Assistant Director of Graduate Studies
Klapper Hall, Room 707
I write about modern and contemporary dramatic literature, with interests in theatre post-World War II, performance and urban development, and American and British playwriting. My book, Drop Drop: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (Northwestern University Press, 2016), uses close readings of plays and analyses of institutions to trace changing theatre practices across a decade. In Playwrights on Television: Conversations with Dramatists (Routledge, 2020), I interviewed eighteen prominent dramatists about their careers on stage and screen, looking at the cultural and economic conditions of playwriting. I’ve published articles on a range of topics: interdisciplinary pedagogy in higher education, the anti-nuclear activism of performance ensemble Mabou Mines, the anti-gentrification poetry of Annie Lanzillotto, and the gospel song-play collaborations of Langston Hughes and Vinnette Carroll. I am currently writing a cultural history about the Off-Broadway Greenwich Mews Theatre (1952-1973), one of the first professional theatres to mount plays with integrated casts in New York.
I teach courses in twentieth- and twenty-first century dramatic literature in the U.S. and Britain. Many of my courses incorporate questions about place, performance, and literature in the global city. In ENGL 371: Visions of Home in Post-War Drama and Performance, we explore representations of the city on stage from World War II to the present. I also teach courses on the genealogies of queer theatre (ENGL 391W: Senior Seminar) and the building blocks of writing (and reading) for the contemporary stage (ENGL 302: Playwriting Workshop). One of my favorite courses to teach is ENGL 241: The Text in its Historical Moment, which is a required course for all English majors, and offers the opportunity to pair close readings with historical research and archival work. I also teach in our English MA program, and have taught MA seminars on theatre in the 1970s, urban space and dramatic literature, and queer drama. In the required ENGL 701: Graduate Methodologies course, we look at one case study to understand the multiplicity of ways scholars can interrogate a single text over decades. I look forward to working with MA students interested in dramatic literature, queer and feminist studies, sociology of culture, performance studies, and pedagogy.
Playwrights on Television: Conversations with Dramatists, Routledge, 2020.
Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York, Northwestern University Press, 2016 (Winner of the 2017 John W. Frick Award and the 2017 Barnard Hewitt Award).
Selected Book Chapters & Articles
“Vinnette Carroll, Langston Hughes, and the Creation of the Gospel Song-Play,” in The Great North American Stage Directors, Vol. 4, eds. Chase Bringardner and Henry Bial (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2021), 119-149.
“Mabou Mines’ Dead End Kids and Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament,” in Side by Side: Collaborative Artistic Practices in the United States, 1960s–1980s, eds. Gwyneth Shanks and Allie Tepper, Vol. III of the Living Collections Catalogue (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2020).
“Television as Theatre Text in the Austere Academy,” Research in Drama Education (RiDE) 24.3: Creative Pedagogies, Neoliberal Realities (August 2019).
“Marching Off-Beat and On Screen: New York’s Reform Movements & Charles Hale Hoyt’s A Milk White Flag,” in Performing the Progressive Era: Immigration, Urban Life, and Nationalism on Stage, 1890-1920, eds. J. Christopher Westgate and Max Shulman (University of Iowa Press, 2019).
“Subject to Punishment: Julie Bovasso’s Angelo’s Wedding and the Politics of the Unproduced,” Theatre Survey 58.2 (May 2017): 141-161.
“Institutional ‘Landing Sites’ and Uneven Cultural Development: Planned Shrinkage and La Mama E.T.C.” Performance Research 20.4: ‘On Institutions’ (September 2015).
“Live from the Nebulizer: Annie Lanzillotto and Eviction Survival,” in Lateral Journal, Performance and Cultural Studies Special Issue (September 2015), online.
“Walking the Elastic City: An Interview with Niegel Smith and Todd Shalom of Elastic City,” in Radical History Review 114: Voyeurs, Walkers, and the Politics of Urban Space (Fall 2012): 191-205.
“’Let Our Freak Flags Fly’: Shrek the Musical and the Branding of Diversity,” co-authored article, in Theatre Journal (May 2010): 151-172.