M -18 Wheeler Hall
University of California, Berkley
Berkeley, CA 94709
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Performance Studies, May 2014
Fields of Research: performance theory; disability studies; directing and acting for the stage
M.A. New York University, Performance Studies
Fields of Research: performance theory, living history museums
M.S.W. University of California, Berkeley, Social Welfare
Designated Emphasis: Community Mental Health
B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, Dramatic Arts and Anthropology, High Honors
Designated Emphases: Directing for the Stage; Playwriting
2017 – Present Lecturer, College Writing Programs, University of California, Berkeley
2016 – 2017 Lecturer, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of
2015 – 2016 Postdoctoral Lecturer, Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture (ITALIC), Stanford University
2014 – 2015 Lecturer, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of California, Berkeley
2008 – 2014 Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of California, Berkeley
HONORS AND AWARDS
2014 David Keller Award, American Society for Theatre Research
2012 The Rosalyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement of the Highest Order in Directing, University of California, Berkeley
2012 Thomas Marshall Award, American Society for Theatre Research
2010 The Sara Huntsman Sturgess Memorial Prize for Outstanding Artistic Accomplishment in Theater, University of California, Berkeley
2009 Tanis Doe Award, Society for Disability Studies
2006 Performance Studies Award for Exemplary Merging of Practice and Theory, New York University
STAGE DIRECTING EXPERIENCE
The Sneetches, a musical with original score; book by Theodor Seuss Geisel, American Alliance of International Arts, Cultures, and Education, Suzhou, China
The Interrogation, a cabaret drama adapted from transcripts of hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee, April, 1947. Music by Hans Eisler, Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. Adapted and music arrangements by Jonathan Berger, Stanford University
Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, California Shakespeare Theater, Assistant Director to Jonathan Moscone
Attempts on her Life, by Martin Crimp, University of California, Berkeley
What Happened, by Gertrude Stein, University of California, Berkeley
WoyzeckTR, by George Büchner, adapted by Scott Wallin, University of California, Berkeley
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, Assistant Director to Peter Glazer, Mainstage Production, University of California, Berkeley
Halloween Sutra, Project 30, Another Urban Riff, NYC
Guru, an original work by Scott Wallin and the cast, New York University
Failure, an original work by Scott Wallin, New York University
Palootimus, by the original cast, Powerforce Theater, Jamaica
Tracers, by John DiFusco and original cast, Immediate Theatre Ensemble, Santa Barbara
Deathwatch, by Jean Genet, University of California, Santa Barbara
PLAYS WRITTEN AND PRODUCED
Chair, by Scott Wallin, University of California, Santa Barbara (also selected and produced for the American College Theater Festival)
Difference, by Scott Wallin, University of California, Santa Barbara
ACADEMIC COURSES TAUGHT
ITALIC 91, 92, and 93: Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture
A year long, residential-based course where students immerse in the arts across disciplines, working intimately with a teaching team of faculty and visiting guest artists to practice aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, engage diversity, and develop creative expression. Turning an aesthetic lens on life’s ordinary and exceptional features, the program asks: How do the arts provide new ways of thinking about our world and ourselves?
University of California, Berkeley
The 1619 Project
The New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project offers a new perspective on the United States' history. By considering our nation's birth year not as 1776 but rather when enslaved Africans were first brought to North America, the project offers various written and visual texts that "place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country." Drawing from the 1619 Project, we will read, discuss, and write about essays, books, and films that focus on an autobiography of an enslaved person, American capitalism, incarceration, and how race has been integral to the ability to accumulate personal wealth.
