Essay “Wrestling With Burlesque, Burlesquing Lucha Libre,” in Performance and Professional Wrestling

My essay “Wrestling With Burlesque, Burlesquing Lucha Libre” is part of Performance and Professional Wrestling, edited by Broderick Chow, Eero Laine, Claire Warden and with contributions by Keiko Aiba, Stephen di Benedetto, Janina Bradbury, Broderick Chow, Morgan Daniels, Carrie Dunn, Jon Ezell, Stephen Greer, Jamie Lewis Hadley, Nina Hoechtl, Charles Hughes, Eero Laine, Heather Levi, Laura Katz Rizzo, Sharon Mazer, Nicholas Porter, Claire Warden, Nicholas Ware (London and New York: Routledge, 2017)


Performance and Professional Wrestling is the first edited volume to consider professional wrestling explicitly from the vantage point of theatre and performance studies. Moving beyond simply noting its performative qualities or reading it via other performance genres, this collection of essays offers a complete critical reassessment of the popular sport.

Topics such as the suspension of disbelief, simulation, silence and speech, physical culture, and the performance of pain within the squared circle are explored in relation to professional wrestling, with work by both scholars and practitioners grouped into seven short sections:


A significant re-reading of wrestling as a performing art, Performance and Professional Wrestling makes essential reading for scholars and students intrigued by this uniquely theatrical sport.