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Scholarship

My scholarship investigates the interaction of theatre, history, and performance.  With an emphasis on Shakespeare, I study his works (and those of his contemporaries) through historical context, applying dramaturgical techniques to produce theatre with honesty, creativity, and unconventionality, pursuing new understanding through historical juxtaposition.  I consider myself a scholartist whose artistic and academic work lives in symbiosis.

My artistic practice focuses on process, creating an environment where all members of the artistic and production teams feel encouraged, supported, and heard.  I provide dramaturgical background and listen with an open heart in order to create productions that are bigger than the sum of their parts.  The hallmark of my productions is to be found in encountering the human first and leading with compassion.

PC: Jennifer Koskinen

Current Research

My current research focuses on the intersection between performance and gender, especially in Shakespeare, in context with the current cultural gender zeitgeist.  I am continuing the work started on my dissertation, expanding it to become a theory of gender representation in Shakespeare.  I am currently working on a chapter to contribute to Routledge's Theatre and Eco-feminism, edited by Dr. Douglas A. Vakoch, and have published with Theatre Journal on the work done by Theatrical Intimacy Education.  Past conference presentations have covered the COVID-pivot in my 2020 production of Richard II, and gender in Shakespeare, such as the one presented at ATHE titled "Lady Hamlet: We know who we are, but not what we may be," explores the ramifications of a female Hamlet as experienced in the 2017 Colorado Shakespeare Festival's production of Hamlet, starring Lenne Klingaman as Hamlet and directed by Carolyn Howarth. Shakespeare's works play on the representation of gender repeatedly, and contemporary productions often seek to capitalize on the juxtaposition of character and gender with history.  

Dissertation

My dissertation, Gender and the King’s Two Bodies: Interpreting Female Characters in Select Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama, examined the intersection between the dramatic text, female characters, and Elizabethan history and culture. The King’s Two Bodies was a mid-16th century political theory that became popular during Elizabeth’s reign, and which she used to great advantage to defer arguments regarding her gender. My research allowed me to reinterpret characters such as Queen Margaret, the Duchess of Malfi, and Alice from Arden of Faversham through the lens of the Two Bodies theory in conversation with research into gender norms and portrayals during the 16th century.  

Teaching

I teach students to think critically about and interrogate any text or performance they encounter.  In my scholarly work and classroom, I provide the framework to understand how theater, a practical art form, interacts with its cultural world, and how it interrogates the social structures and identities built within that world. This framework allows my students to interrogate plays and performances, to develop self-understanding, and to appreciate diverse perspectives.

Theater offers an ideal forum for study largely because it embraces so many other topics as well: history, literature, language, the physical body, psychology, religion, diversity (of race, of sexuality, of ability), and so much more, and encourages self-exploration at the same time. Even if a student has no interest in performance, he or she may be interested in the subject matter of the performance. In my teaching, I seek to give them the ability to understand the performance regardless, to interrogate both it and their relationship to it, and therefore to learn more about themselves and their world as a result.

I currently teach the theatre history sequence, directing, dramaturgy, and graduate classes at Western Illinois University.  In addition to teaching at CU Boulder for eight years and the University of Northern Colorado for five, I have completed the Graduate Teacher Program Certificate in University Teaching at CU. My classes include practical activities, opportunities for reflection, and didactic discussion in order to engage multiple learning styles and to stimulate creativity. I also place a heavy emphasis on developing writing and communication skills.

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