Sightlines: Race, Gender, and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre
Sightlines: Race, Gender, and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre asserts the centrality of theater to the ongoing negotiations of the Australian context. By exploring ways in which ideas about race, gender, and nation are expressed in concrete theatrical contexts, the performative qualities of theatrical representation are revealed as compelling, important sites of critique.
Helen Gilbert discusses an exciting variety of plays, drawing examples from marginalized groups as well as from the theatrical mainstream. While fully engaged with the discourses of contemporary critical thought, Sightlines remains focused on the material stuff of the theater, grounding its discussion in the visual elements of costume, movement, and scenography. And although focused specifically on performance, the author's insistent interest in historical and political contexts also speaks to the broader concerns of cultural studies.
The book's recurrent concern with representations of Aboriginality, particularly in the works of nonindigenous playwrights, draws attention to racial politics as a perennial motif in postcolonial nations. Its illumination of the relationships between patriarchy and imperialism is supported by an extensive discussion of plays by and about women. This nomadic approach marks Sightlines as a groundbreaking study of recent Australian theater, a provocative application of postcolonial theory to the embodied qualities of theatrical representation.
"An impressive and ground-breaking study that provides a coherent postcolonial approach to Australian drama." --Bill Ashcroft, University of New South Wales
"Elegantly written, and always beautifully lucid in its argument. . . . this is a very original work, particularly in its marriage of performance theory and postcolonial analysis." --Deidre Coleman, University of Sydney
Helen Gilbert is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Queensland, and co-author, with Joanne Tompkins, of Post-Colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics.
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Aboriginal theatre actors ambivalent American analysis appropriation argues articulate Asian attempts audience Australian Australian theatre Blood Relations body Bran Nue Dae Caliban characters codes colonial constructed contemporary context corroboree costume counterdiscourse critical cultural dance Davis's decolonization dialogue difference discourses discussion dominant drama enacted epistemology European feminist figure focus foregrounds framework function gaze gender grotesque body hybridity identity images imperial imperialist indigenous Inside the Island John Truscott Kullark land landscape language Louis Nowra male Malouf's metaphor metatheatrical miscegenation mode Mudrooroo myth narrative neoimperialism Nowra oral past performance play play's political position postcolonial postcolonial texts postcolonial theory potential present problematic production Prospero's proxemic racial reading relationships representation resistance role Sandy Lee scene semiotic settler settler/invader sexual signifiers social space spatial specific stage structures subversive suggests Tempest Theatre Company theatrical tion Tokyo Rose tralian tropes versions Vietnam visual voice Willy's woman women
Page 11 - If the effect of colonial power is seen to be the production of hybridization rather than the noisy command of colonialist authority or the silent repression of native traditions, then an important change of perspective occurs.