Here are five books that delve into feminism, gay rights, pedagogy, HIV/AIDS activism, and more while breaking new ground in performing arts studies (e.g., including previously unpublished plays, contextualizing the work of an acclaimed playwright in the history of gay American theater, and comprehensively detailing how women playwrights disrupted and created different kinds of femininity in the past century).
1. Fearless Femininity by Women in American Theatre (1910s to 2010s) by Professor Lynne Greeley
In this book essential for theater studies and women’s studies, Professor Greeley looks at the work of women in theater from the 1910s to 2010s to show how these women both embodied and disrupted the feminine of their times. By exploring the works of a wide range of feminist artists and playwrights such as Megan Terry, Lynne Nottage, Young Jean Lee, Eve Ansler, and more, Greeley presents a comprehensive volume of feminist theater with what the Women’s History Review calls a “fearless approach to her subject.”
2. Black Medea by Professor Kevin J. Wetmore
An anthology of six adaptations of Medea that present the title character as a woman of color—three having never been published before—Black Medea includes interviews with the playwrights, analytical essays, and introductions which compare the original play to the adaptations. This is a critical work for scholars, students, artists, and libraries in African American studies, classics, and theater and performance studies that will show readers how playwrights used this ancient Greek tragedy to understand African American history.
3. Terrence McNally and Fifty Years of American Gay Drama by Professor John Clum
Called a “must read for everyone interested in American theater and LGBT studies” by the Theater Journal, Terrence McNally and Fifty Years of American Gay Drama is the first book-length study to focus on the relationship of Terrence McNally’s plays—not only some of the most powerful plays about gay men in American society, but also some of the finest plays of the last fifty years—to the broad, distinguished history of gay theater in America during his career. This is an essential work for readers and scholars interested in modern American drama, gay drama, and gay culture.
4. Hybrid Lives of Teaching Artists in Dance and Theatre Arts: A Critical Reader by Professors Mary Elizabeth Anderson and Doug Risner, eds.
Focusing on teaching artists in dance and theater disciplines, the essays in this book ask a few key questions directed toward the last decade’s growth and professionalization: where and how is teaching artistry in dance and theater happening? What is guiding, supporting, or complicating the work of teaching artists in dance and theater arts today? How do teaching artists effectively address the cultural diversity of the communities they serve? Hybrid Lives examines pedagogical, artistic, and professional issues for teaching artists in these two disciplines through their voices and experiences,
5. Pedro Zamora, Sexuality, and AIDS Education by Professor Christopher Pullen
Pedro Zamora, Sexuality, and AIDS Education offers both a comprehensive biographical narrative of Zamora, who openly represented his life as a person living with AIDS in 1994 San Francisco on The Real World, and an exploration of the work of other AIDS activists, including Suzi Lovegrove, Ryan White, Vito Russo, Paul Monette, Marlon Riggs, and Xoliswa Sitole. Illuminating the significance of Zamora’s work and contextualizing contemporary needs for HIV/AIDS education, this book is critical for hose in LGBT studies, communications, social work, and the performing arts.