Project Title

Presentation of Queerness on stage in L.M. Feldman’s THRIVE, Or What You Will

Presenters

Matthew WeeksFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

COTA - Theatre and Performance Studies

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Thomas Fish

Abstract (300 words maximum)

There are many ways for queerness to be presented on stage. Most often this representation tends to lean towards cisgendered homosexual men and other identities within the LGBTQIA+ community. Even in the genre of queer theatre there is a mainstream focus on cisgendered men in the community as found in more popular plays like The Normal Heart, and Angels in America. More inclusive content is typically found in the works of less known, more niche playwrights, one of which being L.M. Feldman, a queer feminist playwright who’s works are both queer in content and style. One of their most queer works, THRIVE, Or What You Will, presents a gender nonconforming herbalist Jeanne Baret, who was the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in the 1760s. Feldman’s explicit notes on casting and style make this story a very unorthodox portrayal of a historic figure such as Baret. This project will analyze the play script, as well as theorists and notes from the playwright to assess how this play explores non-cisgender identity as a piece of queer theatre. It argue the potential of this script as an example of queer theatre and how it opens doors for creative decisions, as well as non-cisgender performers.

Disciplines

Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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Presentation of Queerness on stage in L.M. Feldman’s THRIVE, Or What You Will

There are many ways for queerness to be presented on stage. Most often this representation tends to lean towards cisgendered homosexual men and other identities within the LGBTQIA+ community. Even in the genre of queer theatre there is a mainstream focus on cisgendered men in the community as found in more popular plays like The Normal Heart, and Angels in America. More inclusive content is typically found in the works of less known, more niche playwrights, one of which being L.M. Feldman, a queer feminist playwright who’s works are both queer in content and style. One of their most queer works, THRIVE, Or What You Will, presents a gender nonconforming herbalist Jeanne Baret, who was the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in the 1760s. Feldman’s explicit notes on casting and style make this story a very unorthodox portrayal of a historic figure such as Baret. This project will analyze the play script, as well as theorists and notes from the playwright to assess how this play explores non-cisgender identity as a piece of queer theatre. It argue the potential of this script as an example of queer theatre and how it opens doors for creative decisions, as well as non-cisgender performers.

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