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Alumni and Careers

See Recent Dissertation Abstracts for information on the expansive range of scholarship topics emanating from students in IPTD.

For information on the exciting books published by IPTD alumni authors, see our Recent IPTD Alumni Books.

Class of 2019

Lisa Kelly is the Assistant Director of Academic Support and Retention at the University of Iowa.

Grace Kessler Overbeke is the 2019-2020 Perilman Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University’s Center for Jewish Studies. In the fall of 2020, she will begin a position as an assistant professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago, working in the Comedy Studies program. Overbeke is a performance scholar whose research on Jewish American female comedians draws together questions of gender, ethnicity, and comedy.

Amy Swanson is Assistant Professor of Dance at Colgate University. Her writing may be found in Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies and Critical African Studies. Her current book project examines contemporary dance in Senegal, transnational circulation, and gender and sexuality.

Class of 2018

Jessica Hinds-Bond is a freelance scholarly editor and indexer. She is also the Russian Federation regional managing editor for

Bethany Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. Hughes is a cultural historian and performance scholar interested in how performance constructs culturally recognizable categories and offers possibilities to resist or remake those same categories. Her book project draws on the fields of Native American Studies, Theatre, and Performance Studies asking questions about racialization, representation, authenticity, and authority. Hughes is also interested in federal Indian law, musical theatre, and how economic and organizational structures shape cultural production.

E. B. Hunter is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at San Francisco State University. Her research synthesizes theatre studies and new media studies to examine how cultural institutions engage digital-age live audiences in canonical cultural texts and the arts. Her projects include Bitter Wind, a mixed reality hologram adaptation of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon for Microsoft’s HoloLens and Something Wicked, a 2D side-scroller combat version of Macbeth.

Jim Lasko is currently creating Guild Row, a new kind of social club for the artisinally curious. Guild Row is built around the concept that making things together creates vibrant, diverse and resilient communities. This concept was modeled in part on the model of theater productions, where a common goal coordinates many hands and minds to create the deep experience of community.

Elliot Gordon Mercer is a Lecturer at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where he is launching a new dance major in the theatre program in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Class of 2017

Lauren Beck is Lecturer in the English Department and Assistant Director of the Common Course at the University of New Haven. Her research connects theatre studies, sound studies, and digital media studies with a focus on participatory audiences.

Dawn Tracey Brandes is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University and the Executive Director of Halifax Humanities, a non-profit committed to providing free humanities education to adults living on low incomes in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Her research focuses on contemporary puppetry and the performance of life.

Elizabeth Leopold is Executive Director of the Dance Studies Association and the director/choreographer of the Leopold Group, a small Chicago-based modern dance company. Her research focuses on the political economy of dance production, with a specific focus on modes/methods of choreographic valuation. Her writing has been published by the University Press of Florida, Oxford University Press, and University of Wisconsin Press. Leopold’s choreography has received awards from the Chicago Cultural Center, the New York International Fringe Festival, and TimeOut Chicago.

Ira S. Murfin is a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow appointed to the Chicago Humanities Festival as Program Manager for Neighborhood Partnerships. His research investigates the relationship between media, cultural institutions, and disciplinary categories in late 20th Century artistic vanguards — the project he is currently developing looks at the lives and impact of independent performing arts institutions in Chicago during the 1980s and ’90s. His creative practice — including his ongoing project An Interview — focuses on extemporaneous talk as a performance material. He is also an audience enrichment specialist and regularly leads conversations, gives talks, and writes contextual material for Chicago performing arts presenting institutions, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where he in his seventh season as a PreAmble Scholar. More at:

Tara Rodman is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the circulation of performers and performance form among Japan, Europe, and the US in the first half of the 20th century.

Class of 2016

Christine Simonian Bean is an Assistant Director at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Theatre Program at University of Michigan. She designs and facilitates experiences for instructors on inclusive and equitable teaching practices.

Megan Geigner is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Cook Family Writing Program at Northwestern University. Her research explores civic performance as a method of shaping immigrant discourse and hyphenated identities in early twentieth century US history.

