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Diversifying Greek Tragedy on the Contemporary US Stage$
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Melinda Powers

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777359.001.0001

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Representing ‘Woman’ in Split Britches’ Honey I’m Home, the F-RTC’s Oedipus Rex XX/XY, and Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flynn’s Lysistrata Jones

Representing ‘Woman’ in Split Britches’ Honey I’m Home, the F-RTC’s Oedipus Rex XX/XY, and Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flynn’s Lysistrata Jones

Chapter:
(p.89) 3 Representing ‘Woman’ in Split Britches’ Honey I’m Home, the F-RTC’s Oedipus Rex XX/XY, and Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flynn’s Lysistrata Jones
Source:
Diversifying Greek Tragedy on the Contemporary US Stage
Author(s):

Melinda Powers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777359.003.0004

This chapter uses case studies from both comedy and tragedy, including Split Britches’ Honey I’m Home: The Alcestis Story (1989), the Faux-Real Theatre Company’s Oedipus Rex XX/XY (2012), and Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flynn’s Lysistrata Jones (2011), to explore the extent to which costuming and casting choices may reinforce or challenge the male-invented, male-performed idea of ‘Woman’ performed on the ancient stage. It argues that the employment of women actors in a play written by and for men does not preclude a feminist critique, for Split Britches’ and Faux-Real’s performances have used feminist performance techniques and cross-gendered casting to challenge the gender binary of male/female. However, in some cases, such as Lysistrata Jones, reperforming Greek drama may inadvertently result in the reinforcement of negative depictions of women and essentialist ideas that attach sex (the physical body) to gender (the cultural performance of that body).

Keywords:   Alcestis, Oedipus Rex XX/YY, Lysistrata Jones, Split Britches, Faux-Real Theatre Company, Douglas Carter Beane, Woman, sex, gender, cross-gendered casting

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