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Palgrave Macmillan

The Theatre of Naomi Wallace

Embodied Dialogues

ISBN 9781137017918
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Naomi Wallace, an American playwright based in Britain, is one of the more original and provocative voices in contemporary theatre. Her poetic, erotically-charged, and politically engaged plays have been seen in London's West End, off-Broadway, at the Comédie-Française, in regional and provincial theaters, and on college campuses around the world. Known for their intimate, sensual encounters examining the relationship between identity and power, Wallace's works have attracted a wide range of theatre practitioners, including such important directors as Dominic Dromgoole, Ron Daniels, Jo Bonney, and Kwame Kwei-Armah. Drawing on scholars, activists, historians, and theatre artists in the United States, Canada, Britain, and the Middle East, this anthology of essays presents a comprehensive overview of Wallace's body of work that will be of use to theatre practitioners, students, scholars, and educators alike.

Scott T. Cummings is Associate Professor of Dramatic Literature and Playwriting and Chair of the Theatre Department of Boston College, USA. He is the author of Remaking American Theatre: Charles Mee, Anne Bogart, and the SITI Company (2006), Maria Irene Fornes (2012), and numerous performance reviews, essays, and articles on contemporary American theatre and drama.

Erica Stevens Abbitt is Associate Professor at the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Windsor, Canada. Her writings on feminist performance, youth culture, and critical thinking and theatre pedagogy have appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Performance Research, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and American Theatre magazine.

Preface: Embodied Dialogues; Erica Stevens Abbitt
Introduction: The Discourse of the Body; Scott T. Cummings
1. Death and Desire, Apocalypse, and Utopia: Feminist Gestus and the Utopian Performative in the Plays of Naomi Wallace; Shannon Baley
2. Love in a Wound; Scott T. Cummings
3. Messianic Marxism in Naomi Wallace's Slaughter City and Things of Dry Hours; Buell Wisner
4. An American Exile in America; Vivian Gornick
5. The City that Embraced Naomi Wallace; Walter Bilderback
6. Naomi Wallace and the Dramaturgy of Rehearsal; Lindsay B. Cummings
7. Naomi Wallace and the Politics of Desire; Josephine Machon
8. Crucial Unspeakables, or Pedagogies of the Repressed: Directing Sex in the Plays of Naomi Wallace; Beth Cleary
9. Mapping The Inland Sea: Naomi Wallace's British Epic Drama; Art Borreca
10. Slip's Bluff; Neil Chudgar
11. Journeys into the Heart of Whiteness: A Labor Historian Looks at the Work of Naomi Wallace; Peter Rachleff
12. Unbearable Intimacies: Occupation, Utopia, and Creative Destruction in The Fever Chart; Adam John Waterman
13. To Girl or Not To Girl; Erica Stevens Abbitt
1. Standing on Your Head; Dominic Dromgoole
2. Naomi Is Inside My Head; Ron Daniels
3. Designing Wallace; Riccardo Hernandez
4. In the Fields of Naomi Wallace; Jessica Dromgoole
5. Radical Poetry; David Gothard
6. Being the 'Other': Naomi Wallace and the Middle East; Ismail Khalidi
7. Translating Wallace; Dominique Hollier
8. Betting on Naomi and the Boss; Raz Shaw
9. Mindscapes of Palestine; Erin B. Mee
10. Directing Wallace; Jo Bonney
11. Beautiful Resistance; Abdelfattah Abusrour
12. The Facts of Love; Robin D. G. Kelley
13. Nettle Soup; Bruce McLeod
1. "Strange Times"
2. Seven Poems
3. "Let the Right One In"
4. Manifesto
5. "We Are Also Each Other"
6. "The Fish Story"
7. The Tal Pidae Lehrstücke
8. "On Writing as Transgression"

Shannon Baley, St. Edward's University, USA
Buell Wisner, Georgia Perimeter College, USA
Vivian Gornick, critic, essayist, and memoirist
Walter Bilderback, Wilma Theater, USA
Lindsay B. Cummings, University of Connecticut, USA
Josephine Machon, Middlesex University, USA
Beth Cleary, director, playwright, and scholar
Art Borreca, University of Iowa, USA
Neil Chudgar, Macalester College, USA
Peter Rachleff, Macalester College, USA
Adam John Waterman, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Dominic Dromgoole, Shakespeare's Globe Theater, UK
Ron Daniels, director
Riccardo Hernandez, scenic designer
Jessica Dromgoole, producer and director
David Gothard, director
Ismail Khalidi, poet, actor, and playwright
Dominique Hollier, actor, translator, and dramaturg
Raz Shaw, director
Erin B. Mee, scholar, activist, and director
Jo Bonney, director
Abdelfattah Abusrour, writer, actor, and painter
Robin D. G. Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles, USA


"A crucial and long overdue study of one of the fiercest, most poetic and sensual voices that the American theatre has ever produced. A book that celebrates Wallace's grace, intellectual wit, and probing intelligence." - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
". . . This volume analyzes and celebrates the playwright's many achievements . . . Throughout the book, Wallace is compared to Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Caryl Churchill, Samuel Beckett, Jane Austen, W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bruce Springsteen. This list is a testament to the playwright as well as to those who generated it - the astute, diverse, impassioned writers who recognize and relish the prismatic spectrum that is Naomi Wallace . . . Wallace's own bibliographies . . . send their readers on historical and philosophical journeys. The editors and contributors of The Theatre of Naomi Wallace have extended such journeys into a collective pilgrimage, paying homage to an extraordinary playwright with an extraordinary book." - Modern Drama
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