Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7f7b94f6bd-2h7tr Total loading time: 0.333 Render date: 2022-06-30T08:52:48.584Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

‘Dissemblage’ and ‘Truth Traps’: Creating Methodologies of Resistance in Queer Autobiographical Theatre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2015

Extract

After more than thirty years of solo autobiographical theatre created by LGBTQQIA performers throughout the West, the primary focus of shows made by artists of these identities has more or less remained stable since 1980. In 1982, queer performance artist Tim Miller presented the autobiographical solo show Post-War, and he is part of what is now a tradition of presenting out, celebratory, authentic LGBTQQIA stories onstage. As a self-identified trans performance artist and performing researcher, I have taken part in this practice. Performances, extending from Miller in 1982 to J MASE III in 2014, continue to revolve around the necessity of ‘coming out’, presenting the stories of how we came to know and experience the ‘truths’ of our identities. Performance theorist Deirdre Heddon confirms that these autobiographical works have largely been concerned with, and successful in, ‘using the public arena to “speak out”, attempting to make visible denied or marginalized subjects, or to “talk back”, aiming to challenge, contest and problematize dominant representations and assumptions about those subjects'. Works such as Miller's Glory Box (1999), which used his personal history of having a partner who is not a US citizen to discuss gay marriage and legal immigration for same-sex couples, and trans and Tamil performer D’Loco Kid's D’FaQto Life (2013), which presented an intersectionally marginalized trans person of colour's experience and narrative, have been critical in supporting political and personal empowerment for audiences and performers alike.

Type
Forum: Contemporary Queer Theatre and Performance Research
Copyright
Copyright © International Federation for Theatre Research 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual. The abbreviation has its origins in the 1980s when gay social and/or political groups began consciously adding the word Lesbian to their titles to acknowledge that the community did not only include gay men. Beginning in the 1990s, other non-heteronormative identity groups have also claimed acronym space under this umbrella of communities.

2 Prior to the 1980s, lesbian and gay characters in theatre and film were almost entirely stereotypical, tragic and/or grotesque.

3 ‘Trans’ is an umbrella term for transsexual, transgender, and other gender-non-conforming identities.

4 Heddon, Deirdre, Autobiography and Performance (London: Palgrave, 2008), p. 20Google Scholar.

5 Ibid., p. 157.

6 ‘Crip’ is the queered or radically politicized disability identity.

7 ‘People of colour’.

8 Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality, Vol. I: An Introduction (New York: Penguin, 1979)Google Scholar, p. 60.

9 Arsenault, Nina, ‘A Manifesto of Living Self-Portraiture (Identity, Transformation, and Performance)’, Canadian Theatre Review, 150, 1 (2012), pp. 64CrossRefGoogle Scholar–9.

10 Cabaret artist Rose Wood, also trans, may be an exception as she uses the reveal of her hybrid body as shock tactic: her rock and roll, gothic and gory late-night performances are underpinned by stories of anger and pain which are never spoken, and never identified as her own.

11 Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), pp. 89Google Scholar.

12 See de Landa, Manuel, A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (London and New York: Continuum, 2006), pp. 1819Google Scholar; also see de Landa's European graduate-school video lecture on Youtube: ‘Manuel DeLanda. Assemblage Theory, Society, and Deleuze. 2011’, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-I5e7ixw78&index=23&list=PLQ4ntxaP_-0XkZ5xbuqtXIPSzYOAJTXcH, last accessed 29 May 2014.

13 Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus.

14 Foucault, The History of Sexuality, p. 11.

5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

‘Dissemblage’ and ‘Truth Traps’: Creating Methodologies of Resistance in Queer Autobiographical Theatre
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

‘Dissemblage’ and ‘Truth Traps’: Creating Methodologies of Resistance in Queer Autobiographical Theatre
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

‘Dissemblage’ and ‘Truth Traps’: Creating Methodologies of Resistance in Queer Autobiographical Theatre
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *