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Volume 39, Number 2 (2018)

The Lesbian Rush: Making Time in The Magic Hour

  • Laine Zisman Newman
January 23, 2019


Through a close analysis of the temporal shifts in Jess Dobkin’s The Magic Hour, this article considers how a refusal to submit to a gendered expectation to rush, might offer not only a means of illuminating the disciplining logic of normative temporality, but also provide a performative space of healing and resistance. Grounded in theories on queer trauma and queer temporality, Zisman Newman introduces a concept of the “lesbian rush,” to consider how those with less support must multitask and rush to achieve economic stability and perceived success. Part of the work that naming this rush commits to is revealing how conceptualizations of “straight time”—a temporal logic invested in reproductive futurities and naturalized milestones—is both heterosexist and patriarchal; that is to say, straight time is not just straight, but also androcentric. Considering Dobkin’s experiences in the theatre industry, alongside the production’s focus on “trauma and transformation,” this article discusses how expectations to keep pace may be combated through performance. Grappling with gendered systemic inequities which shape our experiences of time, alongside personal narratives of trauma, this article tells a story of one performance over and over again: The story of an artist; the story of slowing down; the story of the past and future melting into the present; and the story of repetition. Each story refuses to rush the narrative, coming back to the beginning of the production and taking a new perspective on what it means to refuse the lesbian rush.