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Lecture 12

THEATER 10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Performance Poetry, Intellectual Disability, Angie Xtravaganza

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Performance as Strategy of Everyday Life
Conventions (costuming, choreography) are also cultural practice we perform/engage in
everyday life.
Performing Ability
o Adapting bodies/movement to accommodate a world that is not built for them.
Physical/architectural barrier
o Carries idea with them in theater/film that may/may not represent lives of people
w/ disabilities.
Burden -- position of needing to respond to expectations that they're not
Performing Disability
o Needing to live up to what looks like disability to access resources they need
March 12, 1990 Capital Crawl- Disabled people crawling up stairs @ Capital
Literal way in which they were disabled from US political rights.
o Act was passed 4 months later
# of activists were disabled but didn't have "physal disability" (intellectual disabilities)
Showing themselves as physically disabled
heightened performance; meant to make it visible to spectators.
Theater Contribution by Disabled Artists/Activists
A. Disability Rights Movements
Disability rights enabled disabled arts to flourish (simultaneously; vice versa)
B. Content being provided by disabled people
Fantasies about what disabled people are/means
Not only matter of who is giving voice -> questions about aesthetics and forms
o Wide range of forms (solo performance, realistic drama, performance poetry,
acrobats etc)
C. Cross-overs between disability art and mainstream theater
Had people signing alongside those who were singing
o Crossover success happens in other ways
Program to bring in non-disabled playwrights to write more plays for
disabled actors (more opportunities)
Casting brings together the 3 levels of inquiry (status, performance, contribution) for disabled
No other play that has enduring legacy within disability theater.
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