Re-Dressing the Canon examines the relationship between gender and performance in a series of essays which combine the critique of specific live performances with an astute theoretical analysis. Alisa Solomon discusses both canonical texts and contemporary productions in a lively jargon-free style. Among the dramatic texts considered are those of Aristophanes, Ibsen, Yiddish theatre, Mabou Mines, Deborah Warner, Shakespeare, Brecht, Split Britches, Ridiculous Theatre, and Tony Kushner.
Bringing to bear theories of 'gender performativity' upon theatrical events, the author explores:
* the 'double disguise' of cross-dressed boy-actresses
* how gender relates to genre (particularly in Ibsens' realism)
* how canonical theatre represented gender in ways which maintain traditional images of masculinity and femininity.
"An important contribution to the study of theater, gender, and the feminist theory, this detailed study is broad in scope and has more useful material than many books twice the size."
-"Choice, July/August 1998
..."the collection offers an engaging feminist perspective on the plays that the author selects."
-Steven Winn, "San Fancisco Chronicle, March 1998
"A fresh, authoritative view of the canon as the seat, not the nemesis, of postmodern gender theory. ... Solomon is convincing and refreshingly nondogmatic. She has the knowledge, style, and suppleness of mind to make bedfellows of revisionists and dead white males. Her dissent is helpful, not dismissive, inclusive, not harsh. This invaluable contribution to the canon wars is rare manna from academia."
-"Kirkus Reviews, December 1997