Aileen Robinson is an Assistant Professor in the department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. Her current book project explores the contribution of theatre and magic performance to the development of science as a discipline in the nineteenth century.

Class of 2015

Jordana Cox is an Assistant Professor of Drama and Speech Communication at the University of Waterloo.  Her current book project is called Staged News: The Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspapers in New York, 1935-9.

Carla Della Gatta is an Assistant Professor of Critical Studies – Theatre at the University of Southern California. She received the J Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize in 2016 from the Shakespeare Association of America for the best dissertation on a Shakespeare theme.

Laura A. Lodewyck is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at North Central College in Naperville, IL, where she heads the Student Directed Series. Her research focuses on the transformative power of theatre, particularly during times of war, and she is a scholar with the Latinx Theatre Commons’ El Fuego initiative, whose mission is to produce and document new Latinx work. With an MFA in Acting Performance from Roosevelt University, she also performs and directs in the Chicago area.

Class of 2014

David Calder is a Lecturer in Theatre & Performance Studies in the Department of Drama at the University of Manchester (UK). His first book, Street Theatre and the Production of Postindustrial Space: Working Memories (Manchester University Press, 2019), examines the aesthetic, economic, and historiographic work of contemporary French street theater companies.

Gina DiSalvo is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her current book project, The Unexpected Saints of Shakespeare’s Stage: Hagiography and Early Modern Theatre, examines saint plays in England across the Reformation divide, from the Middle Ages through the seventeenth century.

Class of 2013

Sara Armstrong is the Artistic Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Theatre Program at the University of Michigan.

John Carnwath is a consultant with WolfBrown where his work primarily focuses on arts funding, cultural policy, and related issues. He is a contributing Editor for the arts research blog Createquity.

Keith Byron Kirk is an Assistant Professor of Performance and Theatre Studies and Director of Graduate Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Theatre. He is the author of the plays As Reaper in Summer Grain, Stone. Baby. Solitaire…, Goodbye Sweetwater, and a new translation and adaptation of Federico García Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre with Alícia Hernàndez Grande. Also as a professional actor, he performed in the Broadway and Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s productions of Grapes of Wrath.

Class of 2012

Christine Scippa Bhasin is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre & History at The College of William & Mary. Her research examines the theatrical performances of cloistered women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Venetian convents.

La Donna L. Forsgren is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. She received a 2010-2011 dissertation fellowship from the Consortium for Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges. She is the 2016 recipient of the Robert A. Schanke Theatre Research Award and Associate Conference Planner for the Mid America Theatre Conference. She is the author of In Search of Our Warrior Mothers: Women Dramatists of the Black Arts Movement (Northwestern UP 2018).

Katherine Zien is an Associate Professor at McGill University (English Department). She is the author of Sovereign Acts: Performing Race, Space, and Belonging in Panama and the Canal Zone (Rutgers UP 2017).

Class of 2011

Adrian Curtin is a Lecturer in the Drama department at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Avant-Garde Theatre Sound: Staging Sonic Modernity (Palgrave 2014, winner of the 2015 TaPRA Early Career Research Prize) and several essays on theatre sound, musical performance, and modernism. He is working on a book on the topic of death in modern theatre, to be published by Manchester University Press. He is an editorial board member of Theatre and Performance Design, the book reviews editor of Studies in Theatre and Performance, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). He has collaborated on the creation of new theatre with the Llanarth Group.

Nathan Hedman is an Assistant Professor of English and Theatre at High Point University.  His research interests include performance and philosophy, secularity, religion, Enlightenment and Romantic Theatres, and Aesthetic Theory.

Emily Sahakian is an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia, where she has a joint appointment with Romance Languages. She is the author of Staging Creolization: Women’s Theater and Performance from the French Caribbean (University of Virginia Press, 2017).

Rashida Z. Shaw McMahon is an Assistant Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty in the African American Studies program at Wesleyan University. Her book, The Black Circuit: Race, Performance, and Spectatorship in Black Popular Theatre (CRC Press 2018), examines “Chitlin Circuit” theatrical productions and the reception practices of African American spectators.

