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Becoming her Words: Contemporary Performances of Texts by Women from the 16th and 17th Centuries

da Silva Perez, Natália (2016) Becoming her Words: Contemporary Performances of Texts by Women from the 16th and 17th Centuries. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, Freie Universität Berlin. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.69472) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:69472)

Language: English

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This is a study of diverse practices of representing, conducted at the intersection between historiographic and artistic practices. I follow traces left by the creative processes of artists from three different countries in their journeys to transform texts by women from the past into performances. Using an agential realist approach, my goal is to examine the productive effects of these artistic efforts, as well as the conditions under which each project took place and made sense.

In Lancaster, England, The Tragedie of Euripides Called Iphigeneia, a Euripides play translated by Lady Jane Lumley in the mid 1550s, was chosen by the all-female Rose Company for their inaugural project in 2013. As part of the company's overarching effort to "redress the historical injustice by which women are sidelined, stereotyped, or forgotten," the production celebrated Lady Lumley as the author of the earliest extant dramatic work by a woman, and as the first person to translate into English an Ancient Greek play. In this case study, I focus on the company's bodily and rhetorical performances of gender, probing into the functions these have within the wider context of theatrical practice in England.

In Mexico City, a very different focus guided performer and activist Jesusa Rodri?guez in her work on the poem Primero Suen?o. Written by the famous Baroque poet Sor Juana Ine?s de la Cruz and first published in 1692, this poem has long been celebrated as one of the author's masterpieces. Indeed, Rodri?guez started reading it because Sor Juana wrote elsewhere that Primero Suen?o was her favorite work. But it is a difficult text, and Rodri?guez had trouble understanding it. That is when she decided to simply memorize the poem, as a strategy to become more familiar with it. This process continued over the course of 15 years, and eventually, she produced live and televised performances to share the poem with the public. I discuss the role of time and recursiveness in her memorizing process, especially the discovery of new meanings in the poem when she was present in different places with different people.

In Paris, a 2015 production brought Madame de Villedieu's play Le Favori to the stage for the first time in 350 years. It was an initiative of Aurore Evain, a theatre director and activist for gender equality in the arts. For Evain, the history of this play is representative of the disdain which works by women have been systematically subjected to in France. She believes that part of the solution to this problem is to bring the works by women from the past to the public of today, so I look into this production as an instance where an artistic practice becomes complimentary to the historiography of women in French theatre, by attending in particular to the emergence of meaning from the relationships between women in the play.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Kolesch, Doris
Thesis advisor: Cox, Rosanna
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.69472
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 02/11/21
Uncontrolled keywords: Theatre Performance Early Modern Women Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Madame de Villedieu Lady Jane Lumley
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English philology and language
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 13:33 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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