Big Daddy Lives or Don’t Say the F Word: Intersectional Feminist Directing in Theory and in Practice

  • Lauren Kathleen Frost University of Victoria
Keywords: theatre, applied theatre, feminism, intersectionality, gender studies


As a theatre and gender studies double major at the University of Victoria, I have been able
to critically think about the ways each of my fields of study could benefit the other. In my
experience, many courses in the UVic Department of Theatre generally focus on dramatic texts and
theoretical literature written by white men. Consequently, contributions to the theatre by women,
people of colour, and/or non-Western theatre practitioners are largely dismissed or ignored. My
frustration with this pattern was what led me to create Big Daddy Lives or Don’t Say the F Word,
a part scripted, part devised performance piece that staged scenes from classic and contemporary
plays using directing theory written by feminists, for feminists. I curated the excerpts, wrote the
transition-text, and directed the play using an intersectional feminist framework. The project was
an experiment in applying intersectional feminism to theatre directing in order to critique the way
the male-dominated canon of plays and theories shapes theatre education. Through this project, I
found that intersectional feminist directing techniques foster collaboration; encourage discussion
and mutual education about identity, oppression, and representation; and can be applied to the
production of both classics and contemporary feminist plays and to the creation of new work by an

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