Class of 2010

Oona Hatton is an Assistant Professor of Performance Studies in the Communication Studies department at San José State University. She is currently working on an ethnographic investigation into the performance of race and the dramatization of history in an annual community-based performance.

Jesse Njus is an Adjunct Professor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Theatre. Jesse’s award-winning article, “The Politics of Mysticism: Elisabeth of Spalbeek in Context” appeared in Church History. She has also published articles in Theatre Journal and Fifteenth-Century Studies and in the collection Food and Theatre on the World Stage, edited by Dorothy Chansky and Ann Folino White (Routledge, 2015).

Sam O’Connell is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Interdisciplinary Arts in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Worcester State University. His research interests focus on the intersections of media technology and live performance in popular culture.

Jonathan Foley Sherman is an Executive Assistant at Atomic Design, Inc. He is the author of A Strange Proximity: Stage Presence, Failure, and the Ethics of Attentions (Routledge, 2016)and co-editor, with Maaike Bleeker and Eirini Nedelkopou, of Performance and Phenomenology: Traditions ad Transformations (Routledge, 2015).

Daniel T. Smith Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at Michigan State University. He is a professional dramaturg and theatre historian with research interests in seventeenth- and eighteenth century French theatre.

Class of 2008

Christina S. McMahon is an Associate Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Re-Casting Transnationalism through Performance: Theatre Festivals in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Brazil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Stefka Mihaylova is an Assistant Professor of Drama at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on gender and racial aspects of spectatorship in contemporary American and British feminist theatre. She is co-editor with Tracy C. Davis of Uncle Tom’s Cabins: The Transnational History of American’s Most Mutable Book (University of Michigan Press, 2018).

Class of 2007

Jacob Juntunen is an Associate Professor of Playwrighting and Head of the MFA Playwrighting and PhD programs in the Department of Theater at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is also a playwright with frequent Chicago productions.

Anne Pulju is an Associate Professor of English at Montgomery College.

Karima Robinson is a theatre artist, playwright, director, and educator with over ten years of experience directing student-devised plays and teaching Theatre History, Africana Studies, Performance Studies, and Playwriting at SUNY Purchase, Vassar College, and Northwestern University.  She leads theatre workshops in New York and Connecticut for a range of youth and adult participants.

Ann Folino White is an Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Directing, Associate Chair, and Head of Theatre Studies at Michigan State University. She is contributing co-editor of the essay anthology, Food & Theatre on the World Stage (Routledge, 2015). Her book Plowed Under: Food Policy Protests and Performance in New Deal America (Indiana University Press, 2015) was awarded the 2015 Working Class Studies Association CLR James Book Award.

Class of 2006

Kimberly Tony Korol-Evans is an independent scholar and performer. She is the author of Renaissance Festivals: Merrying the Past and Present (McFarland & Co. 2009).

Shelly Scott-Harmon is the University Division Advisor at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Rebecca Rossen is an Associate Professor of Performance as Public Practice in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas, Austin, and the Division Head of Performance Studies and Pedagogy. She is the author of Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance (Oxford UP, 2014), winner of the 2015 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize from the Congress on Research in Dance.

Class of 2005

Suk-Young Kim is Professor of Theatre & Dance at UCLA where she also directs the Center for Performance Studies. She is the author of Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea (U. Michigan Press, 2010), DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border (Columbia UP, 2014), and, with Yong Kim, Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor(Columbia UP, 2009). Her research has been acknowledged by the International Federation for Theatre Research New Scholars’ Prize (2004), Association for Asian Studies James Palais Book Prize (2013), Association for Theatre in Higher Education Outstanding Book Prize (2015), and ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship (2014-15) among others.

Sheila Moeschen is the Senior Editor for I AM THAT GIRL, an organization that empowers young women through positive media. She is the author of Acts of Conspicuous Compassion: Performance Culture and American Charity Practices (University of Michigan Press, 2013).

Melinda Wilson Ramey is the Chair of the Theatre and Dance Department at California State University, Sacramento.

