Eavonka Ettinger

MA '93

Eavonka Ettinger

I came to NYU with an acting/directing background and an interest in writing about women in the origins of theatre or in surrealism, but ended up wanting to write about something very immediate which was the inter-relationship of gang, hip-hop, and pop culture. While writing my Master's thesis on this topic, the Rodney King riots happened, and I felt particularly enraged, heartsick, and inspired. But I knew that everything I was writing was theoretic, at best, as I didn't have the courage to do any truly investigative research. I also felt that as a young white woman that I had a lot of nerve digging so deeply into a world I was so removed from, but it turned out to be a turning point in my life.

I'm proud to say that Performance Studies led me to become a public middle school English and Drama teacher in the very same neighborhoods I wrote about in my thesis. For 12 years I was able to actualize the theories I had expounded, and ultimately, I hope, make the difference I'd previously felt incapable of doing. While being an inner city teacher in Los Angeles seemed an improbable outcome of my academic pursuits, I now know that the combination of both experiences has led me to my proudest achievements as a human being. I could not be more grateful.


New York University

Master of Arts - Performance Studies

New York, New York


University of New Mexico

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Theatre Arts

Albuquerque, New Mexico