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The first scholarly collection to discuss the intersection of feminism and dramatic theory

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Lynda Hart
Introduction: Performing Feminism - 1

1. Re-creational Metaphors
Vivian M. Patraka
Mass Culture and Metaphors of Menace in Joan Schenkar's Plays - 25
Nancy Backes
Body Art: Hunger and Satiation in the Plays of Tine Howe - 41
Margaret B. Wilkerson
Music as Metaphor: New Plays of Black Women - 61
Gayle Austin
The Madwoman in the Spotlight: Plays of Maria Irene Fornes - 76
Mary K. Deshazer
Rejecting Necrophilia: Ntozake Shange and the Warrior Re-Visioned - 86

2. Reformulating the Question
Susan Carlson
Revisionary Endings: Pam Gem's Aunt Mary and Camille
Jonnie Guerra
Beth Henley: Female Quest and the Family-Play Tradition - 118
Lynda Hart
"They Don't Even Look Like Maids Anymore": Wendy Kesselman's My Sister in This House - 131
Jenny S. Spencer
Marsha Norman's She-tragedies - 147

3. Alternatives to (His)tory
Jan Breslauer and Helene Keyssar
Making Magic Public: Megan Terry's Traveling Family Circus - 169
Stephanie Arnold
Dissolving the Half Shadows: Japanese American Women Playwrights - 181
Anita Plath Helle
Re-Presenting Women Writers Onstage: A Retrospective to the Present - 195
Yolanda Broyles Gonzalez
Toward a Re-Vision of Chicano Theatre History: The Women of El Teatro Campesino - 209
Janelle Reinelt
Michelene Wandor: Artist and Idealogue - 239

4. Disruptions
Elin Diamond
(In)Visible Bodies in Churchill's Theater - 259
Sue-Ellen Case
Toward a Butch-Femme Aesthetic - 282
Rosemary Curb
Mirrors Moving beyond Frames: Sandra Shotlander's Framework and Blind Salome - 300
Jill Dolan
Bending Gender to Fit the Canon: The Politics of Production - 318

Contributors - 345


Making a Spectacle: Feminist Essays on Contemporary Women's Theatre is the first wide-ranging collection of scholarly articles to apply feminist perspectives to the work of women writers for the stage.  The book breaks new ground in the field of feminist criticism, by confronting the absence or minimization of women theatre artists, discussing the strategies of women writers who are appropriating the stage to assert their own images, analyzing the politics of theatrical reception and production, and deconstructing the ideology of dramatic representations.

"One of the things that attracted me to theatre is that it's a place where people will listen for as long as it takes.  In the theatre they will even listen to a woman -- WITHOUT INTERRUPTING HER.  The scholars in Making a Spectacle have listened, looked, and responded on multi-levels to the playwright's work and for this, I give them a whole-hearted embrace.  Their work expands and adds to the intellectual life and artistic experience of all of us."
​--Megan Terry