Captive audience : prison and captivity in contemporary by Thomas Fahy, Kimball King

By Thomas Fahy, Kimball King

This all-new assortment examines the social, gendered, ethnic, and cultural difficulties of incarceration as explored in modern theatre.

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Additional info for Captive audience : prison and captivity in contemporary theater

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Now I feel camaraderie with women who work the peep shows or who lap dance for a living. Except, of course, I don’t get paid. But you know I think I should. For every glance that gets held too long, for each time one of those police runs his fingers across my underwear, those motherfuckers owe me, in the very least, cash money (Bandele 47). Bandele’s words viscerally capture how visiting an inmate requires a lot to be checked at the door. Here, critical witnessing necessarily demands that one enter the visiting room as a performance space.

Cruz, Migdalia. Fur in Out of the Fringe: Contemporary Latina/Latino Theatre and Peformance. Eds. Caridad Svich and Maria Teresa Marrero. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2000. Fornes, Maria Irene. Plays. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1986. Fraden, Rena. Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones and Theater for Incarcerated Women. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001. Moraga, Cherríe. Loving in the War Years/lo que nunca paso por sus labios. : South End Press, 2000.

Cultural critic Elizabeth Alexander reminds us about the taxing burden of being spectators to profoundly disturbing and emotionally difficult artworks dealing with matters of violence and trauma: “Those who receive stories become witnesses once removed but witnesses nonetheless” (Alexander 95). In a similar vein, literary critic Kali Tal affirms, “Bearing witness is an aggressive act. It is born out of a refusal to bow to outside pressure to revise or to repress experience, a decision to embrace conflict rather than conformity, to endure a lifetime of anger and pain rather than to submit to the seductive pull of revision and repression.

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