Making a Fun Home: The Performance of Queer Families in Contemporary Musical Theater


  • Florian Weinzierl University of Regensburg



Musical Theater, queer theory, performance studies, the American family, Fun Home, Falsettos


This essay examines the performance of the queer family as presented in the Broadway musicals Falsettos“ (1992) by William Finn and James Lapine and Fun Home“ (2015) by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron. While both musicals feature idealized non-traditional models of the family with queer individuals as crucial agents of their formation, Fun Home “questions rather than affirms the actualization of this ideal through the critical engagement on stage with issues of performance and performativity. In so doing, the article traces a bigger trajectory of historical moments in queer thinking from the 1980s until the present moment that verges back and forth between optimism and pessimism as well as relational and non-relational understandings of sexual identities.

Author Biography

Florian Weinzierl, University of Regensburg

Florian Weinzierl is currently an assistant at the American Studies department at the University of Regensburg. He has studied as a Fulbright student at Wesleyan University, CT, and at the University of Regensburg, Germany, where he completed his first state exam in 2014 and received the Dr.-Katharina-Sailer-Award for his thesis entitled “Lyrical Representations of Non-Heterosexual Male Identities in the American Broadway Musicals Falsettos“ (1992) by William Finn and Rent“ (1996) by Jonathan Larson.“ At the moment he is working on his PhD thesis focusing on contemporary American musical theater at the intersections of American Studies, queer studies, and performance studies with the working title “Queer Performances on the American Stage: Negotiating Aspects of Queer Identities in Contemporary Musical Theater.“ Additionally, he is a theater performer and since 2011 has been engaged in multiple productions of the University of Regensburg’s musical theater ensembles UR Musical and UR Stage Club in the functions of musical director and actor, most recently in July 2015 in the UR Stage Club’s musical adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile“, which worked with performance studies and Pop-Art styles of (musical) citation.




How to Cite

Weinzierl, Florian. “Making a Fun Home: The Performance of Queer Families in Contemporary Musical Theater”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, May 2016, doi:10.5283/copas.255.