By David Savran
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Extra resources for A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater
For Hughes is as much concerned with absence, with that which defies representation, as she is with trying to carve out a space for an autonomous, dissident subject (and this tech nique clearly distances her work from the affirmative lesbian-feminist project of the 1970s). At the same time, her deconstructionist politics lead her not to look for an escape from an oppressive (in this case, het eronormative) culture but to use the contradictions always already at play within heteronormativity to undermine its epistemological priority and privilege.
Words, is constituted in and through its practic It disturbance pro ute of a given text or performance than a transient or. It might duced between and among text, actor, director, and spectat to dissident be said to be an effect of knowledge, or lack of it, in relation after sexual desires and identities. And it remains, some thirty years "! " For as Sedgwick emphas leave. self-identified lesbian or gay man can conclusively and definitively One is always in the process of coming out. The association of queerness with theater is by no means novel.
Lesbian playwrights and characters, in contrast, remain almost invis ible on Broadway and in regional theaters. Only Paula Vogel and Mar garet Edson (whose works have been showcased off-Broadway and awarded Pulitzer Prizes) have managed to have their plays widely per formed. Yet Vogel's most successful plays and Edson's Wit are heterosex ualized dramas-or at least seem so to the untutored eye. Most lesbian Writers and performers flourish downtown in more modest arenas, where their presence (like that of their gay brethren on Broadway) has become virtually synonymous with a variety of edgy performance that challenges the canons of realism as well as bourgeois social, political , and sexual mores.