Thesis

Feminist theatre in the Los Angeles area

The purpose of this study was to investigate and compile information on feminist theatre in the Los Angeles area during the last decade. The study includes a brief background of the women's movement and its influence on the rise of feminist theatre. The characteristics of feminist theatre, including form, content, audience relationship and process are discussed. Descriptions of feminist theatre groups, which are defined as those which have been formed for the express purpose of changing the negative image of women in theatre, are given, as well as descriptions of productions dealing with a feminist theme. 'Ihe research questions explored include attempting to find the reason feminist theatre came about. Did it result from women's frustration as professional theatre people or the treatment of women in the theatre industry and the depiction of women as subjects in dramatic literature? Another question had to do with the characteristics of feminist theatre and how it differs from traditional theatre. Other questions included how women managed to start their own theatre groups on their own terms; how some groups managed to survive while others collapsed; what changes have taken place during the decade; and what is the future of feminist theatre. This thesis includes an examination of a representative sampling of feminist theatre groups in the Los Angeles area and their productions, as well as some of the women involved in them. The feminist art movement, including performance art, is discussed, as well as the suggested impact feminist theatre will have on society.

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