Good afternoon! This is Lauren Romagnano and I will be detailing the discussions within the colloquy panel about Single-Sex Performance. This panel features Eric Brinkman, Molly Hood, Niamh O’Leary, Lauren Carlton, Marshall Garrett, and Rebecca Bailey. The panelists will each discuss their paper in brief and other related work before opening up to questions from others.
We begin with Niamh O’Leary whose paper addresses the women of John Fletcher. O’Leary states she thinks that Fletcher wrote the best female characters of the early modern period. Her work focuses on these characters and single sex performances. She also, through that, examines cross-gender casting of early modern theatre. Recently, she has looked into color-blind casting in addition to her other theatrical lenses.
Marshall Garrett introduces his work next, which featured taking Shakespeare and rewriting it for female voices, not just female voices over male characters. He recently worked on a project where the War of the Roses trilogy was rewritten and performed by five women in 90 minutes. He says a lot of this grew from working in a school where he taught women from all backgrounds the original practices of Shakespeare and wanting to give them their own female voiced words.
Molly Hood focuses on reverse sex Shakespeare, or casting the women in the male roles and the men in the female roles. She is interested in the roles available to female actresses and wants to delve into this area. She is particularly focused on cross-gender casting and regendering completely.
Lauren Carlton is working on comparing two different operatic performances of Romeo and Juliet and understanding the differences in women in male roles between the two. Part of this stems from the distinction of a woman in a man’s role seriously and the comic format of a woman playing a page role for comedy. Another facet of her work is studying the transformation of Shakespeare for singers.
Rebecca Bailey wants to look into the cross casting of minor roles, as many have already discussed the impact on larger roles. She hopes to discover the impact this has on how the audience perceives a story and what agency this gives to actors. She also is interested in the effect of masculinity in terms of cross-casting.
Eric Brinkman studies affect theory, but this particular work focuses on political identity in terms of stage kissing. His other works are focused on queer readings of Shakespeare and the manner in which they subvert and alter heteronormativity. He presents three actors to read the sonnet scene where Romeo and Juliet meet, but staged with no kiss.
The panel splits into groups to discuss their papers privately before coming back together. They then ask a series of questions and allow the audience to ask questions. However, due to the nature of this type of research, many questions cannot be answered or are left open ended for interpretation. Some questions that follow are as follows. What is the difference between adaptation and interpretation? How does changing genders of characters or cross-casting affect the patriarchal societies of these plays? Who are these changes being made for? Does the audience understand the gravity of gendered alterations?