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Textuality/Sexuality: Failures of Intimacy in Adam Rapp‘s Red Light Winter

By Nina Leonard


In my thesis, I explore the relationship between metatheatre and embodiment in Adam Rapp’s 2006 play Red Light Winter. The play is structured by an unwell-made-ness that leads to its ultimate fragmentation, and throws the process of making and self-making into sharp relief. This unwell-ness, composed of an unboundedness, a breakdown of boundaries, plays out on two levels: at the metatheatrical level with an unboundedness of the play’s structure, and on an interpersonal level with an unboundedness of body. Although the fluidity of this unboundedness offers the possibility of opened and therefore inclusive boundaries, the structures that dominate the play rely on a reinforcement of boundaries between the self and other that threatens the characters’ hope for intimacy. This separation is enacted through abjection; an intactness of identity achieved in its distance from illness, from the unwell. In paying attention to the gendered power or ability to experience and command an unboundedness of being, we gain a sense of the play’s failure to achieve its own coherence of self

Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:triceratops.brynmawr.edu:10066/17633
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