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'Class' and political theatre : the case of Melbourne workers theatre

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-08-01, 00:00 authored by Glenn D'CruzGlenn D'Cruz
Traditionally, class has been an important category of identity in discussions of political theatre. However, in recent years the concept has fallen out of favour, partly because of changes in the forces and relations of capitalist production. The conventional Marxist use of the term, which defined an individual's class position in relation to the position they occupied in the capitalist production process, seemed anachronistic in an era of globalization. Moreover, the rise of identity politics, queer theory, feminism, and post-colonialism have proffered alternative categories of identity that have displaced class as the primary marker of self. Glenn D'Cruz reconsiders the role of class in the cultural life of Australia by examining the recent work of Melbourne Workers Theatre, a theatre company devoted to promoting class-consciousness, in relation to John Frow's more recent re-conceptualization of class. He looks specifically at two of the company's plays, the award-winning Who's Afraid of the Working Class? and The Waiting Room, with reference to Frow's work on class, arguing that these productions articulate a more complex and sophisticated understanding of class and its relation to politics of race and gender today.

History

Journal

New Theatre quarterly

Volume

21

Issue

3

Pagination

207 - 217

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, England

ISSN

0266-464X

eISSN

1474-0613

Language

eng

Publication classification

C2 Other contribution to refereed journal

Copyright notice

2005, Cambridge University Press

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