For more than two decades, feminist theater troupes, playwrights, comedians, and performance artists have challenged convention, raised consciousness, and provoked controversy. Acting Out is the first collection of essays to critically examine the impact that these performers, from the Women's Experimental Theater in the 1970s to contemporary artists such as Madonna, Karen Finley, Cherrie Moraga, Holly Hughes, and Anna Deavere Smith, have had on Anglo-American culture. These original essays cover a variety of subjects including alternative theater, the diversity of feminist aesthetic strategies, stand-up comedy and the politics of gender, lesbian sexuality, and the antifeminist, anti-abortion demonstrations of Operation Rescue.
Both a critical account of contemporary feminist performance and an illustration of its depth and diversity, Acting Out is essential reading for anyone interested in feminist theory, sexual difference, queer theory, or the politics of contemporary performance. Contributors include Philip Auslander, C. Carr, Kate Davy, Joyce Devlin, Elin Diamond, Jill Dolan, Hilary Harris, Lynda Hart, Lynda M. Hill, Julia Malnig, Vivian M. Patraka, Peggy Phelan, Janelle Reinelt, Sandra L. Richards, Amy Robinson, Judy C. Rosenthal, Rebecca Schneider, Raewyn Whyte, and Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano.