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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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‘Disidentification’ in Allain Rochel’s Bacchae, Tim O’Leary’s The Wrath of Aphrodite, and Aaron Mark’s Another Medea

‘Disidentification’ in Allain Rochel’s Bacchae, Tim O’Leary’s The Wrath of Aphrodite, and Aaron Mark’s Another Medea

Chapter:
(p.121) 4 ‘Disidentification’ in Allain Rochel’s Bacchae, Tim O’Leary’s The Wrath of Aphrodite, and Aaron Mark’s Another Medea
Source:
Diversifying Greek Tragedy on the Contemporary US Stage
Author(s):

Melinda Powers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777359.003.0005

This chapter discusses Allain Rochel’s Bacchae (2007), Tim O’Leary’s The Wrath of Aphrodite (2008), and Aaron Mark’s Another Medea (2013), based on Euripides’ Bacchae, Hippolytus, and Medea respectively. Through their use of performance strategies such as ‘camp’ (an aesthetic characterized by irony, ostentation, and exaggeration), these productions engage in queer performative counter-discourses that challenge popular stereotypes of gay men, such as the ‘fit, fashion-savvy sidekick’ and the ‘tragic’ or ‘suicidal homosexual’. In the process, they illustrate what José Esteban Muñoz has defined as ‘disidentification’ or ‘the survival strategies the minority subject practices in order to negotiate a phobic majoritarian public sphere that continuously elides or punishes subjects who fail to conform to normative culture’ (1999, 4). Thus, through reframing ancient mythological narratives, these productions serve not only to queer classical drama but also to classicize queer performance.

Keywords:   Bacchae, Hippolytus, Medea, camp, queer, disidentification, José Esteban Muñoz, stereotype, gay

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