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Women and Performance Issue: An Introduction

Author(s): M. K.
Source: The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 24, No. 2, Women and Performance Issue (Jun.,
1980), p. 2
Published by: The MIT Press
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Accessed: 08-10-2016 04:12 UTC

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Women and Performance Issue
An Introduction

This is not an issue on feminist theatre. Although feminist work and fem
concerns are dealt with here, they are not our primary focus.
Nor have women been relegated to a special issue because their work is not
"good enough." Indeed, The Drama Review has consistently presented the wor
women-and writing by women-in all of its issues without drawing attention t
fact. (Without making a statistical analysis, we will stand by our record on this.) T
people presented here are no less important. Indeed, as a producer of avant-ga
works and as a performance artist, Ellen Stewart and Laurie Anderson could be
sidered to be the most important figures in their areas. All of the work would
significant no matter who did it. And any of the articles could have appeared in ou
other issues. In fact, at least two of the articles were requested for other issue
did not work out in time to meet our deadlines.
Finally, we do not consider this issue to be segregated in an evaluative
(It is this concern with segregation that has prevented us for many years from
an issue on women and/or feminism.) All of our issues, by focusing on a p
theme, are segregated in a nonevaluative way; this issue is, in this, like all o
If these are the things the issue is not, what is it? What do we hope to
accomplish here that could not be done in another way? First, we intend to
emphasize the diversity of important work being done by women in all aspects of
performance. (While no actresses or dancers are represented, these are the areas
that are most visible, most accepted, and in which the greatest number of women
are involved. We have dealt with actresses and dancers before [in T71, the Actors
and Acting issue, and T65, the Post-Modern Dance issue, among others], and we will
do so again.)
Second, we hoped that, by paying attention to the lives of the people as well as
to their work, we could say something about our society and the sociological posi-
tion of women in our theatre that would not be apparent in another context. Thus
only women in the United States are covered here. An international issue on the
same theme would have been much more diverse and less able to reflect specific
social concerns, pressures and patterns.

The Drama Review wishes to thank the National Endowment

for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts for
their support during the current fiscal year.

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