Women in Performance: Repurposing Failure

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Women in Performance charts the renewed popularity of intersectional feminism,
gender, race and identity politics in contemporary Western experimental theatre,
comedy and performance through the featured artists’ ability to strategically
repurpose failure.

Failure has provided a popular frame through which to theorise recent avantgarde
performance, even though the work rarely acknowledges stakes tend to be
higher for women than men. This book analyses the imperative work of a number
of female, non-binary and trans* practitioners who resist the postmodern doctrine of ‘post-identity’ and attempt to foster a sense of agency on stage. By using feminism as a critical lens, Gorman interrogates received ideas about performance failure and negotiates contradictions between contemporary white feminism, intersectional feminism, gender and sexuality.

Women in Performance reveals how performance has the power to both observe and reject contemporary feminist and postmodern theory, rendering this text an invaluable resource for Theatre and Performance Studies students and those grappling with the disciplinary tensions between feminism, gender, queer and trans* studies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge: Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages216
ISBN (Electronic)9781315404905
ISBN (Print)9781138223356, 9781138223332
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020


  • Women
  • Feminism
  • Performance
  • Theatre
  • Failure
  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Gender Studies
  • Experimental Theatre
  • Live Art

Cite this

Gorman, S. (2020). Women in Performance: Repurposing Failure. (1st ed.) Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.