Teenage Girls and Femme Futurities

"This thesis aims to explore the ways in which the‌ ‌growing‌ ‌body‌ ‌of‌ ‌plays‌ ‌by‌ ‌and‌ ‌about‌ ‌young, ‌femme-identifying‌ ‌people‌ ‌can‌ ‌provide‌ ‌space‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌exploration‌ ‌and‌ ‌expansion‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌form. Through this exploration, and often explosion, I believe so much possibility is opened up in regards to how we think about young femme-identified people both onstage and off. Furthermore, in this body of work - specifically‌ ‌work‌ ‌that‌ ‌discusses‌ ‌adolescence, ‌ coming-of-age‌,‌ and‌ ‌the‌ ‌transition‌ ‌between‌ ‌girlhood‌ ‌and‌ ‌womanhood‌ ‌-‌ ‌I‌ ‌have‌ ‌observed‌ ‌that‌ ‌moments‌ ‌in‌ ‌which‌ ‌characters‌ ‌break‌ ‌from‌ ‌what‌ ‌is‌ ‌societally‌ ‌understood‌ ‌as‌ an ‌expected‌ ‌performance‌ ‌of‌ ‌gender‌ ‌for young‌ ‌femme-coded‌ ‌bodies ‌allow ‌for‌ ‌moments‌ ‌of‌ ‌intervention.‌ ‌Breaking‌ ‌gender‌ ‌performance‌ ‌asks‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌artists‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌room‌ ‌(actors,‌ ‌directors,‌ ‌designers,‌ ‌stage‌ ‌managers,‌ ‌etc.)‌ both‌ witness and‌ ‌embody‌ ‌a‌ ‌performance‌ ‌of‌ ‌gender‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌may‌ ‌have‌ ‌never‌ ‌experienced‌ ‌-‌ ‌or‌ ‌felt‌ ‌like‌ ‌that‌ ‌could‌ ‌experience‌ ‌because‌ ‌of‌ ‌societally-expected‌ ‌gender‌ ‌norms. ‌I define these interventions as “moments of rupture,” which, born out of theatrical realism and bolstered by Brechtian alienation and a Butlerian definition of performativity ‌allow for us‌ ‌to‌ ‌imagine‌ ‌the‌ ‌futurity‌ ‌of‌ ‌gender‌ ‌performance‌ as distinct from‌ ‌the‌ ‌now, ‌ ‌prompting‌ ‌intervention. At‌ ‌its‌ ‌core, this‌ ‌project‌ ‌asks: ‌what‌ ‌is‌ ‌possible‌ ‌when‌ ‌women‌ ‌are‌ ‌defined‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌own‌ ‌terms‌ ‌and‌ ‌derive‌ ‌communal‌ ‌power‌ ‌from‌ ‌this‌ ‌definition? In the second half of this project, I have worked to build this coalition through staging Clare Barron’s Dance Nation in March 2021, and workshopping early-career playwright Lyndsey Bourne’s new play, Spitfire: a space femme fantasia, a performance of which was presented in May, 2021. "

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