Performances of Protest
With the Black Lives Matter Movement and the recent storming of the U.S. Capital, this past year has been an extraordinary time of public protest. As public performances, these protests utilize a variety of language, props, settings, and behavior. How do protests function? What are their effects? In this course, we will emphasize writing that develops through conversation with writers, activists, and fellow students in order to hone our critical thinking, achieve greater ownership of what we read and watch, formulate productive questions and arguments, and write in a clear and engaging manner. Students will also learn about different kinds of research projects, evaluate sources, and access various online campus resources. The semester will culminate with a research project and presentation
Madness in Culture
Psychiatry tells us that madness is “mental illness” based in individual biology. We may welcome this point of view when we are desperate to avoid suffering. But what are some of the other stories we tell? When does madness take shape in response to social and political conflict? Furthermore, not all madness is bad. Aristotle observes that “no excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” Madness may entice us with its mystery, individuality, insight, or power. When we look at madness in culture, we see that it is not a simple, stable, objective medical condition but rather also a fluid social construction borne out of social conditions, the stories we tell, the images we make, and the values we ascribe. Through your critical reading and writing about various forms of literature, you will join these larger conversations and share your own responses, questions, and ideas on what it means to be mad and how we might think and feel about it.
Writing About Performance
Although a television commercial, church service, sporting event, film, and theater production are very different from one another, they share various qualities and dynamics. What are some of these qualities, and how can they help us understand both the individual performances and the broad spectrum of which they are part? In this course, we will analyze and write about a range of local performances in our community. We will emphasize writing that develops through conversation with other writers, artists, and spectators and use in-class discussions to hone our critical thinking, achieve greater ownership of what we read and watch, formulate productive questions and arguments, and write in a clear and engaging manner. Students will also learn about different kinds of research projects, evaluate sources, and work with campus resources. The semester will culminate with a research project and presentation.
Theater Research and Writing: History of 20th Century American Avant-garde Theater
Although the avant-garde burgeoned in Europe by the beginning of the 20th Century, its American counterpart was slower to develop. But from the mid 1950s until the 1980s, an array of non-commercial theater artists burst forth with great passion and fecundity, working specifically outside of and against theater’s bourgeois, conservative tradition, which they felt lulled audiences into inertness and complacency. Drawing from Impressionism, Italian Futurism, Dada, Expressionism, Surrealism, Brecht’s Epic Theatre, and modern American literary and visual artists, they created new types of theater that intended to provoke, surprise, stimulate, reach new depths of emotion and authenticity, and affirm cultural values and identities rejected by post-war mainstream expectations. Through performance, ritual, and a rejection of linear narrative and other aspects of Aristotelian drama, these artists created new communities, blurred the boundaries between art and life, and linked aesthetics to radical culture and new political perspectives. Artists under consideration will include Gertrude Stein, John Cage, the Living Theater, The Performance Group, Jack Smith, Robert Wilson, Karen Finley, and the Wooster Group.
Theater Research and Writing: Performativity of Race, Gender, and Disability in Theater
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines identity politics as “a wide range of political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups.” Such thinking and behavior critiques and reconceptualizes ways of understanding these groups’ experiences in order to challenge dominant oppressive perceptions and representations. This course explores how theater might address these concerns by sampling contemporary plays from the U.S. that address gender and feminism, queer politics, race and ethnicity, and disability. In concert with these dramatic texts, we will also read essays that complicate and reformulate identity politics in response to concerns of essentialism, factionalization, depoliticization, and the paradox that those who wish to resist their subjection must use the very same language that oppresses them.
Theater Research and Writing: Postdramatic Theater
Beginning in the late 1960s, experimental theater has pointedly shifted away from traditional drama with various strategies that Hans-Thies Lehman (1999) terms collectively as the postdramatic. Such iconoclastic performance challenges audience expectations of a single, clear narrative, “realistic” characters, and the authority of the dramatic text. It contrasts expectations of an intact, illusionary world with the immediate materiality of the performance in relation to its spectators. And while the postdramatic appears to give more importance to the live event than the story it is telling, it also simultaneously disrupts theater’s usual claim of being unique and original. This course will explore some of these strategies via various postdramatic texts by Sarah Kane, Susan Lori-Parks, Gertrude Stein, and Martin Crimp and theatrical performances by Forced Entertainment and The Wooster Group. Major questions include: what can be gained from moving away from traditional drama? What might be lost? And, how might the postdramatic address our interest in and demands upon theater today in relation to our daily lives? Expanding upon the skills acquired in R1A, this course uses postdramatic theater as a general topic on which to practice critical reading and analytical writing while emphasizing research skills. These skills include understanding different types of research projects, developing a specific research problem, distinguishing between primary and secondary sources, and working with various research tools and campus resources.
