Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mama Dada by Sarah Bay-Cheng

Sarah Bay-Cheng’s Mama Dada is a study of the plays of Gertrude Stein within the context of the theatrical avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century as well as it’s relation to film and Stein’s own queer identity. The book is an excellent look at Stein’s work in a very specific context and there are some truly inspired readings of a few of her plays. Bay-Cheng argues for the reconsideration of Stein’s plays as texts written for performance as opposed to closet dramas which some critics argue they are. She also clearly places Stein as the mother of late twentieth century and contemporary American experimental theater, whose influence can be seen and everything from The Living Theater to the Wooster Group and Richard Forman. Overall a very worthwhile read.

Check it out:

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