I am a scholar, an artist, a professor, a practitioner, an artivist, and a dreamer. I have the massive good fortune to be all of these things at once. I believe in leaping into the void to make strong discoveries born of panic and freedom. And I’m always looking for new collaborations. Perhaps you have one you’d like to share with me?
I’m an Associate Professor of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Founder and Artistic Director of Mosaic NY, an AEA Stage Manager, and a Full Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. I teach a variety of courses at HWS, melding my work as a practitioner and scholar in the classroom, office, and stage. I have taught or am slated to teach Acting I, Directing, Stage Management, Theatre for Social Change, African American Theatre, From Page to Stage: Script Analysis, and a Senior Capstone at the Colleges, as well as direct as part of our rotation.
Prior to moving to Geneva, I was an Associate Professor of Theatre at Auburn University, where for six years my belief in the essential necessity of remaining a practitioner and scholar was put to good use. I was the Founder and Artistic Director of the College of Liberal Arts’s Mosaic Theatre Company from 2011-2013. I also served as the Head of the B.A. in Theatre and B.F.A. in Theatre Management programs, overseeing all student stage managers as well as student directors when we had them. My lower-level teaching responsibilities at Auburn included regular sections of a large Introduction to Theatre course (100 students), Honors Introduction to Theatre, and the first half of Introduction to Theatre for Majors (in which I taught a number of college skills alongside theatrical knowledge in order to aid students in the transition from high school to college). My regular upper-level courses at Auburn were a Directing Seminar, Stage Management, Theatre History I: Text, and a Literature/Theory/History Seminar.
I try to balance a heavy production, advising, and teaching schedule with publications and presentations that flesh out ideas and concerns instigated in the classroom and rehearsal hall. My most recent publication, “White Lies and Stony Silence: Reconstruction in the Personal Narrative of America’s Most Popular Female Impersonator on the Late Minstrel Stage” (Performing Arts Resources: A Tyranny of Documents: The Performing Arts Historian as Film Noir Detective) examines the ways in which Francis Leon obfuscated his personal life (true self) behind his public persona (embodied Other) and the challenges this continuation of stage practices in real life pose for the historian.
Favorite directing credits include: Why We Have a Body (The Theatre Conspiracy, Washington, DC), Machinal and The America Play (Auburn University), The Wonder: A Woman Keeps a Secret and Tartuffe (Grinnell College), Independence (Indiana University), and The Ohio State Murders (Washington University), though I have yet to direct a production that I do not love. Fantasy directing projects include: Waiting for Godot, Day of Absence, The Duchess of Malfi, nearly everything by Suzan-Lori Parks, and collaborations that I have yet to dream up.
I hold a B.A. in Theatre from Grinnell College, an M.A. in Drama from Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University. My dissertation, “Middle-Class Morality and Blackwashed Beauties: Francis Leon and the Rise of the Prima Donna in the Post-War Minstrel Show” was completed under the guidance of Dr. Ronald Wainscott, as well as Dr. Susan Gubar, Dr. Roger Herzel, and Dr. Angela Pao. I am also a stage management member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Because I have always been in love with the outdoors, I balance long days locked in the dark of the theatre with a love for running long distance. The highlights of my running career, which developed as a means of balancing my long-term doctoral studies with something in which I could see measurable daily progress, were competing in the 2004 and 2008 U. S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials. Though I can no longer run at that level, I continue to enjoy the daily challenges of training mixed with endorphins.