Theater R1A: Madness in Performance
How do we represent, contest, and even change our understandings of madness by means of performance? This course explores representations of madness in dramatic texts, film, live theater, and critical writing. Through a lens of disability, we will consider madness not as a stable, essential object, but rather a fluid social construction that is borne out of cultural production.
Theater Research and Writing: Researching Live Theater
Live performance’s fleeting quality can make it difficult to study. But this “liveness,” when combined with theater’s heterogeneous components, can result in powerful, often unexpected results. Along with analyzing dramatic plays in their written form, students will study live productions as complex “texts” from which we can formulate a variety of research problems, questions, and claims. Students attend performances on campus and at local professional theaters, write about their observations, and draw from additional evidence including interviews of artists and audience members, the dramatic texts and other material from which the performances are made, critical essays, performance reviews, program notes, and advertisements.
Theater R1B: Introduction to Performance Studies
Although a college football game, a televised gubernatorial debate, performance art, church service, and a dramatic theater production are very different, they share many qualities and dynamics. What are some of these qualities and how can they help us understand both the individual performances and the broad spectrum of which they are part? In this course we will read a variety of critical texts within the field of performance studies and analyze and write about a range of digital and live performances.
Theater 144: Rasaboxes Performance Workshop
In this course students work together in a group-held, voluntary play space where guided, open exploration making extends their power of engagement and sense of agency. Training includes daily yoga and a variety of psychophysical acting techniques, as well as critical readings and discussion on fundamental concepts of performance. Students apply this training and thinking to devised individual and group performances, develop new exercises, and often apply these techniques to other fields beyond aesthetic practice.
Theater 10: Fundamentals of Acting I
Fundamentals of Acting I is the entry level course for the acting sequence and focuses on releasing and cultivating the actor’s inherent creativity. Through exercises, improvisation, scenes, and monologues, the actor begins to develop basic techniques designed to stimulate the imagination, develop vocal and physical ability, increase awareness of self and others, introduce effective ways to analyze texts, think critically about the craft of acting, and enhance self-confidence and communication skills. This class is the essential beginning of the actor’s studies, which will ultimately allow her or him to effectively engage and explore work from a rich diversity of genres, styles, and backgrounds.
Theater 109: Scene Study and Character Work
Scene Study and Character Work continues working with and expands upon basic concepts introduced in Fundamentals of Acting. Through exercises, improvisation, scenes and monologues, the actor works toward the goal of increasing range, depth and flexibility; students work on more complex texts, exploring characters removed from their everyday experience that require more in-depth research and stronger imagination to inhabit.
Theater 181: Theatrical Realization of Dramatic Texts
This course relates dramatic texts or choreography to theatrical presentation. The lectures are based on the analysis of the work being presented. Laboratory hours are spent in attendance at rehearsal, coaching sessions, and the performance of the play or concert. The course will be taught by faculty involved in the major productions.
Saint Mary's College of California
Performance 33: Acting I - Principles of Performance
An introduction to the theory, history, and styles of realistic acting with emphasis on personalization, script analysis and the dynamics of performance.
Dell’Art School of Physical Theatre
Rasaboxes Intensive Workshop (Assistant to Paula Murray Cole)
An immersive program in the training and application of rasaboxes and a suite of psychophysical exercises out of which they were devised. Daily training includes hatha yoga and extensive breath, voice and movement work. Rasaboxes exercises range from the very simple and personal expression of each rasa individually by means of drawing, breathing, gesturing, sensing, and vocalizing to complex combinations of rasas performed by several people simultaneously. From composing the body and guiding the breath, the work leads step-by-step to sound and movement exercises that may use objects and texts, music, masks, songs — and more. During each workshop, new ways of accessing and expressing the rasas are found. Participants learn to apply the rasaboxes work in performance compositions by mixing, layering, and scoring the eight rasas in ways that create complex expressions, dramatic characters, and psychophysical emotional relations. Workshop includes discussions about the theories that gave rise to the formation of rasaboxes, and theories and researches that continue to foster its development as an approach to performer training.
