© 2019

Performing Dream Homes

Theater and the Spatial Politics of the Domestic Sphere

  • Emily Klein
  • Jennifer-Scott Mobley
  • Jill Stevenson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Emily Klein, Jennifer-Scott Mobley, Jill Stevenson
      Pages 3-17
  3. Family Homes on Stage

  4. Making Home Material

  5. Home as Public Performance

  6. Coda

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 227-227
    2. Jill Stevenson, Jennifer-Scott Mobley, Emily Klein
      Pages 229-231
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 233-238

About this book


This anthology explores how theatre and performance use home as the prism through which we reconcile shifts in national, cultural, and personal identity. Whether examining parlor dramas and kitchen sink realism, site-specific theatre, travelling tent shows, domestic labor, border performances, fences, or front yards, these essays demonstrate how dreams of home are enmeshed with notions of neighborhood, community, politics, and memory. Recognizing the family home as a symbolic space that extends far beyond its walls, the nine contributors to this collection study diverse English-language performances from the US, Ireland, and Canada. These scholars of theatre history, dramaturgy, performance, cultural studies, feminist and gender studies, and critical race studies also consider the value of home at a time increasingly defined by crises of homelessness — a moment when major cities face affordable housing shortages, when debates about homeland and citizenship have dominated international elections, and when conflicts and natural disasters have displaced millions. Global struggles over immigration, sanctuary, refugee status and migrant labor make the stakes of home and homelessness ever more urgent and visible, as this timely collection reveals.


American Dream Property Precarity Clybourne Park Beneatha’s Place Feminist Theatre Susan Glaspell Marie Jones Rachel's House Realism

Editors and affiliations

  • Emily Klein
    • 1
  • Jennifer-Scott Mobley
    • 2
  • Jill Stevenson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EnglishSaint Mary’s College of CaliforniaMoraga, CAUSA
  2. 2.School of Theatre and DanceEast Carolina UniversityGreenville, NCUSA
  3. 3.Department of Theatre ArtsMarymount Manhattan CollegeNew York, NYUSA

About the editors

Emily Klein is Associate Professor of English at Saint Mary’s College of California, USA. Her book, Sex and War on the American Stage: Lysistrata in Performance 1930-2012 (2014), was featured in The New York Times, Ms. and Vice. Her work has also appeared in Frontiers, Women and Performance, and Theatre Journal.

Jennifer-Scott Mobley is Assistant Professor of Theatre at East Carolina University, USA. She is the author of Female Bodies on the American Stage: Enter Fat Actress (Palgrave, 2014) and co-editor of Lesbian & Queer Plays from the Jane Chambers Prize (2018).

Jill Stevenson is Professor of Theatre Arts at Marymount Manhattan College, USA. She is the author of Sensational Devotion: Evangelical Performance in 21st-Century America (2013/2015) and Performance, Cognitive Theory, and Devotional Culture: Sensual Piety in Late Medieval York (Palgrave, 2010).

Bibliographic information


“Performing Dream Homes is an extremely useful collection that will benefit both scholars and theatre practitioners. It will especially be of interest to feminists, performance studies scholars, theatre artists, and material culture scholars. The essays are relatively short and very readable, making the collection easily accessible for students and non-scholars, while still presenting theoretical insights that professional scholars will value. The book admirably engages a theoretically rich, complex set of ideas.” (Phillip Zapkin, Etudes, Vol. 5 (1), December, 2019)