Praise Zenenga is an Associate Professor in the Africana Studies Program and the Director of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Arizona.

Class of 2004

Lauren McConnell is an Associate Professor of Theatre Interpretation and Dance at Central Michigan University.

Emily E. Roxworthy is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance and Provost of Earl Warren College at the University of California, San Diego, as well as Artistic Director of Workplace Interactive Theatre. She is the author of The Spectacle of Japanese American Trauma: Racial Performativity in World War II (University of Hawaii Press, 2008). She is the co-director of the digital project Drama in the Delta, a 3D role-playing video game that reconstructs interracial and intercultural performances staged at two Japanese internment camps during WWII.

Class of 2003

Lesley M. Delmenico is an Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance at Grinnell College. She directs and teaches acting and performance studies as well as theatre history, postcolonial and postwar British drama. Her research continues in intercultural and community-based performance; she is currently exploring performances of reconciliation (both theatrical and in institutions like tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions).

Class of 2002

Aaron D. Anderson is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Theatre at Virginia Commonwealth University where he is Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Director of the MFA Program.

Anthea Kraut is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches courses in critical dance studies. Her first book, Choreographing the Folk: The Dance Stagings of Zora Neale Hurston (U of Minnesota P, 2008) received a Special Citation from the Society of Dance History Scholars’ de la Torre Bueno Prize® for distinguished book of dance scholarship. Her second book, Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance (Oxford UP, 2015) won the ATHE 2016 Outstanding Book Award, the Congress on Research in Dance’s Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research, the 2016 Biennial Sally Banes Publication Award from ASTR, and Honorable Mention for ASTR’s Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History.

Deborah Paredez is a Visiting Associate Professor in Writing
and Core Faculty in the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Raceat Columbia University. She is the author of the poetry collection This Side of Skin (Wings Press, 2002) and the critical study Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke, 2009).

Class of 2001

Leslie Goddard is an actress, playwright, author, and lecturer who runs her own public speaking and historical interpretation business. She is the author of Remembering Marshall Field’s (Arcadia Publishing 2011) and Chicago’s Sweet Candy History (Arcadia Publishing 2012).

Class of 2000

Lin Classon is a Product Marketing Manager with Google.

Kimberly Dixon is a poet. She has published in journals including The Drunken Boat, Torch, Versal, Reverie, and the anthology Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta! (GirlChild Press 2008). Her play “The Gizzard of Brownsville” was a finalist in the Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwrights. She is a Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow.

Marta Effinger-Crichlow is Chair of African American Studies and Associate Professor of Theatre and Literature at New York City College of Technology. She is the author of Staging Migrations Toward an American West: From Ida B. Wells to Rhodessa Jones (Colorado UP, 2014). Her plays include Union Station, The Kitchen is Closed Startin’ Sunday, Whispers Want to Holler, and You Dig.

Michael McKinnie is a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University. He is the author of City Stages: Theatre and Urban Space in a Global City (University of Toronto Press 2007) and editor of Space and the Geographies of Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press 2007).

Class of 1999

Abigail Feder-Kane is the Senior Director of Development at Sarah Lawrence College.

Beth Friedman-Romell is the Cantor and spiritual leader of Knesseth Israel Temple in Wooster, Ohio.

Monica Maillet is a Biomedical Ethicist.

Loren Mayor is the Senior Vice President of Strategy at NPR.

Class of 1998

Susan Applebaum is an Instructor of Theatre at Loyola University Chicago, and a member of the faculty at Piven Theatre Workshop. She is the author, with Joyce Piven, of In the Studio with Joyce Piven: Theatre Games, Story Theatre and Text Work for Actors (Methuen Drama 2012).

Nadine George-Graves is a Professor of Theatre & Dance at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of The Royalty of Negro Vaudeville: The Whitman Sisters and the Negotiation of Race, Gender, and Class in African American Theater, 1900-1940 (St. Martin’s, 2000), and Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of Dance Theater, Community Engagement and Working It Out (Wisconsin UP, 2010).

