MacBird!: a history and feminist critique of Barbara Garson’s radical play

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dc.contributor.advisor Wolf , Stacy Ellen
dc.creator Todd , Susan Gayle
dc.date.accessioned 2009 -10 -22T18 :16 :11Z
dc.date.accessioned 2014 -02 -19T22 :36 :41Z
dc.date.available 2009 -10 -22T18 :16 :11Z
dc.date.available 2014 -02 -19T22 :36 :41Z
dc.date.created 2009 -05
dc.date.issued 2009 -10 -22T18 :16 :11Z
dc.identifier.uri http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /6616
dc.description.abstract Barbara Garson’s controversial play , MacBird! , was written and produced during the Vietnam War era and Johnson administration . The satirical Shakespeare adaptation equates LBJ with Macbeth , the villainous tragic hero who murders his king in order to gain the Scottish crown . The implication that Johnson was responsible for the assassination of JFK created a fury of controversy among critics and the public , as well as the political leaders who were parodied . The play was first published and circulated in 1966 as an underground leaflet . In 1967 , it was produced off -Broadway with a cast that featured actors Rue McClanahan , William Devane , Cleavon Little , and Stacy Keach , who won an Obie Award for his performance of the title role . The show launched the careers of these actors . Critics were divided in their reviews of the play’s literary merit , but all seemed to agree that the piece was shocking and significant because it flew in the face of patriotism and of reverence for presidential authority . At the time of its production , acclaimed theater critic Robert Brustein named MacBird! “the most explosive play” of the Sixties theater movement . This dissertation presents the history of the play , within its social and political setting , from its inception through its production and abrupt disappearance at the peak of its success , which coincided with the assassination of Robert Kennedy . Relying upon methodology that includes primary and secondary sources , as well as interviews with the playwright and others involved in the play , this work presents the publication and production history of MacBird! , public and White House response to the play , a contextual analysis under a feminist lens , and a final chapter on MacBird! as a precursor to feminist adaptations of canonical works , Sixties -era Macbeth adaptations , and the notable women whose work intersected in MacBird! MacBird! was a tremendous event in theater history ; it belongs at the fore of adaptation studies , particularly Shakespeare and feminist adaptation studies ; it is a prime model of performance as a political tool and therefore earns a central place in performance studies ; and because it is an attack on patriarchal power and a rare example of a Sixties radical play written by a woman , Barbara Garson needs to be recognized among remarkable women of theater . en_US
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.rights Copyright © is held by the author . Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries , The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works .
dc.subject Barbara Garson en_US
dc.subject MacBird! en_US
dc.subject Shakespeare adaptations en_US
dc.subject Political satire en_US
dc.subject Vietnam War en_US
dc.subject Lyndon B . Johnson en_US
dc.subject Parody en_US
dc.subject Feminist criticism en_US
dc.subject Drama in the 1960's en_US
dc.subject Radical plays en_US
dc.subject Feminism and theatre en_US
dc.title MacBird! : a history and feminist critique of Barbara Garson’s radical play en_US
dc.description.department Theatre and Dance en_US
dc.type.genre Thesis
dc.type.material text
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Theatre en_US
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.department Theatre and Dance en_US

Citation

MacBird!: a history and feminist critique of Barbara Garson’s radical play. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /6616 .

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