Ecology of New York Theatre
Arts Professor Elizabeth Bradley is an educator, theatrical producer, festival curator, presenter, and international cultural consultant. She was recruited in 2008 to the NYU Tisch School of the Arts to serve as Chair of the Department of Drama after heading the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Her appointment at Carnegie Mellon followed a wide-ranging career of almost 30 years in the professional performing arts in her native Canada. For a decade, Bradley was CEO of the Hummingbird Centre (now Sony Centre) for the Performing Arts in Toronto, the largest in Canada. The 14 million-dollar organization presents multidisciplinary attractions from around the world, including many of the major artists of the last two decades. Her theatrical producing credits include Tony-nominated Broadway productions, Edinburgh Festival premieres and extensive tours to major houses such as the Kennedy Center, and New York's City Center. She has worked directly for artists as manager and agent, and occupied a senior management position for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. She is a recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Gold Medal for outstanding contribution to the arts in Canada. A past Chair of the International Society for the Performing Arts, an organization that links leaders in the arts from 51 countries, Bradley was instrumental in the creation of the Inaugural International Arts Forum in Beijing, China, in 2001. She was the Founding Artistic Director of the first edition of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts held in October of 2004. The Festival brought nine U.S. premieres of cutting-edge multi disciplinary performance work to Pittsburgh to complement the visual arts showcased in the Carnegie International. For the past five years, Bradley served as Senior Artistic Associate for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canada, under the artistic directorship of Des McAnuff. Currently she chairs the U.S. board of the National Theatre of Scotland, and advises the Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Wash. Her teaching and research interests focus on artistic entrepreneurship, which she currently teaches at NYU in a learning module initiated at Carnegie Mellon for graduate MFA students. The Self Start content has engaged students from Hong Kong to Glasgow. In addition, she teaches emerging arts leaders in a course sequence that focuses on global best practices in meeting contemporary sector challenges. Also recently, she served on the jury for the Theatre Communications Group’s Global Initiative Grant program. Her great passion is contributing to cultural collaboration and empowerment in whatever part of the world she is fortunate enough to be invited.
Topics in Performance Studies: Museums, Fairs, Sideshows
Robert Davis is an Instructor in the Tisch Drama Department. His dissertation, “Performance and Spectatorship in United States International Expositions, 1876-1893” looks at audience behavior at world’s fairs, sections of which have been published in The World’s Fair Reader (2014) and Classics in the Modern World: A Democratic Turn? (2013). He has also published in The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas (2015), Comparative Drama (2011), and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre (2011, with Amanda Wrigley). Currently, he is under contract to write a game for Choice of Games about managing a theatre in nineteenth-century New York.
Directing Practicum; Theatrical Genres: Comedy & Performance
Fritz Ertl is a director and educator. He has produced or directed world premieres of plays by Steven Drukman, Erik Ehn, and Paula Vogel, and has worked at theatres such as Berkshire Theatre Festival, BACA Downtown, Here, and Incubator Arts Project. At NYU Fritz has directed Pentecost, by David Edgar, The Pains of Youth, by Ferdinand Brukner, and Mad Forest, by Caryl Churchill, among others. In recent years, he has been working on a series of new plays exploring the catastrophic consequences of globalization: Youth in Asia: A Techno Fantasia (aka the resistance project), written by Steven Drukman; Foxhollow (aka the animal project), by Steven Drukman; There Was and There Wasn't: An Old Iraqi Folktale (aka the queeraq project), written by Daniel Glen; and Carla and Lewis (aka the ecocide project), by Shonni Enelow. Fritz has been teaching at NYU since 1990 and is the former Managing Director of the Drama Department at Tisch. He spent the 2005-06 academic year in Dublin, where he was the program director of the Tisch Dublin Acting Conservatory. At PHTS he is the head of curriculum, and teaches directing.
LGBTQ+ Performance: Queer, Feminist, & Trans Performance
Benjamin Gillespie (he/him) earned his Ph.D in Theatre & Performance from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was awarded the prestigious Monette-Horwitz prize for the Best Dissertation in LGBTQ studies in 2022 from CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies at The Graduate Center. His research focuses on the intersection of gender, sexuality, and queer embodiment in contemporary theatre and performance. He is currently editing a critical anthology of the later works from the celebrated New York-based, lesbian-feminist theatre company Split Britches (Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver). He is Associate Editor of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. His articles and reviews have been published in Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, Performance Research, PAJ, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Research in Canada, and numerous chapters in published anthologies on queer performance. Benjamin has taught at NYU Tisch since 2019.
