instances of women s bodies in performance through figures such as the cross-dressed body and the oppressed body in Greek mythology in Churchill s Cloud Nine (1979), Lives of the Great Poisoners (1991) and A Mouthful of Birds (1986) and Wertenbaker s New Anatomies (1981), The Love of the Nightingale (1988), and her play for radio Dianeira (1999). The common thread interconnecting the plays is the assumption that the two playwrights have used the performing body politically, that is, to address shifting perceptions on feminism and its possibilities in the future. In this essay, feminist theories will intertwine with gender-queer theories for the articulation of a radical look at the politics of resistance enacted in these key playtexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudi di anglistica e americanistica: Percorsi di ricerca
EditorsFiorenzo Fantaccini, Ornella De Zordo
Place of PublicationFirenze Italy
PublisherFirenze University Press
Pages163 - 176
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9788866553175
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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