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Medico-artistic complicities on Swedish stages: The boys in the band and the regulation of gay male representation in the welfare state
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Homosexuality, ISSN 0091-8369, E-ISSN 1540-3602, Vol. 63, no 5, 633-666 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seeking to understand the highly unfavorable conditions for the development of gay male theater in Sweden, this essay engages in a historical study of the national opening of Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band at Malmö City Theatre in 1970. Propelled by a Foucauldian-inspired theoretical approach, it identifies the subtle, yet highly effective, measures of control that the, at the time, social democratic welfare state exercised over representations of homosexuality on stage. State representatives, who complied with the official political and medical doctrine that homosexuality was a mental illness and posed a potential threat to social stability, interfered at various levels of the production, including the rehearsal process and post-performance talks between cast members and audiences. This alliance between Swedish theaters and members of the medical, psychological, and sexological professions constituted a medico-artistic complicity that supervised and regulated early attempts of gay representation on stage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 63, no 5, 633-666 p.
Keyword [en]
biopolitics, gay theater, heterosexual representations of homosexuality, Mart Crowley, Swedish welfare state
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123765DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2015.1111107OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123765DiVA: diva2:877121
Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-12-28Bibliographically approved

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