Rewriting Women and Trauma: Zinnie Harris’s This Restless House


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Karadağ Ö.

Tiyatro Eleştirmenliği ve Dramaturji Bölümü Dergisi, vol.1, no.34, pp.19-37, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Abstract

This article aims to argue that Zinnie Harris’s This Restless House, which is a

rewriting of Aeschylus’ The Oresteia, is an attempt to give voice to Clytemnestra’s

and Electra’s disregarded wounds, claiming that overlooked and/or suppressed

traumas demand to be communicated on stage, seeking justice and solace.

The act of rewriting by women is also interpreted as an act of reckoning for the

trauma of the negation/misrepresentation of the female voice in the canon.

Thus, rewriting a classical play functions on two levels, it helps moving female

characters and their traumas centre stage, and with the attendance of the

live audience the play experiments with the experience of bearing witness to

and transmission of women’s traumatic stories. In the light of trauma theory,

acting-out & working-through, hauntology, bearing witness and testimony,

this article explores staging uncommunicable traumas and the transmission

of traumatic experience through retelling and re-enacting.

Keywords: Zinnie Harris, This Restless House, trauma, acting-out and working-through,

rewriting