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Caitlin Marshall

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Senior Lecturer, Theatre Scholarship and Performance Studies

(301) 405-2824

2810 The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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Research Expertise

Theatre History
Theatre Theory

Caitlin Marshall, Ph.D is an American theater historian specializing in 19th century drama and popular genres like blackface minstrelsy, sideshow, dramatic reading, and musical performance. Her manuscript in progress, "'Power in the Tongue': Sounding America in Red, White, and Black," takes up the metaphor of voice in American democracy, and analyzes how essentialized performances of race and disability recorded, reproduced, and contested a soundtrack of citizenship. Caitlin currently teaches undergraduate courses on " 'Indian' Plays and Native American drama," "Theater History," "Introduction to Theatre and Performance," and "American Theatre from 1650-1900." Her graduate seminars include a course on the history of spectacle from 1492 - today: "Extraordinary Bodies on Display: Theater, Freak shows, & Ethnological Show Biz,” and a new seminar titled "Performing Disability, Cripping Performance." Her writing is published in Postmodern Culture, Twentieth Century Music, and SoundingOut


  • Ph.D., Performance Studies, University of California Berkeley, 2016
  • B.A Brown University, 2005

Areas of Specialization/Interest:

  • American Theater & Performance (17th - 21st C), with concentrations in African American Drama & Performance, and Native American Drama & Performance
  • Disability Theater & Performance
  • Musical Theater History 
  • Sound Studies
  • Critical theories of race, racial impersonation, mixed-race and comparative race studies, critical disability theory, freak studies, crip theory, and theories of coloniality and decoloniality

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)
  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
  • Society for Disability Studies
  • American Studies Association
  • C- 19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists

Representative Publications: 

  • 2020 "Sound Acts: Unmuting Performance Studies." Special Journal issue of Performance Matters. Caitlin Marshall, Marci McMahon, and Patricia Herrera, co-editors (forthcoming May 2020).  
  • "An Ear for History: Listening to Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield's Double-Voiced Aesthetics." (in progress)
  • 2016, “A Different Voice, A Different Song.” Book review. Spec. issue Twentieth Century Music. 13 no. 1 (March): n.p. doi: 10.1017/S1478572215000274 
  • 2015, “Crippled Speech.” Voice Matters. Spec. issue Postmodern Culture. 24 no. 3 (May 2014): n.p. doi: 10.1353/pmc.2014.0020  
  • 2014, “The Acoustics of Passing: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin as Supremacist Remix.” Sounding Out! The Sound Studies Blog. 23 December 2013. n.p.

Fellowships & Awards:

  • 2018, Ransom Center Research Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin
  • 2017, The Mellon School of Theatre and Performance Research at Harvard University
  • 2016, University of Maryland Arts & Humanities Center for Synergy Conference Grant
  • 2014, UC Humanities Network Multi-Campus Research Group: “Keys to Voice Studies”   
  • 2014, UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Sexual Culture & Center for Race and Gender Dissertation Retreat

Theater Direction:

  • 2018, Companion Animals by Madeleine George (Workshop), Big Ten Theatre Consortium commission, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, MD 
  • 2017, Present  *TDPS New Play Workshop (Staged Readings), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, MD, *In collaboration with the Dramatist Guild of America
  • 2016, The Quick and the Dead adapted by Joshua Williams (Staged Reading), Durham Theater, Berkeley, CA
  • 2014, Every Angel is Brutal by Julia Jarcho (Staged Reading), Durham Theater, Berkeley, CA          
  • 2013, Untitled Teen Hospice Play by Krista Knight (Staged Reading), Durham Theater, Berkeley, CA
  • 2013, Kid Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh, by Jordan Harrison, Durham Theater, Berkeley, CA
  • 2008, VoicedBox, by Caitlin Marshall and Sam Krahn (musical & stage direction), Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA


History and theory faculty Caitlin Marshall co-edits a special issue for Performance Matters

The issue explores the resonances of sound in the field of performance studies

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Lead: Caitlin Marshall

History and theory faculty Caitlin Marshall co-edited a special issue for the journal Performance Matters entitled "Sound Acts." The issue explores the resonances of sound in the field of performance studies, asking "how the materiality of sound acts as a form of aesthetic and political possibility."

Read More about History and theory faculty Caitlin Marshall co-edits a special issue for Performance Matters