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Transgressive Performance: Theatre and Film That Question Gender, Sexual Identity and Sexuality

ENGL 256.601

This course, with different topics, may be repeated for credit.
Crosslisted with: CINE 225 601, ENGL 256 601

From the shocking frankness of Mae West's SEX to the "love that dare not speak its name" of Lillian Hellman's THE CHILDREN'S HOUR; from the repressed blondes of Hitchcock to the bawdy pistol-packers of Sam Peckinpah; from the joyless partying of Mart Crowley's THE BOYS IN THE BAND to the joyous self-invention of Charles Busch's THEODORA: SHE-BITCH OF BYZANTIUM -- theatre has explored and altered our notions of gender, sexual identity and sexuality. In this course, we will look at 20th Century plays, films, entertainments, and performers that have broken the rules. Queer, drag and camp theatre will be prominent topics, and we will include plays and musicals by Tony Kushner (ANGELS IN AMERICA) and William Finn (FALSETTOS); performance art by Lypsinka and Dame Edna Everage; cabaret and musical performances; bizarre paratheatrical phenomena (Paris Hilton); and more. We will also study material that breaks taboos of heterosexual behavior (FIGHT CLUB, SEX AND THE CITY).