Out on Stage (Paperback)
Lesbian and Gay Theater in the Twentieth Century
Yale University Press, 9780300191561, 416pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2000
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Sinfield examines scores of British and American plays and playwrights, including works by Wilde, Maugham, Coward, Hellman, O'Neill, Rattigan, Williams, Le Roi Jones, and Orton. He locates plays in the contexts in which they were produced and viewed, whether it be West End and Broadway or more bohemian little club theaters, Off-Broadway, and fringe. He discusses many women writers—from Djuna Barnes and Agatha Christie to Lorraine Hansberry and Caryl Churchill—and analyzes the implications of homosexuality in their work. He explains why in the 1950s British and American plays began to differ in their representations of gays, how the 1960s produced an exuberant cultivation of "kinky" humor and gay political activism in theaters, and what impact AIDS has had on theatrical productions. Sinfield concludes with provocative questions about the direction of new theater writing, asserting that representations in theater continue to challenge notions of our sexual potential.