By David Savran
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Additional resources for A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater
Yet they are also understood to be the distinctive signature of the mative (racial or sexual) minoritized identity. Whether in its uptown or downtown guises, then, the new queer the ater has become a metonym for postnaturalistic performance in the United States. It thereby represents in a particularly dear and incisive form both the situation of theater as a bastard art (which is to say, as a product of the unnatural intercourse of high and low) and the necessary slippage (both on- and offstage) between self and Other.
It is, in other words, a universalizing judgment of value and taste that is predi cated less on an analysis of the functioning of each medium than on an evaluation of certain discrete bodies of canonical texts. Indeed, the very notion that any of these arts has a distinctive and unchanging essence is undermined both by the extensive, heterogeneous, worldwide histories of each, as well as by the many aesthetic revolutions waged during the last century in the name of modernism (and whatever has allegedly suc ceeded modernism).
But with "the decline of intelligent, provocative criticism at newspapers around the country," the Times remains by far the most im portant arbiter of taste in the American theater, delivering a thumbs-up or thumbs-down judgment that will ensure that a play will or, more likely, will not be seen on other stages. 146 Moreover, despite the recent and relative decentralization of the non profit theater, its commercial cousin remains the most centralized and re view-dependent of the culture industries.