THEATRE 5771.04 "American Voices: Disability, Illness, and the Body in Contemporary Theatre" will be offered for minor and GIS credit during Autumn Semester 2014. Please see the "Courses" page for additional meeting information.
"Disability, Illness, and the Body in Contemporary Theatre" - Course Description
In her introduction to Disability Culture and Community Performance, Petra Kuppers interrogates a rehearsal directive to "find a strange and twisted shape," illuminating the tensions between able and disabled bodies onstage and off. Like many artists within the disability and performance movement, through her writing and practice Kuppers seeks to imagine a more productive language and discourse around diverse experiences of the body in performance. From Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie and Maria Irene Fornes' Fefu and Her Friends to Tony Kushner's Angels in America and Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy, American playwrights also have represented disability, illness, and the body and explored their meanings within American culture. Similarly, That Uppity Theatre Company and Axis Dance Company have created new paradigms for what kinds of bodies perform and how they interact through performance. In this course, we will examine how these explorations of the body in contemporary theatre reflect a broad range of disability cultures and performance practices and how they articulate what it means to be whole, embodied, and alive on the American stage.