CFP – Special Issue of Theatre Survey: Performing Girlhoods

Call for Papers
Special Issue of Theatre Survey
Performing Girlhoods
Marlis Schweitzer, Associate Editor

Theatre Survey invites submissions for a special issue on performing girlhoods. Taking a cue from girlhood studies, this issue aims to investigate theatre’s role in the lived experiences of those who identify as girls (including trans individuals), while also analyzing girls’ contributions to professional and nonprofessional theatre and performance around the world. As historical subjects marginalized by age and gender, girls exist on the fringes of theatre and performance history, rarely popping into historical narratives except in exceptional situations, as with the phenomenal success of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the late nineteenth century or the popularity of the Broadway musical Wicked in the twenty-first century. Yet there is ample evidence to suggest that girls have always been active consumers of and participants in theatrical entertainment, even when parents, custom, or the law forbade them from attending the theatre or performing onstage. So too theatrical representations of girlhood, from Shakespeare’s Rosalind to Small Alison in Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s Fun Home, have long informed the lived experiences of children of all genders and subsequently shaped performances of girlhood in sites ranging from the playground and the parlor to the schoolroom and the mall. As such, this issue seeks to move girls from the margins to the center of theatre and performance history.

Possible questions for consideration include the following:

  • How and in what contexts have girls used theatre or performance to assert social and/or political agency?
  • How have theatrical representations of girlhood served to promote/contest dominant ideologies of gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, and/or nationality?
  • In what ways have social institutions (e.g., government, religion, education, family) sought to influence girls’ consumption of and participation in theatre?
  • To what theories and methodologies might theatre and performance studies scholars turn in order to address the “double marginalization” of girls?
  • How might theatre and performance studies scholars engage with/advance/complicate developments in girlhood studies?

Please submit a full paper (25–40 pages double-spaced) and a brief abstract (ca. 250 words) via Theatre Survey’s manuscript submission site at ScholarOne.

Deadline: 1 May 2018.

Questions may be addressed to Special Issue Editor Marlis Schweitzer at