Playful trangressions: male drama teachers in elite boys' schools

McDonald, Janet (2006) Playful trangressions: male drama teachers in elite boys' schools. In: What a man's gotta do?: masculinities in performance. University of New England, School of Arts, Centre for Australian Language, Literature, Theatre and Screen Studies, Armidale, NSW, Australia, pp. 136-151. ISBN 1921208023

PDF (Published Version)

Download (222kB)


A man’s allowed to play hard, and work hard and all those things—but a man's got to know when to play those different roles, and to jump from one to another. He's got to know when to turn it on and when not to turn it on … It comes from the success that these schools are built on … ; if you can turn it on and speak the speak and walk the walk, you’re streets ahead of anyone who can’t. And they know that.

(Paul, Drama teacher, interviewed 4 Aug. 1998)

This quote illustrates the performance of masculinity and class that takes place inside the Great Public School (GPS) culture in Brisbane, Australia. In the GPS, there is a level of anxiety about the perceived place of Drama (the subject) and how it might interact/interfere with the apparent veneer of an iron-clad essentialist and homogenous masculinity promoted by elite all-boys' schools. The feminisation of Drama and the suspicion of males who 'do' drama create a tension for boys and teachers as they walk the gendered tightrope across the gap between the expected public display of the 'muscular Christian' ('playing it straight') and the disruptive instabilities of the ‘Drama faggot’ ('camping it up').

Statistics for USQ ePrint 5371
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author retains copyright. Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Theatre (Up to 31 Mar 2011)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Theatre (Up to 31 Mar 2011)
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2009 06:19
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2016 03:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: boyhood, masculinity, performing gender, queering, feminisation of curricula
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only