By David Savran
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Extra resources for A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater
In an almost embarrassingly revelatory conversation that appeared in the Times in 1999, the three lead theater critics, Ben 52 A Queer Sort ofMaterialism Middlebrow Anxiety Brantley, Vincent Canby, and Peter Marks, agree that English theater is 53 without a trace of irony, ask the following question about the imminent "visceral" and maintains a "vitality'' that comes from its "connection ... " up privileging precisely the kind of well-crafted, Pulitzer Prize-winning, While English audiences are stimulated by "politics and ideas;' Ameri upper-middlebrow theater that was a staple of Broadway during what cans "want the theater to be a geisha:' a high-class and exotic woman-for both Atkinson and Brantley describe as its golden age.
A "serious" theater is teeming with un mediated presence and with plays that "actually speak to their audi ences;' quite unlike the "narcotic" effect of the Broadway megamusical. And Brantley is hardly alone in yearning for a more "daring" theater. 145 As the chief theater critic for the Times, Brantley bears a heavy re sponsibility. For like the middle manager he is, he must juggle many dif ferent constituencies, including a wide range of theater professionals (like producers, who do so much of their advertising in the Times), his editors, and his readership, both in New York and nationally.
Rather than affirming a preexistent, full subject, queer playwriting always seems ( as it did in the closet dramas of fifty years ago) to erase the self, produc ing the writer as a supplement to a polyvalent and incomplete text. " For her, writing remains a unique and enigmatic enterprise-unique because all finger prints are different and enigmatic because "you have no idea what they look like :' And fingerprints, although quite literally at one's fingertips, are taken for granted, a mass of indeterminate swirls to the untrained eye.
A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater by David Savran