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1st June, 2017

The Gendering of Backstage Labour


Event Details

1st June, 2017
17:30 - 19:30
VWB 6.01 Virginia Woolf Building 22 Kingsway

This presentation brings attention to the gender codes that circulate within the unionized backstage crews that work in New York City’s commercial theatre industry, particularly the ways in which distinctions between “masculine” and “feminine” labour impact employee status and wages.

Even as more women gain employment as stagehands, the industry continues to code the technical labour of carpentry, electrics, and sound engineering as masculine, placing women’s bodies at a distinct disadvantage and requiring them to adjust to work environments that favor a male physicality and sociality.

Dr. Christin Essin’s research draws focus to work performed by these backstage professionals, countering these gender binaries and representations of backstage labour in the popular press as merely supportive of performers’ onstage labour.

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