Straight White Male: Performance Art Monologues

Straight White Male: Performance Art Monologues

by Michael Peterson

Paperback(New Edition)

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Overview

Straight White Male: Performance Art Monologues by Michael Peterson

Mass media images of the male are central to popular culture. This book analyzes a genre known as "performance art monologues" as presented by white heterosexual men. Its focus is stand-up comedians and stage and screen artists, including Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian, Josh Kornbluth, Rob Becker, Andrew Dice Clay, Wallace Shawn, and Danny Hoch, whose acts portray and investigate power, politics, privilege, and community.

Solo work has become the dominant form in performance art, and stand-up comedy has returned to the front row of popular culture. While apparently free of many traditional theatrical trappings, the monologue amplifies the power that performers wield over their audiences. The chief monologuists examined here are Gray and Bogosian. Gray's minimalist autobiographical storytelling is quite different from Bogosian's impersonation of dozens of fictional characters in a single show. Their performances (and the books, recordings, and feature films that re-market them) have marked these two as the leading practitioners of their own subgenres of monologic performance art. This fascinating examination connects performance studies with the monologue traditions in theater history, with such contemporary cultural activities as the men's movement, and with the current interest in queer theory and gender studies. Acknowledging the complex politics of all performance, whether avant-garde or popular, this first book-length critique of heterosexuality, masculinity, and whiteness in solo performance asserts that straight white male monologues create an illusion of community rather than engaging with the politics of identity as a social fact.

Michael Peterson is a professor in the department of theater and dance at Millikin University.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604738841
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 08/01/1997
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)
Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)

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