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Performance and Disability

Disability is a problematic term, used most frequently to define groups perceived to be lacking, physically or mentally. Many groups who are branded with this label by the mainstream do not envision themselves as lacking or disabled. Rather, they consider themselves to be differently-abled.

  • Some groups contend that they are fully-sustained cultures, including the American Deaf, who share a common language, beliefs, social customs, etc.

  • Theatrical practices range from community theatres to professional touring companies.

Review the history and production timeline of the world’s most famous Deaf Theatre company: the National Theatre of the Deaf.

Gay and Lesbian Theatre

  • Matt Crowley: playwright

    • The Boys in the Band (1968) as first play on Broadway specifically about gay men

  • George Ludlam: playwright, actor

  • Head of the Ridiculous Theatre Company from 1967-1986

  • Harvey Fierstein: playwright

  • Torchsong Trilogy

4/15/2009

Theatre by and for Women

  • While women represent 50% of the world’s population, throughout theatre history they have been relegated to a minor position

  • New theatres formed to present the work of feminist writers beginning in the 1970s

Marsha Norman

Tina Howe

Beth Henley

Lisa Loomer

Wendy Wasserstein

Constance Congdon

Naomi Wallace

Paula Vogel

Playwrights include:

Gay and Lesbian Theatre

  • AIDS crisis generated numerous gay plays during the late 1980s, including:

    • The Normal Heart

    • As Is

    • Lips Togethe , Teeth Apart

    • Jeffrey

  • Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

  • Written by Tony Kushner

  • 7-hour epic play in 2 parts: Millennium Approaches and

Perestroika

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