Realism & Naturalism
Joe E. Jeffreys is a drag historian, dramaturge, and video artist whose work has received funding from the Jerome Foundation.
He has published in academic journals including The Drama Review, Theatre History Studies, and Women & Performance, essay anthologies including We Will Be Citizens: New Essays on Gay and Lesbian Theatre and Art, Glitter and Glitz: Mainstream Playwrights and Popular Theatre in 1920s America, encyclopedias and in the popular press including The Village Voice, Out, and The Advocate. Jeffreys has been interviewed about the art of drag by a wide range of media outlets including Time, The New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC, Entertainment Tonight, L’Obs, Vice and Food and Wine and featured as a talking head on the subject in documentaries including P.S. Burn This Letter Please, Ruminations and Miss Rose Wood.
Jeffreys teaches a wide range of Major Playwrights courses for the Drama Department including ones on Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, and Samuel Beckett and the Absurdists. He has led the department’s LGBTQ+ performance class for many years including a full semester devoted to examining RuPaul’s Drag Race and its Impact.
As a dramaturge Jeffreys worked on the world premiere of Tennessee William’s last full-length play, In Masks Outrageous and Austere, the NYC premiere of William’s Green Eyes, and Michael Baron’s Charles Ludlam bio inspired play The Whore of Sheridan Square. Recently Jeffreys served as a research consultant to Tina Landau and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Steppenwolf production of their original work Ms. Blakk for President.
For the past decade Jeffreys has actively video documented the NYC drag scene and this work has screened internationally at festivals, museums and galleries including The Museum of Arts and Design and The Tate Modern. Samples of his video work can be seen at https://vimeo.com/joejeffreys.
Theatrical Genres: Race & Ethnicity on the American Stage
SAJ (PhD) is a disabled, infinifat, queer, trans, and white working-class educator, community organizer, and McNair scholar. They have published in edited collections as well as in Cultural Dynamics, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and Theatre Journal. SAJ is also a co-editor of the journal Lateral. They are currently finishing their first book, which explores twenty-first century racial capitalist ideologies and the connections between Broadway, racial class formation, and political economic practice. SAJ is also co-editing two additonal volumes, Love Letters to Sick and Disabled Queers, and Cultural Studies in the Interregnum (under contract with Temple University Press).
Kevin Kuhlke is an Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts' Department of Drama, specializing in acting (advanced scene study), directing, improvisation, and physical theatre.
He has acted with Anne Bogart, Robert Wilson, Mabou Mines, the Builders Association, the Iowa Theatre Lab, and the Holderness Company regionally and in New York including Lincoln Center, the Public Theater, PS 122, Danspace, MOMA, the Franklin Furnace, the Culture Project, and La Mama.
Directing work includes over 30 productions in various venues including the Atlantic Theater Company, Seattle Rep, the Huntington Theater Company, Theater for a New Audience, ICA (London), Warsaw Theater Festival, Moscow Arts Theater School, the City Theater (Iceland) A.R.T. Institute, and theatre schools in New York, the Netherlands, and Greenland.
Work ranges from classics such as Romeo and Juliet, The Bacchae, The Seagull and Miss Julie to contemporary plays The Swan, Fool for Love, The Mud Angel, Footfalls, as well as several original plays and devised pieces. His production of O, Pioneers! with Mary McDonnell was televised nationally by American Playhouse PBS. His play Winesberg: Small Town Life was produced at the Perseverance Theater. He has taught master acting and directing classes in Cuba, Iceland, England, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greenland and in several American Universities and training programs including CalArts, Naropa, A.R.T, University of Wisconsin, Yale, and Playwrights Horizons.
He has served as a mentor for the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Lab. He was the director of the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch Drama from 1991-2001 where he produced more than 100 productions. He was also chair of the Drama Department from 2001-2008. He is the founder and director of the Tisch International Theatre Summer Training program in Amsterdam and the Tisch spring actor training program in NYU Berlin.