Class of 1996

Catherine Cole is a Professor of Drama & Divisional Dean of the Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the author of Performing South Africa’s Truth Commission: Stages of Transition (Indiana UP 2010) and Ghana’s Concert Party Theatre (Indiana UP 2001). She co-edited Africa After Gender? (Indiana UP 2007) with Takyiwaa Manuh and Stephan F. Miescher.

David A. Schlossman is the author of Actors and Activists: Performance, Politics, and Exchange Among Social Worlds (Routledge 2002).

Mary Trotter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also Director of UW-Madison’s Celtic Studies Program. She is the author of Ireland’s National Theaters: Political Performance and the Origins of the Irish Dramatic Movement (Syracuse University Press 2001) and Modern Irish Theatre (Cultural History of Literature Series, Polity Press 2008).

Class of 1995

Peter Senkbeil is the Provost and Executive Vice President at Concordia University Irvine, where he is also a Professor of Theatre. He previously served as Associate Provost at Concordia for ten years and ran the university’s theatre department for fourteen years. Recent acting credits include Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It at Looseleaf Theatre and The Hiding Place and Shadowlands at the American Coast Theatre Company, all in Orange County, California.

Class of 1994

Rev. Stephen Campbell, S.J. is an Associate Professor of Theater and Drama at Spring Hill College.

Penelope Farfan is a Professor of Drama at the University of Calgary. She is the author of Performing Queer Modernisms (Oxford UP, 2017), Women, Modernism, and Performance (Cambridge UP, 2004/2007) and co-editor with Lesley Ferris of Contemporary Women Playwrights: Into the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave 2013).

Assunta Bartolomucci Kent is an Associate Professor of Theater at the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of Maria Irene Fornes and Her Critics (Greenwood Press, 1996).

Class of 1993

David Carlyon has written two award-winning books, Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You’ve Never Heard Of (Public Affairs, 2001), and The Education of a Circus Clown: Mentors, Audiences, Mistakes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). An adjunct professor at Iona College, he continues his scholarship, including a Theatre Survey article, “From the Broadway Tabernacle to the Gettysburg Battlefield: Did Edwin Forrest Influence Abraham Lincoln?” (2015). His play Polonius was chosen for a staged reading at the Mid-America Theatre Conference. A former Ringling / Barnum clown, he is a Scholar Advisor for the Circus Arts Program of the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Thomas A. King is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, where he also heads the interdisciplinary minor in Sexuality and Queer Studies. He is the author of The Gendering of Men 1660-1750, vol. 1: The English Phallus (U Wisconsin Press, 2004) and The Gendering of Men 1660-1750, vol. 2: Queer Articulations (U of Wisconsin Press, 2007).

Class of 1991

Geoffrey Edwards is an award-winning author and stage director who has served as artistic director of the Marquee Theatre Company and resident stage director for the DuPage Opera Theatre. He has served on academic faculties in both the United States and Europe. A popular speaker and lecturer for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he has also written extensively about music and opera. His books, co-authored with Metropolitan Opera baritone Ryan Edwards, include The Verdi Baritone, as well as Verdi and Puccini Heroines and A.K.A. Doc: The Oral History of a New Orleans Street Musician.

Scott Fosdick is a Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the School of Journalism & Mass Communications at San Jose State University.

Class of 1989

Deanna Jent is a Professor of Theatre at Fontbonne University and Artistic Director of Mustard Seed Theatre in St. Louis. Her play Falling was nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk Award.

Cindy Lutenbacher is a Professor of English at Morehouse College.

Class of 1988

Judy Lee Oliva is a playwright. She is the author of David Hare: Theatricalizing Politics (Umi Research Press, 1990) and New Theatre Vistas: Modern Movements in International Theatre (Routledge, 1995).

Class of 1987

Tobin Nellhaus is an independent scholar and the former Librarian for Performing Arts, Media, and Philosophy at Yale University. He is the co-editor, with Susan Haedicke, of Performing Democracy: International Perspectives on Urban Community-Based Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2001).

Last updated June 2018
Is something or someone missing? Please send updates to Elizabeth W. Son.