By L. Bailey McDaniel
Taking a look at a century of yankee theatre, McDaniel investigates how race-based notions of maternal functionality turn into websites of resistance to cultural and political hierarchies. This booklet considers how the development of mothering as universally women's paintings obscures extra, both built subdivisions dependent in race and sophistication.
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Additional resources for (Re) Constructing Maternal Performance in Twentieth-Century American Drama
63 Among theatre critics, particular contributions made by directors or specific directorial functions were rarely praised or even acknowledged. ”64 On the one hand, then, Crothers’ achievement as “woman director” might be tempered by the fact that the playwright-director role was one that was sometimes merely assumed because “director” per se was not yet a viable profession. Nevertheless, since her insistence on directorship—on creative control in all areas—initially transpired when (1) she had no commercial clout to support her demands; and (2) a recognized post of “director” did not yet exist for her to request or point to as example, these early accomplishments seem groundbreaking.
In line with most Western belief systems, the doctor, who facilitates the animation of the life form, is a bystander to the mother subject who biologically, perhaps alongside the work of a spiritual Creator, (re)produces life. This unique ability to “create,” an agency invested in (re)production, becomes transferred from the mother to the feminist artist throughout the play. As opposed to Ruth’s profession—the corporate side of publishing, a position in which she does not create anything in its own right, but acts merely as liaison to other writers/artists who do—Ann’s job entails taking lifeless matter and, by virtue of her hands, mind, imagination, and talent, generating what is often referred to as “living energy” from her work.
Similar in size and presentation to a newborn, Ann tells the crowd of family and friends in the basement studio that she couldn’t “come out until [she] finished her lady”; included in the others’ anthropomorphizing remarks, Dr. ” If we did not recognize the sculpture as offspring before that, in the same scene and a moment later, Ann turns to Millicent and presents her daughter to Dr. Remington (mimicking the same gesture in which she presented her sculpture moments before), boasting “Look at her—Dad.