Jenna Gerdsen

Teaching Assistant

Jenna Gerdsen is a third year PhD student in the Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies program. She is a dramaturg and scholar. Her research interests include Asian American theatre and performance, theatre in Hawaii, Southeast Asian theatre, and critical race theory. 


  • MA, in Theatre Arts, University of California Santa Cruz
  • BA, in Theatre Arts and English (emphasis in Creative Writing), University of Puget Sound

Conference Presentations:

  • Co panel organizer and presenter for Speak Now: Sexual Harassment in American Theatre at Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) August 1-5, 2018
  • “The Window in African American Drama: A Window into Black Identity Formation” Comparative Drama Conference (CDC) Orlando, April 5-8, 2018
  • “Thus I Exist, Too: A Crip Analysis of Afong Moy and Mari Katayama” American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) Atlanta, Nov. 16-19, 2017
  • “I Dream of Gotanda’s Chang and Eng: Exploring Asian American Identity Formation in 19th century America” Pacific and Ancient Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Honolulu, Nov. 10-12, 2017

Representative Publications

  • Book review of The Racial Mundane: Asian American Performance and the Embodied Everyday. By Ju Yon Kim. in Asian Theatre Journal to  Fall 2016
  • “A New Hope for Wayang Kulit: Peperangan Bintang Re-Awakens Tradition” blog article published on HowlRound

Honors and Awards:

  • Arts Division Dean's Award at UC Santa Cruz for the oral presentation "Three Ramayanas on the west coast of the United States: Cross-cultural adaptation in American theatre"