Performing Gender: The Anthropology of Theater


Performing Gender: The Anthropology of Theater


Instructor Name: Shanya D. Cordis, Ph.D. 

Shanya Cordis, Ph.D., is a writer and poet whose work focuses on truthtelling from a black and indigenous feminist lens and interrogating the ethical and political questions that undergird representation and storytelling. She is currently working on her forthcoming book manuscript, Unsettling Geographies: Antiblackness, Gendered Violence, and Indigenous Dispossession. 

Name of Class:

Performing Gender: The Anthropology of Theater

Short Description of Class:

How is gender and sexuality performed in theatre? What ideas around femininity and masculinity are created across various forms of theatre production? From staged play, musical, drama, and comedy to script and artistic vision of production and directing, ideas around gender and sexuality permeate the various narratives we seek to materialize. 

From an anthropological lens, we will excavate the performance of gender and sexuality as imagined, constructed (yet material) categories of difference and how it shapes and informs the imaginaries we replicate in theatre productions more broadly. Through embodied exercises and facilitated discussion, participants can expect to reflect on their own preconceived ideas and assumptions around gender and sexuality and how this comes to bear on their craft as performers, actors, and writers. Over the course of three weeks, the workshops will be segmented into individual and collective exercises, guided through the overarching questions: How do I perform/write/create gender? What ideas or narratives undergird the decision to (re)present/write/enact gender and sexuality in particular ways? Participants will not only have a more nuanced grasp of gender, but also a more socially conscious awareness of the stories and ideas we may unwittingly reproduce that hinder social change for all spectrums of embodied experiences. This makes for what I call grounded theatre, an attention to both the imaginary and the material in performance and theatre production more broadly. 

Desired Meeting Day/ Times: 

November 2nd, 9th, 16th, 2019 , 12pm-3pm

Neighborhood Church (1561 McLendon Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30307)

Cost of class : $100

Desired participants: Actors and Writers

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