Stage Beauty: A Psychoanalytic Perspective

The panel will consist of approximately 40 minutes of excerpts from the film Stage Beauty followed by two ten-minute discussion of selected issues.

The film, set in Shakespearean England, focuses on the play Othello played by an all-male cast. Mr. Kynestan who plays Desdemona is declared to be the most beautiful woman on the London stage. His dresser and assistant, Margaret Hughes who longs to be an actress herself, worships the star and watches his every move. The story follows the relationship of the two lovely young actors as they vie for the role of Desdemona and struggle to understand their feelings for each other.

The first discussion will address the trajectory of the young man as he struggles through a range of gender roles to find an authentic identity. The second discussion will focus on the vicissitudes of heterosexual passion as the two actors grapple with competition, jealousy, curiosity, bisexuality and love.

Batya Monder, MSW, BCD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Freudian Society, a member of the Institute forĀ  Psychoanalytic Training and Research and Editor of The Round Robin, the newsletter for the Section of Psychologist/Psychoanalyst Practitioners of the Division of
Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association. She is in private practice in Manhattan.

Ellen Toronto,Ph.D. is a founding member and past president of MPC. She is past president of the Section of Women,Gender and Psychoanalysis of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association. She is co-editor of Psychoanalytic Reflections on a Gender-free Case: Into the Void. (Routledge, 2005) She is in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.