To look up – Crip Theory by Robert McCruer

Discussing “The Homosexuals” (a production) discussion as an example. Alyson – said cringey.

Alyson’s example: going to The Homosexuals and having expectations of it being written “for her”. Hearing a misogynistic joke and instead of the crowd groaning they laughed, sitting next to two gay men – that being a form of moral injury.

Inclusion → Silencing and erasure. But wanting to be included and not marked out as queer.

Representing something is not the same as condemning
Recirculating injury, such as violence, racism, homophobia etc – how to avoid? Content warning. Writing around instead of detailing the trauma.

Sarah Caine wrote something about this

Ask yourself, is this representation good? What am I getting from this?


description of parody:

Imitation with a difference (eg exaggeration / hyperbole etc)
But if you can’t spot the difference then it isn’t ok
Nikki Minaj – is she parodying sexist expectations or is it failed parody because 14 year old girls don’t know the difference and look up to her
Rick and Morty – failed parody because fanboys identified with the shitty character, interpreted as being condoned.
Control of audience – can you? Audience is not binary (all community or all outside of community)


queer performance:

  • is the making
  • the processing
  • the audience
  • the venue

Is the meaning making in how I engage with it? No word contains its own meaning. Only when it interacts with the audience does it have meaning.

As makers and directors we can set the conditions (eg stipulating actors be played by certain people etc)

Geography and time changes the impact. What was radical in the 70s, not radical now.

Jesus Queen of Heaven – some queers saying “meh” in response, maybe because didn’t have a religious experience and view religion as being less of an issue for queers, but actually is relevant still, and isn’t taking into account people who are still affected by this (it’s a privileged position to take)

The death of the author.

Alyson: When reviewing, needs to be subjective. Positionality stated.

Steve: Objectivity in art is a hidden position that is a patriarchal idea that we can talk about something as objectively bad. Objectivity is about power because its making are hidden. It’s already a subject position, just unstated.

Versus subjectivity which states it’s position and recognises that other people have positions.

Alyson: So before subjectivity, we can talk about some aspects objectively, how the pieces are organised / the dramaturgy. It includes the context of the audience and place that the piece is shown.

Dramaturgical thinking: context it is seen and experienced in
“If I don’t like something” it is my job to go back and look at the objective stuff.

Two ways of approach:
Semiotic → sounds and meaning
Conveying meaning.

Rain sounds, so that we know there is rain (realism)
Or actors sticks head into a bucket of water to indicate rain (signifier)

With realism, we are making the gap between meaning and the representation of the thing as small as possible.
Semiotics and meaning-making
Transmission: someone giving it and someone receiving it
Encoding it: realist, abstract, whatever
We are hoping our audience will decode it. Will they get that the actor sticking their head into a bucket of water and having wet hair is meant to mean rain?

Stephen’s example, two fingers upright with palm facing towards yourself, indicates “up yours” to someone in Australia. To Americans, it means “two”.

Encoding stuff in linguistics – if you don’t speak English and go to a play, you may be able to decode some things but not the language used


breaking things down into elements:

  • costume
  • text
  • lighting
  • etc

But then we have to look at the whole of what it felt like, which is: PHENOMENOLOGICAL
Something working not through meaning-making
Affective moments
Reviews often talk about what the play is about
feeling is a form of knowledge.
Jesus Queen of Heaven – those reviews talk about feelings a lot.

Invitation to participate? 24 hour history of music something in discussion. Taylor Mac –

Immersive work: invitation vs care

If I can afford to see a show with lots of people in it, someone down the line is paying for it.

12 person show $200,000 just for paying actors?

Alyson’s journal. Q: how to make sure that the articles include a lot of different perspectives? A: First step was to include indigenous co-editors. And make sure that they are paid. Academics could redirect their research time and still be paid, so they applied for a grant for the non-academic editor.

Staging Australian Women’s Stories?

OZ stage?

Being included and accepted as alternative?

Kath – first drag they enjoyed?? Why??


queer aesthetic

modes or strands or tropes:

  • trauma
  • leather
  • glitter
  • steve says “messy”
  • (emma) mainstream wants queer to be lo-fi because they don’t want to pay for it to be niche
    with feeling
  • scrappy
  • resourceful
  • underfunded

What it’s not:
The way that you make a thing – the way that you approach something or put it together. You can make queer work or make it queerly.
Set designer Mick – all the queen’s men
Design for audience.
Queer thinking – someone says “this is this.” but it also means it isn’t something else. Even In the straightest place, something can be queer. Like in a play, queer version of time.

Queer is doing.