Auto/biography and identity

Edited by Maggie B. Gale and Viv Gardner

Auto/biography and identity

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6333-6
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: May 2009
  • BIC Category: The arts / Theatre studies, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, Theatre studies, Theatre Studies
  • Series: Women, Theatre and Performance


This groundbreaking book shows how female performers - one of the first groups of professional women - used and still use autobiography and performance as both a means of expression and control of their private and public selves, the 'face and the mask'. It looks at how a range of women in the theatre - actors, managers, writers and live artists - have done this on the page and on the stage from the late eighteenth-century to the present day, testing the boundaries between gender, theatre and autobiographical form.

This paperback edition facilitates connections - between texts and performances, past and present practitioners, professional and private selves, individuals and communities, all of which have in some way renegotiated identity through autobiography and the creative act.

'Auto/biography and identity' is a landmark in theatre history and performance analysis, in gender and cultural theory, and autobiographical studies.


Notes on contributors
Introduction - Women, theatre and performance: Auto/biography and performance - Maggie B. Gale & Viv Gardner
Part 1: Telling tales: Autobiographic strategies
1. The three nobodies: Autobiographical strategies in the work of Alma Ellerslie, Kitty Marion and Ina Rozant - Viv Gardner
2. The disappearing subject in Susan Glaspell's auto/biographical theatre - Nicola Shaugnessy
Imag(in)ing a life: Adrienne Kennedy's 'People Who Led to My Plays' and 'Deadly Triplets' - Elaine Aston
Part 2: The professional/confessional self
3. The way to the world: Emma Robinson and the dilemmas of identity - Susan Croft
4. Lena Ashwell and auto/biographical negotiations of the professional self - Maggie B. Gale
5. Tilly Wedekind and Lulu: The role of her life or the role in her life? - Bella Merlin
6. Troubling identities: Claire Dowie's 'Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt?' - Gabriele Griffin
Part 3: Auto/biography. Identity and performance
7. Latina theatre and performance: Acts of exposure - Caridad Svich
8. Being her: presence, absence and performance in the art of Janet Cardiff and Tracy Emin - Jen Harvie
9. Peforming lesbians: Constructing the self, constructing the community - Dee Heddon
10. Re(ci)petoires of the self: Autobiographical aspects of Bobby Baker's performance works. Bobby Baker interview - Catharine Maclean Hopkins


Maggie B. Gale is Professor and Chair in Drama at The University of Manchester. Viv Gardner is Professor of Theatre Studies in the Department of Drama at the University of Manchester

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