As feminism gained prominence in twentieth-century popular culture, dramatic conventions progressed accordingly, offering larger and more diverse roles for women characters. Feminist Rehearsals documents the early stages of feminist theatre in Argentina and Mexico, revealing how various aspects of performance culture—spectator formation, playwriting, professional acting and directing, and dramatic techniques—paralleled political activism and championed the goals of the women’s rights movement. Through performance and protest, feminists enacted new identities and pushed for myriad social and legislative reforms during a time when women were denied suffrage and full citizenship status. Together, feminist theatre and demonstrations politicized women spectators’ collective presence and promoted women’s rights in the public sphere.

“This study provides a deserved platform for female artists and activists who continue to exert influence over our understanding of the role of the arts in inspiring a questioning of dominant patriarchal values. Most importantly, it will update everyone’s ideas of what constitutes a theatre history in the dynamic field that is Latin American theatre, especially as it relates to feminist movements across the Americas.”—Analola Santana, author, Freak Performances: Dissidence in Latin American Theater

Feminist Rehearsals is an impressive study of the political, sociocultural, and intellectual struggles women playwrights, actresses, and activist pioneers experienced during the early twentieth century in Argentina and Mexico. With a fresh look at feminist theory and practice, Farnsworth offers a crucial analysis regarding the role women had in the public sphere through the lens of theatre and performance studies.”—Paola Hernández, author, Staging Lives in Latin American Theater: Bodies, Objects, Archives

“An authoritative, nuanced, and thoughtful analysis of the role of feminist political and aesthetic movements in Argentina and Mexico, Feminist Rehearsals offers new insights into how women in the Americas create space for feminist spectatorship in the twentieth century. This book is for anyone engaged in feminist performance scholarship.”—E. J. Westlake, Ohio State University

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6 x 9 inches
13 b&w photos