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The Political Voice in the Early Plays of Aphra Behn
Of Love and War: The Political Voice in the Early Plays of Aphra Behn is a study which situates Behn’s early plays within their historical and political context. Behn (c.1640-1689), the first professional female playwright in England, is a fascinating study, having traveled to Surinam as a young woman, served as a spy for Charles II, and evidently supported her family through her writing, including plays, poetry, fiction, and translation.
Her early plays have often been dismissed as romances, largely because they treat such social and/or gender issues as forced marriage and female desire. This study argues that these same social issues frequently serve as tropes for political commentary and propaganda in support of foreign and domestic policies. Behn’s plays clearly demonstrate staunch loyalist support of the Stuart government, yet within the dramatic construction, she—like her contemporary male colleagues, offers fascinating covert political criticism.
Relocating the Body in Contemporary Performing Art
In ice hockey, the term body check refers to a specific move to gain control. It is a blow from body to body, a dynamic clash of physical strength, which will determine the course of the game. In this book, too, the body is checked and there is physical confrontation. Not in the hockey ring, but on stage.
This book deals with the body in contemporary (performing) arts. The focus is on exploring theoretical avenues and developing new concepts to grasp corporeal images more accurately. This theoretical research is confronted with the voice of artists whose work explicitly deals with the body. In-depth interviews with a.o. Meg Stuart, Wim Vandekeybus, Romeo Castellucci, Jerôme Bel reveal a very broad range of views on the (re)presentation of the body in today’s performing arts. The combination of these two voices –the theoretician’s and the artist’s -shows that research by artists and cultural scientists is perfectly complementary.