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Well MetRenaissance Faires and the American Counterculture$
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Rachel Lee Rubin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771389

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771389.001.0001

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“A Place to Be Out”

“A Place to Be Out”

Playing at the Faire

(p.191) 4“A Place to Be Out”
Well Met

Rachel Lee Rubin

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the Renaissance faire as a venue for sexual liberation and antiestablishment cultural politics. As early as 1966, the New York Times addressed the Pleasure Faire's atmosphere of principled nonconformity. Farida Sharan, in her 2000 memoir Flower Child, talks about the faire's bohemianism, situating it prominently in the imaginative economy of Los Angeles's counterculture. This chapter examines the Renaissance faire's utopianism before turning to a category of attendees referred to as playtrons, along with the garb they wore at the faire. It also discusses issues of class and race at the faire, the rise of Friends of the Faire groups at a number of faires and the faire guild system, and military stagings as well as the adoption of military attire as style that is now commonplace at the faire.

Keywords:   race, Renaissance faire, sexual liberation, antiestablishment cultural politics, nonconformity, bohemianism, counterculture, utopianism, playtrons, Friends of the Faire

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