(re)Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Current Methods in Feminist Performance
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Theatre has always been a refuge for the educated woman. The women’s movement, in all its iterations, has made use of the stage. During the campaign for suffrage, this meant propaganda plays that defied the censor. In the second wave beginning in the 1960s, women adapted Augusto Boal’s techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed to bring the audience into feminist dialogues. Now, during a period of transition in third wave feminism, we are seeing these dialogues in commercial theatre. Whether it is the feminist one-liners in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton or Lauren Gunderson, a playwright devoted to putting women’s history on the stage, becoming one of the most-produced playwrights in the United States, feminist performance has officially become big-business. This capstone intends to understand the impact of popular feminism on commercial theatre and to expand feminist performance scholarship to include the commercial theatre industry by applying pre-existing theory to contemporary productions.