Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Theatre and Dance



First Advisor

Amy Lehman


In the following essay I will establish a theatrical feminist (un)aesthetic that resists essentialism, which creates the dramaturgical space necessary to present a feminist (un)subject. The rejection of Ibsenite realism within the (un)aesthetic disrupts the male gaze as theorized by Laura Mulvey. This is achieved through a materialist feminist focus that highlights the constructive nature of gender difference anf disrupts the production of "woman" as sign. Through the use of Brechtian alienation techniques and theatrical formalism, the playwrights Caryl Churchill (Cloud Nine) and Suzan-Lori Parks (Venus) force the feminist goals of the (un)aesthetic to be considered beyond the context of the theatrical event. I will demonstrate that both Churchill and Parks successfully present an (un)subject in becoming, that is based on a representational economy of refusal. By refusing traditional subject formation both playwrights are able to trouble and destabilize the patriarchal metanarrative of feminine subjectivity within theatrical representation.


© 2014, Kathren Martin