Laura Elena Fortes

Assistant Director, Programs

Laura Elena Fortes is the Assistant Director of Programs at the Department of Performance Studies where she oversees the undergraduate program in performance studies. She holds an MA from New York University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to overseeing the BA program, Laura serves as the primary academic advisor to all PS majors and leads workshops for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Her graduate work at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study resides at the intersections of higher education, pedagogy, experimental writing, race and ethnicity, feminist theory, and performance studies. Her thesis, Performing Pedagogies of Radical Difference, explored how critical arts pedagogy and performance practices can bring about new social relations within the institution, carving out space for thinking and feeling differently.

Laura is a member of the Performance Studies Diversity & Inclusion working group; the Institute of Performing Arts Committee for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging; and the Director of the Performance Studies Alumni Committee. Laura has served as a mentor in the Focus Mentorship Program with the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs and as a member of the nominating committee for the University Leadership Honors Course program. She is the founding editor of Orature, a journal featuring interviews and conversations with leading artists and theorists in the field of performance studies.


New York University

Master of Arts

New York, New York


University of Pennsylvania 

Bachelor of Arts

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania