Female vocality in theatre : sounding, hearing, and structures of feeling re-framed

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Mills, Liz en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Singer, Jacqueline en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-26T07:19:24Z
dc.date.available 2014-09-26T07:19:24Z
dc.date.issued 2009 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Singer, J. 2009. Female vocality in theatre : sounding, hearing, and structures of feeling re-framed. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/7699
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 35-39). en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This study proceeds from the belief that the female voice is silent or is seemingly absent in theatre and explores the possibility of the presence of a female vocality. The term 'female vocality' is used to refer to multiple aspects of the voice(s) of women in theatre; as performers, as playwrights and as theatre makers. It refers to both the sound of the voice and the structural elements of performance and text. The term is also intentionally used to uncover the uniqueness of the female voice and of that which is specific to women and arguably less defined by logocentric or patriarchal structures. A further distinction is made with the use of the term, in a more symbolic and generic sense, to denote the public and political voice of women. It is not only the sound of the voice that is examined but also how that sound is received or heard. The voices of women have not necessarily been absent or silent but 'seemingly absent' because the receiver was not actively present, or possibly, the listener chose not to hear. Part One: By searching the silences for the sound of the female voice, it is not only the voice that is uncovered, but features of identity and subjectivity. It traces the path of a trajectory of feminist critical theory in the late twentieth century that impacted profoundly on theatre practice and this notion of silence or absence of the female voice. In theI980's, Sue-Ellen Case (1988) suggested that feminist critics adopt the term a 'new poetics' to describe their attempts to embrace new forms of language and dramatic structure in feminist theatre. This new form defines the re-positioning of woman as subject and calls for a re-construction of language and text to reflect the female voice more accurately. It also explores the work of performance artists and the influence of the writing of post-structuralist Helene Cixous in their attempts to foreground themselves as subject and the body as text. Part Two: By appropriating Raymond Williams' term 'structures of feeling' I posit a re-framing of a feminine theatrical aesthetic that expresses the lived experience of women. I am drawn to the use of the term because of its implicit understanding of the qualities of particular types of experience that are intangible or 'unspeakable' which is similar to the elusive qualities inherent in the description of female vocality. To articulate these qualities more lucidly I refer to Kristeva's 'semiotic' and Barthes 'grain of the voice.' Part Three: I examine how the voice is at times not heard and how this aspect of selective hearing can be developed by the listener or audience. Related to this is how in the development of western thought and philosophy the voice has been separated from the speaker and relegated to insignificance. Italian feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero terms this 'the de-vocalization of logos' (2005: 33) which is useful in understanding how women's voices have seemingly been ignored. I review my own practice and the challenges it presented in uncovering alternative theatrical means to foreground female vocality. I search for possible ways of re -considering the use of language and in this regard, I refer to playwrights Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane and their respective innovative use of dramatic and dialogic structure which deconstructed the more traditional (patriarchal) forms. Aspects of the post-dramatic theatre are considered in an endeavour to propose structural and dramaturgical devices that may create new vocal landscapes which would enhance the potential of the multi-faceted aspects of female vocality in an attempt to define a 'new poetics' for the twenty-first century. By mapping the possibilities inherent in female vocality for theatre the findings reveal that there are rich resources available. These concepts and examples can be used and crafted towards creating a dynamic feminine theatrical aesthetic where the voices of women can be experienced and heard. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Theatre and Performance en_ZA
dc.title Female vocality in theatre : sounding, hearing, and structures of feeling re-framed en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Drama en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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