Close/Bye: Staging [State] Intimacy and Betrayal in ‘Performance of Literature’

  • Stephanie Leigh Batiste


Close/Bye is a play devised in collaboration with students in Stephanie Batiste’s class Performance of Literature: Black California. This chapter describes the critical hurdles students tackled in prioritizing a theme of intimacy and betrayal in a play that addressed structural crises in Black life and offered paeans to the dead. The class put identification and empathy into practice through performance theory and embodiment. The process identified closeness and distance, love and betrayal as means to layer self-knowledge, intimate relationships, social injustice, and state violence in performance. Inspired by Black writing and performance workshops, the students moved swiftly from the personal to the structural as a confrontation with the impacts of state violence and oppression in honor of citizens recently slain by U.S. police.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Leigh Batiste
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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