The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.
Today's lecture is entitled, "Gender, Sexuality, and “Bunburying” in The Importance of Being Earnest" and will be presented by Jean Randich & Lindsay Cummings.
Synopsis: Oscar Wilde is one of the best known literary figures of the Victorian era. He was also persecuted for his sexuality in a series of trials that are often credited as marking a shift in the way Victorians thought about sexuality and identity. This talk considers the ways in which Wilde challenged Victorian gender and sexual norms, both in his life and in his writing. In particular, the director of CRT’s upcoming production of The Importance of Being Earnest (Oct. 5-15) will address the way Wilde flirts with social norms in all of his characters, destabilizing binaries and social rules at every turn. We will consider Wilde’s notions of performance and self-presentation in light of today’s changing notions of gender and sexual fluidity, and ask what one wild thinker from the Victorian age might teach us today.
Biography: Jean Randich is a writer and director who has been creating new work and re-envisioning classic plays and musical theater for thirty years. Recent work includes: An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Pace), Six Characters Looking for an Author by Pirandello, (Nevada Conservatory Theater), and Antigone by Sophocles (NAATCO). She has also directed in Germany and Norway. Jean is the winner of the NEA/TCG Director Fellowship, a Fox Foundation Grant to work in Norway, and has served as the George Abbott Resident Director at New Dramatists. With Robert Murphy, Ms. Randich is co-founder and Artistic Director of Collider Theater. Ms. Randich is Professor of Drama at Bennington College, as well as a Faculty Member at NYU Tisch. Masters in Creative Writing — Brown University; MFA in Directing –Yale School of Drama. http://www.jeanrandich.com/.
Dr. Lindsay Cummings is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts and Affiliate Faculty with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and El Institute: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies. Her research interests include feminist performance, affect theory, Latinx theatre, and theatre for social change. Her book Empathy as Dialogue in Theatre and Performance was published in 2016. Cummings serves as the Connecticut Repertory Theatre Dramaturg, overseeing outreach and educational activities across the campus and in the wider community. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2011.