1st Edition

The Changing Room Sex, Drag and Theatre

By Laurence Senelick Copyright 2000
    560 Pages
    by Routledge

    560 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The answers to these questions - and much, much more - are to be found in The Changing Room , which traces the origins and variations of theatrical cross-dressing through the ages and across cultures. It examines:
    * tribal rituals and shamanic practices in the Balkans and Chinese-Tibet
    * the gender-bending elements of Greek and early Christian religion
    * the homosexual appeal of the boy actor on the traditional stage of China, Japan and England
    * the origins of the dame comedian, the principal boy, the glamour drag artiste and the male impersonator
    * artists such as David Bowie, Boy George, Charles Ludlam, Dame Edna Everage, Lily Savage, Candy Darling, Julian Clary and the New York Dolls.
    Lavishly illustrated with unusual and rare pictures, this is the first ever cross-cultural study of theatrical transvestism. It is a must for anyone interested in cross-dressing, theatre, and gender.

    List of Illustrations. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Acting out 1. The Sham in Shaman 2. The Greek for It Was Gynaikíseos 3. Skirting Christ Part 2: Stages of Sodomy 4. Orientations 4. China Trade 5. Playboys and Boy Players Part 3: The Mannish and the Unmanned 7. Arms and the Woman 8. Monstrous Pleasures of the Baroque 9. Breeches Birth 10. Beldames sans Merci 11. The Prince, the Pauper and the Pan Part 4: Subcultures Surface 12. Putting On the Drag 13. The Impersonator) of the Perverse 14. Amateur Hour Part 5: Children of the Ghetto 15. Queens of Clubs 16. Alternatives 17. Sex, Drags and Rock n Roll 18. Subversive Clowns 19. A Gender of their Own Afterword: Dressing Down. Index


    Laurence Senelick is Fletcher Professor of Drama at Tufts University. He is the recipient of awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His many publications include lovesick (1998), The Chekhov Theatre, and the Age and Stage of George L. Fox.

    '...a thoughtful and meticulous tome to be welcomed by serious students of theatre and gender studies. With great care, Senelick discusses the anthropological, cultural, political and artistic history and ramifications of sexual identity and roles in theater and society.' - Publishers Weekly

    'Excellent...bang up-to-date...these books will be in constant use for the foreseeable future...the completed series will be a 'must' for anyone interested or involved with Britain's wildlife, its ecology, its history and our relationships with it.'- Natural History Book Service