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​Manologue vs Femologue: Unconscious Bias and Contemporary Irish Monologue Plays

Monday, 25 February 2019, 12 – 1pm

​Manologue vs Femologue: Unconscious Bias and Contemporary Irish Monologue Plays

A discussion led by Claire Keogh (TCD) as part of the School of Creative Arts Research Forum series.

The #WakingTheFeminists movement prompted a widespread discussion among theatre practitioners both in Ireland and overseas on how unconscious biases affect programming and hiring decisions in our theatres. This paper will examine how both gender and canon biases affect the aesthetic response of readers/spectators to recent Irish monologue plays by women. Over the past two decades, the monologue plays that proliferated on the stages of Irish theatres were defined by male protagonists who traversed urban landscapes on drink and drug-fuelled nights-out, narrating their experiences through a theatrical language propelled by the rhythms of accelerated heartbeats and electronic dance music. Emerging in stark contrast to the ubiquitous manologue, Elaine Murphy’s Little Gem exploded the form by framing a frank discussion of female sexuality within a comedic structure. Taking this turn in the direction of the evolution of the Irish monologue play as its starting point, this paper will interrogate how the unconscious mind interprets gendered linguistic and dramaturgical markers against a male-dominated canon. Like Little Gem, both Genevieve Hulme-Beaman’s Pondling and Noni Stapleton’s Charolais premiered during the Dublin Fringe Festival and followed in Murphy’s path by constructing women’s worlds within comedic conventions. Transferring the location of the monologue to a rural setting, these femologues pushed the boundaries established by Murphy into fantasy worlds, portraying the demented desires of their protagonists in coexistence with reality. This investigation of the ways in which the unconscious mind evaluates plays by women will provide an understanding of how bias works against female playwrights and results in fewer plays by women being programmed on our biggest stages.

About the series
The School of Creative Arts Research Forum provides a space for School researchers, both staff and postgraduate students, to share their ideas in an informal, supportive environment. It is also an opportunity for the School to hear about the research of colleagues both from within TCD and outside who share our research interests. In line with the research agenda of the School, talks will encompass traditional research and practice-based research. It also offers special sessions on research funding. In semester one, all talks will be given by School staff, in semester two we expect research students, specifically doctoral students, to contribute to the Forum. Each talk should last around 20 mins and will be followed by a Q & A.

See full schedule here

Accessibility: Yes
Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice, Digital Humanities
Event Type: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Workshops and Training
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free
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