I joined the faculty of Arcadia's Theater Arts program in January 2008. My activities at Arcadia currently include:
Teaching courses in theater history, script analysis, theater criticism and analysis, global theater and performance, senior capstone workshop, American theater history, modern drama, Shakespeare, dramaturgy, and other special topics in theater studies.
Recipient of the Dr. Norman Johnston Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The fellowship is supporting my scholarly work on my current book project in African American theater history.
Resident Dramaturg for Arcadia Theater productions.
Global Traditions of Theater & Performance
In this course, we will venture beyond the familiar theatrical traditions of the United States and Europe in an investigation of non-Western theatrical histories, performance practices and dramatic texts from across the globe. We will read and discuss play scripts, watch and analyze performances on video (or live performances, if and when the opportunity arises), and investigate some of the cultural histories, folk traditions, religious ritual practices and other contexts that inform the theatrical lives of these global regions. We will use the study of theater and performance as a means of approaching the cultures of unfamiliar societies, and seek understanding of how these theatrical traditions compare and contrast with our own. The course will be divided into these units of study: China, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Carribean, South America. No prior knowledge or experience of theater is required.
Can't We All Just Get Along? Performing Integration in American Culture
African Americans and white Americans certainly ought to find ways live, work and co-exist in a spirit of harmony and mutual understanding. This widely attractive ideal in theory has proven elusive and problematic. The nation’s performance culture—theater, film and television—has played a vital role in envisioning the possibilities, and exposing the difficulties, inherent in integration. This seminar will examine representations of black/white integration in each of these genres across the 20th century. Readings, class discussions, assignments and activities (play performances and film screenings) will expose students to stories of African Americans and white Americans dreaming of, protesting against, wrestling with, and sacrificing on behalf of real integration and true racial justice. We will seek out points of connectivity among cultural forms , consider connections between past and present narratives, and examine the underlying attitudes these narratives reflect and reinforce in the national consciousness. With no illusions of arriving at a clear answer to the question “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”, we will discuss ways that this question (with all of its inherent problems) has inspired American artists to examine our society and provoke urgent debate.
African American Drama
This course surveys significant plays and performances created by and about African Americans from the 19th-21st Centuries. Play texts, contextual readings and class discussions will allow us to examine how the stage has reflected and sparked important national conversations about equality, democracy, race, class and gender as they have unfolded throughout American history, and as they continue to develop in the present. Where possible and practical, we will seek to attend theatrical performances and interact with contemporary professional artists.
This course will survey selected eras in the history of Western theater, and expose students to key concepts, events, personalities and aesthetics from each period. We will read dramas for their historical significance—to discover how play texts help illuminate the historical moment that surrounded them, as well as how knowledge of theater history helps contemporary theater artists revisiting these texts today. We will study primary documents and visual records of theatrical productions from various periods of history to illuminate the dynamics of live performance— acting, directing, stage design, and audiences—within each chosen period.
There’s no other way to say it: reading plays is difficult. To read a play in print is to encounter a work of art in unfinished and incomplete form. Visual artistry, physical presence and live audience dynamics are reduced to flat, static words on a page. In this course, we will explore and practice with various techniques for reading and analyzing scripts: techniques designed to help theater artists discover more fully the dynamic potential of theatrical texts as blueprints for live performance. We will explore dramatic worlds holistically, analyze scripts structurally in terms of the arrangement and sequence of events, investigate conventional play genre labels (tragedy, comedy and tragicomedy), and examine the ideas of key theorists in Western theater history to discover many different perspectives from which plays may be analyzed. Class discussions, online discussions and writing assignments will provide opportunities to develop and refine our skills with reading and understanding play texts.
Advanced Workshop in Theater
This course affords seniors in the Theatre Arts program the opportunity to work individually or in small groups to complete their Capstone projects. The culmination of the course will be the presentation of Capstone projects at “Thesis Night” at the end of the semester.