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LaShonda Getting Herself Together: The Body, Trauma and History in Stacey Robinson’s Quiet Frenzy


in Solo/Black/Woman: Performing Global Traditions and Local Interventions

eds. E. Patrick Johnson and Ramon Rivera-Servera

Evanston: Northwestern University Press

November 2013

pp. 305-314



Chapter excerpt


In Quiet Frenzy we bear witness to LaShonda's experience moving to the next phase of her life some time after the car accident that has killed her twin sister, Neecy. Life for LaShonda has become an abrupted process and the liminal space (that space ripe with possibility for performance, of course) is the arean for the 51-minute performance. In this space we are given vivid snapshots of insight into the character, but we are also given subtle, more opaque glimpses into larger implications. 


As time is displaced for the main character, memory looks back, sometimes to the traumatic space. Memory controls her body and memory takes possession of her body. Though we cannot locate memory, and though memory is not always reliable, it is the effect of the traumatic event lived in the present through memory that has paused LaShonda. Therefore, by focusing on LaShonda's memory of the trauma (personal and mythic) and its effect on her body, we are able to cut across critical race, theory, performance studies, and psychoanalytic theory to lend critical insight into this piece. Three distinct themes of the performance allow us to analyze the piece along these terms. 

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