PROFESSIONAL NONACADEMIC TEACHING
Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic
Monthly in-service trainings for 70+ volunteer medical, counseling, outreach, and administrative staff on a variety of topics, including holistic and alternative medicine, cultural competency, and staff development
U.S. Peace Corps Jamaica
Pre-Service and In-Service Training for Peace Corps Trainees and Peace Corps Volunteers in Community Development; Environmental Health Education; Jamaican Culture; Stress Management
PUBLICATIONS AND REVIEWS
At Press “Demystifying the Guru: The Role of the Leader in the Performance Workshop,” in Rasaboxes: Theory and Practice, edited by Michele Minnick, Paula Murray Cole, and Rachel Bowditch, Routledge.
2017 “Short Article Review: David T. Mitchell and Sharon Snyder’s The Biopolitics of Disability and Matt Hargrave’s Theatres of Learning Disability: Good, Bad, or Just Plain Ugly?,” TDR: The Drama Review
2015 “Audio Description as a Pedagogical Tool,” Co-author Georgina Kleege, Disability Studies Quarterly, 35.3.
2015 “Come Together: Discomfort and Longing in Jérôme Bel’s Disabled Theater,” in Disabled Theater, edited by Sandra Umathum and Benjamin Wihstutz, Diaphanes and University of Chicago Press.
2013 “Next to Normal and the Persistence of Pathology in Performances of Psychosocial Disability,” Disability Studies Quarterly, 33.1.
2009 “Review: Michael Chemer’s Staging Stigma,” E-misférica, Spring 2009.
2019 Referee for Disability Studies Quarterly
2016 Referee for RiDE: Research in Drama Education
2015 Referee for Comparative Drama
2017 "Madness as Critical and Aesthetic Practice: the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1964 Production of Peter Weiss’
Marat/Sade," American Society for Theatre Research, Mad Bodies As Spectacles of Otherness Seminar, Atlanta, Nov 16
2015 “Postdramatic Support: The Roles of Minimalism and Relational Aesthetics in hArt Times Theater’s Flash Back to Beckett,” American Society for Theatre Research, Beyond the Postdramatic Seminar, Portland, Nov 7
2015 “Audio Description for Live Theater: Traditional Efforts, New Intersections of Access, and Critical, Aesthetic Interventions,” Society for Disability Studies, Atlanta, June 12
2015 Faculty respondent, Disability Incarcerated Symposium, University of California, Berkeley, March 9
2014 “Oblique and Veiled: hArt Times Theater’s Postdramatic Engagement with Disability,” American Society for Theatre Research, What Performs in Postdramatic Theater? Seminar, Baltimore, Nov 22
2013 “Postdramatic Theater as Critical Disability Practice,” American Society for Theatre Research, Away from Drama? Debating Postdramatic Theater Seminar, Dallas, Nov 7
2013 “Issues and Opportunities in Casting Disability in Theater” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Orlando, Aug 4
2012 “Discomfort in the House: Affect and the Inclusion of Psychosocial Disability On-Stage,” American Society for Theatre Research, Sense, Affect, and Being Singular Plural Seminar, Nashville, Nov 2
2012 “Audio Description as Critical Disability Design in Theater,” Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Washington D.C., Aug 2
2011 “Broadway’s Next to Normal, De-stigmatization, and the Inescapable Specter of Pathology in Psychosocial Disability,” Society for Disability Studies, San Jose, Jun 16
2010 “Riveting Rhythms: Joshua Walter’s Madhouse Rhythm, a Critique of Madness by Means of Performance,” Society for Disabilities Studies, Philadelphia, Jun 5
2010 “Pathology and Performance,” Politics and Praxis: 2010 Arts Research Center Fellows Symposium, University of California, Berkeley
2009 “Alternate Voices: Digital Story Telling Project in a Community Mental Health Outpatient Clinic,” American Society of Theatre Research, Destination Health Seminar, Puerto Rico, Nov 12
2009 “Difference, Pathology, and Creativity in Community Mental Health,” A Social Practice and Documentary Film Presentation, Society for Disability Studies, Tucson, Jun 19
2009 “Alternative Voices: Digital Story Telling Project in Community Mental Health,” Literature and Pathology Conference, University of California, Davis, May 23
FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS
2019 - 20 Lecturer Teaching Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
2018 Professional Development Grant, University of California, Berkeley
2015 Professional Development Grant, University of California, Berkeley
2014 -15 Lecturer Teaching Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
2013 The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Grant
2012 Summer Residency in Arts Inclusion: Disability, Design, Curation, University of California Humanities Research Institute
2012 Graduate Division Summer Research Grant, University of California, Berkeley
2012 Graduate Division Travel Grant, University of California, Berkeley
2011 Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
2010 Graduate Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, Arts Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
2009 Townsend Center Grant for Disability Studies Working Group, University of California, Berkeley
2007- 09 Hickman Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
2016 – 17 Acting/Directing/Playwriting Curriculum Sub-Committee, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2015 Co-coordinator, “Disability Incarcerated: a Symposium and Gathering,” a two-day event that brought together nationally recognized scholars, activists, artists, and community members to map the intersections of policing, imprisonment, and the disabled body.
