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Research

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies values the unique power of the performing arts to address social issues through performance practice and research. 

We value active discourse, focused discipline, rigorous inquiry and collaborative thinking to creatively express and embrace difference, diversity and identity. We train artist-scholars to be active leaders who influence and expand the practice and social impact of theatre, dance and performance studies.

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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

Author/Lead: Caitlin Marshall
Dates:
Publisher: Performance Matters

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."

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PhD student Jordan Ealey selected as 2021 National Humanities Without Walls Predoctoral Fellow.

PhD student Jordan Ealey selected as 2021 National Humanities Without Walls Predoctoral Fellow.

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Jordan Ealey
Dates:

PhD student Jordan Ealey was selected to be a 2021 National Humanities Without Walls Predoctoral Fellow.

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Kate Spanos publishes article about Brazilian dances of resistance on Smithsonian Folklife blog

Although it can be colorful and joyous, the Brazilian dance of frevo has developed over the past hundred years against a backdrop of aggression and violence.

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Kate Spanos
Dates:
Publisher: Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Although it can be colorful and joyous, the Brazilian dance of frevo has developed over the past hundred years against a backdrop of aggression and violence. The dance is rooted in the martial art of capoeira, often described as “a fight disguised as a dance” practiced by enslaved Africans in Brazil. During carnival street parades, frevo’s jubilant energy can quickly turn violent, continuing the tradition of ritualized aggression between gangs and revelers. As dance scholar Kate Spanos writes, “It is easy to dismiss this violence as not being in the true spirit of carnival, but ... we cannot forget, or ‘whitewash,’ the history of resistance from which frevo emerges.”

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Fraser Stevens publishes an article in Global Performance Studies

Fraser Stevens publishes an article in Global Performance Studies

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Fraser Stevens
Dates:
Publisher: Global Performance Studies

Ph.D. candidate Fraser Stevens publishes an article, "The Performance of Covert Cultural Landscapes: A Theatre/Archaeology Analysis," in Global Performance Studies.

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Leticia Ridley publishes a stage review in the August Wilson Journal

Leticia Ridley publishes a stage review in the August Wilson Journal

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Leticia Ridley
Dates:
Publisher: August Wilson Journal

Ph.D. candidate Leticia Ridley publishes a stage review of Round House Theatre’s 2018 production of Gem of the Ocean in the August Wilson Journal.

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Kelley Holley awarded a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship

Summer Research Fellowships provide support to doctoral students during the summer to advance in their program.

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Kelley Holley
Award Organization:

Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship, College of Arts & Humanities


Dates:

PhD candidate Kelley Holley has been awarded a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship for Summer 2020 to work on her dissertation about dramaturgy and site-specific performance. Summer Research Fellowships provide support to doctoral students in the period shortly before or after advancement to candidacy. The fellowship enables doctoral students to devote a summer of focused work to prepare for or complete a benchmark in their program.

Jared Mezzocchi nominated for a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award

Mezzocchi was nominated for his projection design work on Qui Nguyen's "Poor Yella Rednecks."

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Jared Mezzocchi
Dates:

Assistant professor Jared Mezzocchi was nominated for a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for his projection design work on Qui Nguyen’s Poor Yella Rednecks. The Off-Broadway production was postponed due to COVID-19; stay tuned for new dates.

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Q-Mars Haeri and Allison Hedges awarded Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships

The fellowships will support the completion of their dissertations.

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Q-mars Mazandarani Haeri, Allison Hedges
Dates:

Ph.D. candidates Q-Mars Haeri and Allison Hedges were awarded Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowships for the semester of their choice in the next academic year, 2020-21. These fellowships will support the completion of their dissertations.

Marketing communications coordinator Kate Spanos (PhD '16) publishes article about Brazilian carnival dance, frevo

The article examines pedagogy and performance in Brazilian frevo dance.

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Theatre Scholarship and Performance Studies

Author/Lead: Kate Spanos
Dates:
Publisher: Dance Chronicle
Brazilian frevo dance - Guerreiros do Passo

Kate Spanos (PhD '16; and our marketing communications coordinator) recently published an article, "Dancing between Pedagogy and Performance: Guerreiros do Passo and the Case of Brazilian Frevo," in Dance Chronicle. The article was co-authored with collaborator Amilcar Almeida Bezerra from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.

Abstract

Frevo dance comes from the cities of Recife and Olinda in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. We expand on previous research by Valéria Vicente to apply Homi Bhabha’s concepts of pedagogy and performativity to a study of how frevo dancers fight for multiplicity and individuality. We explore how the group Guerreiros do Passo (Frevo Dance Warriors) preserves and disseminates frevo through distinct teaching methods and performance projects, arguing that their work enables the performative enactment of popular memory and the subversion of frevo’s own official discourse. We examine how Guerreiros do Passo provides a new perspective on common challenges in dance pedagogy and performance, including the tensions between tradition/innovation and cultural/individual expression.

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Performing arts librarian Drew Barker (MA '13) publishes in Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism

The article examines a dramaturgical collaboration about the life of abolitionist Benjamin Lay

School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Theatre Scholarship and Performance Studies

Dates:
Publisher: Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
TDPS Welcomes Back Performance Librarian and Alum Drew Barker

Drew Barker (MA '13; and our performing arts librarian) recently published an article, "Human Histories Onstage: A Conversation on Collaboration with Naomi Wallace & Marcus Rediker," in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism with co-authors Naomi Wallace and Marcus Rediker.

Abstract

In this essay, which precedes an interview with the playwright Naomi Wallace and the historian Marcus Rediker, an examination of the ideological and aesthetic motivations shared between the two writers reveals how Marxist humanism guides a new co-writing project titled The Return of Benjamin Lay. After describing Benjamin's life and abolitionist activism, an explanation of the two writers' continued collaboration and shared dramaturgy describes how both writers find Benjamin a worthy subject to adapt for the stage.

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