Introduction: Theater, Politics, and Gender

  • Cecilia Beach


Theater is a political practice. By this, I do not mean that all theater is self-consciously militant, but that all theater is influenced by the political systems at work in a society. It is impossible to separate any work of art from the social conditions of the time when it was created, whether it simply reflects the mainstream constructs of the day or challenges those constructs. Theater is no exception. The very public nature of most theatrical practice makes it all the more subject to the vicissitudes of society. Any given performance not only involves the collaboration of writers, directors, actors, designers, and technicians, but also depends on publishers, critics, spectators, financiers, and the government.A play that may appear harmlessly to depict the status quo in one time and place may be con­sidered subversive in another. A work forbidden by the censors of one government may enjoy the moral and financial support of another.A per­formance that speaks to the social reforms at the turn of the century will most likely seem irrelevant 50 years later.


Cultural Politics Social Drama Political Theater Social Protest Reproductive Freedom 
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  1. 48.
    See Amy Blythe Millstone, “Feminist Theatre in France: 1870–1914,” Diss. U of Wisconsin-Madison, 1977Google Scholar
  2. Michel Corvin, “Le boulevard en question,” Le Théâtre en France Vol. 2 ( Paris: Armand Colin, 1989 ), 347–349.Google Scholar

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© Cecilia Beach 2005

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  • Cecilia Beach

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