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LGBTQ* Theatre in the U.S.

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Jess O'Rear

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of LGBTQ* Theatre in the U.S.

LGBTQ* Theatre for Social Change
Common Tropes & Stereotypes
Visibility through subtext & codes​
The ‘Sissy’​
A big joke​
The ‘Tragic’ Queer​
Ends in death​
The ‘Killer’ Queer​
Also ends in death​
Today, we will...
Examine some important moments in LGBTQ History in the 20th-21st Century USA​

Understand how these movements in history influenced theatrical practices and vice versa​

Examine the ways in which theatre both reflects and helps shape a culture in terms of community, politics, and social change​
The Stonewall Uprising
June 27, 1969​

NYC bar called ‘The Stonewall Inn’​

A police raid turned uprising​

No protection under the law for LGBTQ people​
As an adjective; an IDENTITY CATEGORY​

Umbrella term for LGBT​
A reclaimed slur​
NOT a universally-accepted term​
Heteronormativity: assuming that heterosexuality is the ‘default’ and prescribing sexual/gender norms accordingly​
As a verb; an action! a doing!​

To ‘queer’ something​

To reveal its frameworks of normalcy ​& question them​

To subvert normative ideas through a hyper-visible performance of them ​
Important Works & Figures

b. 1894 – d. 1975​
‘Lesbian Stand-Up Comedy’​
Performed in androgynous clothing​ in 1920’s-30’s​
Hugely radical!​
Moms Mabley
Important Works & Figures

1934, written by Lillian Helman
Successful Broadway run
Challenged in Boston
'first legal battle for gay & lesbian rights'
Film version: 1961, dir. William Wyler
'The Children's Hour'
Important Works & Figures

b. 1911 – d. 1983
A Streetcar Named Desire
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Parade, or Approaching the End of a Summer
Work deals with struggles of sexuality
Tennessee Williams

b. 1935

The Normal Heart
Setting: NYC, 1981-1984
Based on Kramer's personal experiences
Off-Broadway, 1985 & 2004
Broadway, 2011
HBO, 2014
Important Works & Figures
Larry Kramer

b. 1951
The Baltimore Waltz
Obie Award Winner, 1992
Highly influenced by AIDS epidemic
Important Works & Figures
Paula Vogel

Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, Karen Finley, & John Fleck
Targeted for addressing issues of gender & sexuality
Fought the government & won
Nat'l Endowment for the Arts v. Finley
Important Works & Figures
The NEA Four
Important Works & Figures
Musical written by Jonathan Larson
Off-Bway Premiere - Jan 1996
Bway Premiere - April 1996
12 year run
4 Tony Award Wins
Pulitzer Prize in Drama
Film version: 2005, dir. Chris Columbus
The 21st Century
Important Works & Figures

1968, written by Mart Crowley
Only Off-Broadway performances
Reception changed after Stonewall...
The Boys in the Band
Full transcript