Five College Women's Studies Research Center

Her Town: Annie Baker's Americans

On Friday, October 21 at 1:00pm, Jennifer Cayer, Five College Women's Studies Research Associate from Amherst College, will give a talk entitled “Her Town: Annie Baker's Americans.” In a trio of recent off-Broadway plays, Annie Baker has fabricated a town that feels as real and recognizable as its combined parts of Vermont and her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. Theater artists like Baker, perhaps now more than ever, seem committed to replicating and reenacting, to borrow a phrase of David Foster Wallace’s, an experience of life as it is “lived on the nerves.” Baker’s work – as part of this larger trend across television, film, and theatre – offers an apt occasion to address the proliferation of “real-life” based reenactments, our desires for realism, and the forms that promise to deliver it. Cayer  will discuss Baker’s contribution to debates on the role of contemporary theater and its relationship to digital media as it is achieved through a distinct mode of theatrical realism. (Cayer Flyer)