Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)

Department

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Advisor(s)

Annie Kloppenberg

Abstract

This project argues that devising performance is an inherently queer and utopian form. In response to recent political movements, such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, which seek to stage dissatisfaction with the systems of late capitalism, I turn to devising performance as a site. Informed by the queer and performance theories of Jose Esteban Munoz, Lee Edelman, and Jill Dolan, I argue that devised theater allows us to process disillusionment, rehearse collectivity, and stage futurity. In conversation with Munoz, I define futurity as an imaginative site that considers what will follow what some scholars suggest will be the inevitable demise of capitalism and its white patriarchal power structures. For example, in “The end of capitalism,” sociologist Michael Mann forewarns, “the end or decline of capitalism might be nigh for America, for the West, for the whole global economy, or for the whole planet earth." Rather than indulge in this sense of despair, I recognize devised theater as an art form with which to anticipate and perform radical societal restructuring.

Keywords

devised theater, contemporary dance, queer theory, futurity, performance theory, radical