Political Theatre: Theatre & Social Justice
Ash Marinaccio is a multidisciplinary documentarian and artist dedicated to storytelling that highlights the socio-political issues defining our times. She is committed to creating work that evokes a deep sense of compassion and justice. As a theatremaker, photographer, and filmmaker, her work investigates complicated questions about class, violence, patriotism, and identity.
In 2021 Ash founded Docbloc, a company dedicated to bringing together artists, scholars, and journalists working across nonfiction genres for creative collaborations in live performance. Ash is the founding artistic director of the United Nations-recognized NGO Girl Be Heard and the theatre collective Co-Op Theatre East. She's a two-time TED speaker. Ash is listed as one of Culture Trip's 50 Women in Theatre You Should Know, a recipient of a Drama League First Stage Residency, and a New York Public Humanities Fellow.
As a theatremaker, her work has been seen off-Broadway (Joe's Pub, Primary Stages, Rattlestick, Culture Project), at TED conferences, The White House, The Apollo, United Nations, and on tour throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Her work has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, New Yorker, Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, Ebony, NY Press, Time Out NY, Backstage, Show Business and has been featured in segments on Buzzfeed, NBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, MTV, VH1, and NY1.
Currently, Ash is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. Her research investigates theatre practices in war zones and documentary theatre. Ash holds her MA in Performance Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.
Theatre and Therapy
Stephanie Omens is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, and Mental Health Counselor, Registered Drama Therapist, Board Certified, and Certified Child Life Specialist. Stephanie Omens is in private practice having previously worked in the hospital setting with medically compromised children whose lives are affected by hospitalized circumstances. She has been an adjunct instructor at New York University, since 2005. Explaining to children complicated bereavement is her research and upcoming publication, Fall 2023 by Rutledge Press, Drama Therapy And the Bereaved Child: Telling The Truth To Children About Death and Dying.
Studies in Shakespeare: On Film
John is Associate Director of CONNECT, a theatre-based communication training program at the Cooper Union. He has taught at Vassar College and New School University, served on the literary and outreach staff of the Denver Center Theatre Company, and worked as an arts editor, critic, and director.
Topics in Peformance Studies: Burlesque
Dr. Sally received her PhD from the Performance Studies Department at New York University and her MA in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory from The New School. Her primary areas of research interest include American popular culture, gender, and performance. Her work has been published by Routledge Press and in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Journal of Popular Culture, Senses & Society, New York History, and others. Currently on sabbatical, she is completing a book-length academic monograph for Lexington Press tentatively titled Neo-Burlesque as a New Sexual Revolution: Performances of Gender, Excess, and Desire.
Boal & Beyond: The Theory and Practice of the Theatre of the Oppressed
Alexander Santiago-Jirau (he/him/his) is Director of Education at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW). In this role, he oversees all of NYTW’s education and engagement initiatives, including the Mind the Gap (MTG) intergenerational theatre program, student matinees, in-school teaching artist residencies, after-school programs, master classes, administrative fellowships, and community-based programs. Some of his favorite work at NYTW has included developing educational materials and curating programming for the world premiere of David Bowie’s and Enda Walsh’s Lazarus directed by Ivo van Hove, the world premiere of Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin, Othello directed by Sam Gold featuring Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo, Heidi Shreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me, and Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play. Recent work has included facilitation of MTG devising intensive workshops in London, Chile, and North Carolina, and the creation of NYTW’s Youth Artistic Instigators ensemble.
A Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) practitioner who studied and worked with Augusto Boal, Alex has facilitated many workshops throughout his career, particularly with youth, educators, and immigrant communities. He is Past-President of the Board of Directors of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc., a national organization devoted to the work of liberatory educators, activists, artists, and community organizers.
Alex has presented his work at numerous conferences and his writing has appeared in The Indypendent, TYA Today, The Cross Border Project Blog (Spain), the anthology “Come Closer”: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed, and Applied Theatre with Youth: Education, Engagement, Activism. He has taught Latin American and Latinx Theatre at Drew University and also teaches TO for the Department of Drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
He holds a BS in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU Steinhardt.