2013 – 14 10-Year Academic Program Review, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2013 – 14 Search Committee for Senior Faculty Hire for the Disability Studies Research Cluster, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
2012 – 13 Graduate Student Representative to the Executive Committee, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2012 – 13 President, Performance Studies Outreach Group, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2012 – 13 Events Committee, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2012 Faculty Advisory Committee for On The Same Page Project, College of Letters and Science
2011 – 12 Signatory and Treasurer, Performance Studies Outreach Group, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2009 – 10 Production Committee, Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
2009 – 10 Coordinator, Doing Disability Working Group, Townsend Center for the Humanities
2010 Panel Moderator: “Care, Cohesion, and Community,” Families on the Fault Lines Conference, Center for Race & Gender, April 29
2008 Graduate Student Coordinator for Conference on African and Afro-Caribbean Performance, University of California, Berkeley, September, 26 - 28
2008 Graduate Student Assistant for Conference on Arts, Neighborhoods, and Social Practice, University of California, Berkeley, January 25
Undergraduate Senior Theses
Rosella Bearden, "Bureaucracy and Violence", Interdisciplinary Studies, UC Berkeley
Masters Theses, Outside Reader
Erika Alvero, "DeafWest Theatre: A Desperate Need to Connect", School of Journalism, UC Berkeley
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2006 – 07 Clinical Social Worker, FEGS Health and Human Services, New York City
2002 – 05 Clinical Social Worker, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
2001 – 02 Clinical Social Worker Intern, Family, Youth, & Children Services, Berkeley Mental Health
2000 – 01 Clinical Social Worker Intern, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco
1999 – 2000 Volunteer Program Coordinator; Homelessness Case Manager and HIV Test Counselor, Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, San Francisco
1997 – 1998 Peace Corps Trainer and Volunteer Coordinator, U.S. Peace Corps Jamaica
1995 – 1997 Peace Corps Volunteer, St. James Health Department, Jamaica
1994 – 1995 Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
PERFORMANCE TRAINING AND PRACTICE
In addition to many conservatory courses in acting, voice for actors, movement for actors, directing, playwriting, and modern dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara:
Advanced Scene Study (Shakespeare); Advanced Scene Study (Chekhov); Advanced Scene Study (O’Neill); Physical Theater; Acting Shakespeare; and Advanced Improvisation at Studio ACT, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco
RasaBoxes psychophysical performance training with Richard Schechner, Michele Minnick, and Paula Murray-Cole, East Coast Artists
Laban/Barteneiff Fundamentals with Peggy Hackney, University of California, Berkeley
Integrated Movement Studies Laban/Bartenieff Analysis Summer Workshop, University of Utah
Meisner Technique with Pope Freeman at Santa Barbara City College
Acting and Directing with Rhonnie Washington, San Francisco State University
Advance Improvisation, East Bay Improv, Albany
Varied performance experience in university and non-Equity theatrical and dance productions in San Francisco, CA; Kingston, Jamaica, W.I., and Santa Barbara, CA
American Society for Theater Research
Association for Theatre in Higher Education
Society for Disability Studies
Read, spoken, and written: German; Spanish; Jamaican Patois (fluent comprehension, limited speaking)
LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 2017