Queer Theater: A Conference and Performance Festival

Since theater is one of the queerest arts, it seemed only natural that CLAGS would sponsor an event investigating and celebrating what makes theater queer – and what makes queer theater. This threeday conference and performance festival, hosted by New York Theater Workshop and the Joseph Papp Public Theater, wil l bring together on April 27-29, possibly for the first time , lesbian and gay theater artists and scholars from across the country. The event will explore the countless ways queerness and t heatricality connect: the on- and offstage dimensions of drag; the iconic status of musical comedy in middle-class gay male culture; the emergence of lesbian and gay themes in new American drama; the history of the classical “closet”; the role of theater in queer self-representation; the theatrical shapes evolving out of our experience with AIDS; the role of theatrical production as a battleground against homophobia. Queer Theater will consist of a lively mix of roundtable panel discussions on t opics such as “Queering the Classical Canon,” “Theater and AIDS,” “From the Invisible to the Ridiculous: The Emergence of an Out Aesthetic,” and “The Spectacle of Queer Protest”; play readings from contemporary and historically important texts; public interviews with and performances by some of our most illustrious artists; slide shows; food; and a closing night party. In short, high theory, grand theatrics, dramatic dish. Among the panelists and performers will be: Holly Hughes, Carmelita Tropicana, Doric Wilson, David Roman, Tim Miller, Cowboy Girl, Sue-Ellen Case, Peggy Phelan, Vince Crisostomo, Amy Robinson, Don Shewey, David Savran, Barbara Bowen, Mary-Ellen Strom, Richard Elovich, Stacy Wolfe, Emmett Foster, Michael Kearns, Joan Schenkar, Jill Dolan, Joe E. Jeffreys, Randy Gener, Ann Carlson, Stuart Sherman, Gordon Rogoff, Y’AII, John Diaz, Madeline Olnek, Rebeca Ranson, James Hannaham, and many others. While we know this list represents only a few of the many fine artists, activists, and academics engaged in queer work, we hope it will initiate an ongoing dialogue among lesbian and gay theater workers and scholars, and offer theoretical and practical insights about the directions in wh ich queer work could proceed. To register or to get more information, call the CLAGS office at 212.642.2924. To donate money for this event- which is much needed- send checks to Queer Theater, c/o CLAGS, 25 West 43 Street, Room 404N, New York, NY 10036.