Towards a queer theatre: Four plays
Towards a Queer Theatre consists of an analysis of queer and community theory in order to discuss the current state of queer theatre. It also provides me, as a gay-identified man working in the theatre, the opportunity to offer my own theatrical works to the canon. "Queer" and "community" are terms defined in the Introduction. Chapter One provides a definition of "queer theatre" and analyzes eight plays from the queer theatre that have enjoyed visibility within the mainstream theatrical world in order to discuss tropes, patterns, and themes that reflect, reify, or refute tropes, patterns, and themes that have appeared in queer plays that pre-date the plays included herein. Chapter Two includes a preface detailing the process by which I composed Summer of the Wolf, how the production of the play influenced the draft included in this dissertation, and how the play reflects queer and community theory. It also contains the draft of the play as it was performed at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Chapter Three includes a preface that discusses theories behind the creation of queer solo performance and why they are an important facet of the queer theory. It also discusses the connection between queer and monster theory, which manifested in the creation of the solo performance, Othernatural, that comprises the main body of this chapter. Chapter Four includes a preface discussing the limits of community, definitions and borders of sexual identity, and considers the erasure of the queer from history. Following are two one-act plays, Like You and Out There, that demonstrate these concepts. Chapter Five concludes this dissertation by posing the question, "What lies on the horizon for future queer theatre artists?" It also considers the responsibilities and hopes that belong to these artists.
Ultimately, this dissertation addresses the importance of the queer theatre, as well as the place of queer artists within the mainstream theatre, and through the inclusion of my own work, provides an example of current activity within the queer theatre.
0591: American literature