Breaking the Bounds: British Feminist Dramatists Writing in by Dimple Godiwala

By Dimple Godiwala

Breaking the Bounds specializes in second-wave feminism as a rupture in an unbroken episteme of Western patriarchy analyzed with reference to British dramatic discourse. The theoretical framework is a family tree of patriarchy deploying and constructing Foucault’s rules on discourse to use to a deconstruction of Western patriarchy. An research of feminist drama texts is used to help the argument that Western patriarchy involves one unbroken episteme because the patriarchal impulse substrates the epistemological breaks indicated by means of Foucault. The theoretical textual content speaks of the twentieth-century feminist rupture from patriarchy, studying intimately the texts of 5 mainstream feminist dramatists who've effectively effected an intervention within the British grand récit of undeniably male dramatic discourse.

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Additional resources for Breaking the Bounds: British Feminist Dramatists Writing in the Mainstream Since C. 1980 (American University Studies Series Xxvi Theatre Arts)

Sample text

She becomes, in effect, a Top Girl by traditional patriarchal norms— 32 the rules of the system of formation within which she is constituted. Being the Top Girl within the bounds of her patriarchal system comes almost naturally to the young Joan, who, disguised in male clothing, leaves home to live as a lifelong male, devoted to long hours of learning and study which lead the erudite woman down a path of achievement the ambitious would envy: she becomes Pope, still disguised as a man, as the discursive field which constitutes popedom, constitutes it also as a distinctively malesexed space.

Every so often, I saw me: milky coffee skin, dark searching eyes, flat nose. Some voice from that mirror would whisper: Nobody wants you, no wonder. You think you’re white till you look in me. I surprised you didn’t I? I’d stop and will the glass to change me. Where did you get that nose? Aisha, Yomi and Beth unfreeze. Beth goes up to Opal. Aisha stands near them. Yomi sits on the chest, watching. Beth: Do you still feel alone when you look in there? Opal: No. Beth: I don’t feel alone anymore, either.

The effect achieved by combining naturalism of dialogue with an innovatively deployed experimental, semi-Brechtian theatre technique of a multiplicity of char-actor re/presentation/s results in a character analysis of some depth whilst the cultural conditions are conterminously offered up for examination. The economy of the minimal set, the quick scene changes (effected efficiently by the use of spotlighting), the optimal use of four actors are thrown into relief by the skilful use of deeply symbolic props.

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