Gender and homosexuality in Takarazuka theatre: Twelfth Night and Epiphany
Abstract:Since it was founded in 1913, the all-female theatre, the Takarazuka Revue, has attracted a largely female audience. The Meiji modernization (18681912) occasioned the appearance of actresses on the Japanese stage, the emergence of a Japanese feminist movement and a disapproval of homosexual practices. These changes contributed to the founding of Takarazuka theatre, and influenced its policies on gender and sexuality. In two Takarazuka productions of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (1999), the portrayals of female roles negotiated with the dichotomy of gender stereotypes and affected the display of homoerotic attractions on the stage. Furthermore, the androgynous charms in the performances became a medium to transform homosexual desires into acceptable homoeroticism in the Japanese shjo fashion. The homosexual implication on the stage, therefore, could be pardoned or interpreted as an expression of temporary adolescent confusion about sexuality.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Providence University of Taiwan.
Publication date: 2010-10-01
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