The Broad World Of American Theatre

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The broad world of American theatre has long been a haven for playwrights wishing to explore progressive and modernistic themes that seem to test society’s willingness to adapt. From the rise of the curtain to the final bow, theatre audiences witness characters “negotiate their identities and desires within society,” while maneuvering around life’s complex and ephemeral nature (Dorsey 1). Historically, the theatre has been an open and welcoming arena for the LGBTQ community, offering an outlet of solace and hope while simultaneously enabling the community to showcase the hardships and oppression generations of homosexuals have faced. Nevertheless, the LGBTQ theatre has seen ongoing evolutionary changes in the themes presented through the plays ever since its birth in the early 1900s. As Alan Sinfield stated in Out on Stage: Lesbian and Gay Theatre in the Twentieth Century, “changes in theatre as an institution interact with shifts in ideologies of gender and sexuality” (Sinfield 1). Thus, as a result of society’s changing views towards the LGBTQ community, the historical and contemporary gay theatre has evolved significantly to incorporate and present ideas unique to the era in which the plays were produced. To understand the development of contemporary gay cinema, one must first recognize the true definition of LGBTQ theatre. Critic Joe Jeffreys states that “plays with central characters that are LGBT[Q] or deal in a substantial fashion with themes or issues of same-sex

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