Sebastián Calderón Bentin
Joy Brooke Fairfield
Angela M. Farr Schiller
Myrton Wesley Running Wolf
Michael St. Clair
Isaiah M. Wooden
Sebastián Calderón Bentin is a graduate student, actor and director at TAPS. He is a native of Panama and Peru and holds an M.A. in Performance Studies and a B.F.A. in Theater (with Honors) and Anthropology form New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. As a performer he has collaborated with Anna Deavere Smith; John Jesurun; Witness Relocation; International Contemporary Ensemble; and Tim Etchells and Matthew Goulish's Institute of Failure, among others. His main areas of research include critical theory, empire studies and the avant-garde in Latin America
Rebecca Chaleff received her BA in English and Dance from Barnard College. After graduating, she danced as a freelance artist in New York and continued training at the Merce Cunningham Studio. There, she studied with Cunningham for several years before his death, and was involved in reconstructive workshops and performances with the Repertory Understudy Group. More recently, Rebecca earned her MA in Gender and Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her current interests span the cerebral and physical experiences of the body as it is theorized, sculpted and expressed through the medium of performance.
Received her B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. She has been involved in various theater productions, in English and other regional languages, staged in Kolkata, where she was born and raised. She has also performed in several short films that have been screened at national and international film festivals such as Kolkata Short Film Festival, Kolkata Film Festival and Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival. She has been trained in Indian Classical music and dance since her childhood, and takes special interest in Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, literary works and philosophies. Her interests also lie in Eastern mystical thoughts and religious philosophies. Her academic areas of research include the spiritual and therapeutic possibilities of theater; religion; rituals; folklore; gender studies; and multiculturalism.
A graduate of NYU's Performance Studies Master's program, Joy Brooke Fairfield's academic work focuses on group performances of physical intimacy, researching such practices such as Contact Improv and Women's Roller Derby. Joy began directing theatre as an undergraduate at Harvard University, and has helmed over 20 productions in Cambridge, Seattle, and New York City. She is a 2010 Drama League Directing Fellow and has trained with the SITI Company and Double Edge Theatre. Dedicated to investigating theatre training, rehearsal, and performance as vital research modes, Joy is interested in the kinds of knowledge that can be formed through intellectually engaged practice.
Angela M. Farr Schiller received her B.A. in theatre from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she completed her final year of study at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has also studied at the University of Ghana at Legon, Accra and the University degli Studi di Siena, Italy. As a performer, she has appeared onstage with the Emmy Award-winning Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs, the National Dance Company of Ghana, the Tony Award winning Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse. Recently, Angela received her Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from New York University and has been teaching in Germany, where she also received her European Language Certificate in German. Her academic areas of research include late 20th century and contemporary African American performance and history, race, gender and identity politics, memory, oral history and documentary theatre.
Ashley received her B.A. in Psychology and Theatre Arts (with honors) from Brandeis University and her M.S. in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M-Commerce. She has an interest in embodiment and representations of madness in performance. Other academic interests include memory, bicultural efficacy, performance and affect, and identity.
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Kellen received his B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and his M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include South African theatre and performance, international theatre festivals, intercultural theatre, as well as investigating negotiations of race, gender, sexuality and nationality in globalized performance. He has presented his work at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), and Performance Studies International (PSi). Kellen is also an actor and director, and recently directed Charles Mee’s Bedtime Stories and performed in a production of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed.
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So-Rim Lee received her B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia College, Columbia University. During this time, she spent her summers in Brazil for environmental studies and in Cannes, France, for French. After her B.A., she worked in the filmmaking scene for a year in Seoul, South Korea, where she also received an M.A. in English Literature from Seoul National University, followed by another M.A. in Text and Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, United Kingdom - a program jointly held with Birkbeck, University of London. She has written her first master's thesis on Allen Ginsberg's performance poetics, archived in the department of special collections at Stanford University Libraries. As for the second, she has attempted an interdisciplinary reading between theatre and the photographs of Angus McBean and Diane Arbus. She is primarily interested in the process of performance making in relation to language - verbal and non-verbal, the politics of the body in space, and in making connections between visual media and theatre.
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Lindsey Mantoan holds an A.B. in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University and an M.A. in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin. Her master’s thesis, “Telling Stories: Documentary Theater as Trauma Archive and Historiography” examined the relationship between documentary plays and traumatic memory. Her essay on the Tricycle Theatre Company's Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom will appear in Imagining Human Rights in Twenty-First Century Theater: Global Perspectives, forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan. She has presented her research on representations of war and performative responses to contemporary political issues at various conferences, including the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO), and the Mid America Theatre Conference (MATC). She co-wrote and co-directed, with Angela Schiller, The Knot, a multi-media performance piece about the African Diaspora that Stanford produced as part of its 2010-2011 mainstage season. In 2012, she directed a reading of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Dustin Lance Black's "8," a documentary play taken from the transcripts of the federal gay marriage trial about Proposition 8. She has worked at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Currently, she serves on the board of Performance Studies International (PSi), is an instructor in the English Department of the Prison University Project at San Quentin, is a director for the Bay Area Educational Theater Company.
Ljubi Matic was born and grew up in Serbia, where he received his MFA in Theatre Directing from Belgrade University of Arts. At Stanford he directed Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh, a play dealing with teenage angst and infatuation with music, as well as Roberto Zucco by Bernard-Marie Koltès, a play dealing with a young man’s killing spree and infatuation with violence, death and strangely enough, invisibility.
Aida Mbowa is a candidate for a dual PhD in TAPS and Humanities. She is a Ugandan national who was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and who received a BA in Performance and Identity Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Her current research sits at the juncture where literary and cultural studies intersect with Africana and Performance Studies and she teaches interdisciplinary courses that draw on these disciplines. Her dissertation, “Dialogic Constructions of a New Black Aesthetic: East Africa and African America, 1952-1979,” considers aesthetic work and ideologies born out of a transnational traffic of philosophies and style between the two ethno-geographic regions. The Humanities Center at Stanford has awarded her the Geballe Dissertation Prize fellowship for this work. Aida's directorial interests include plays that challenge the constructs of racial, ethnic, national, gender and sexual identifies. In 2012, she was selected to represent Uganda at the Sundance Institute Theater Stage Directors Lab, held in Ethiopia. She is honored to have the opportunity to represent Uganda again in 2013 at the Sundance Institute in Utah.
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Angrette holds a BFA in Set Design, and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU-Tisch. Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Angrette has worked as a freelance set designer for theatre and film in NYC for the past seven years. Her credits include off-Broadway and regional plays, as well assistant credits on Broadway, and the Metropolitan Opera, and English National Opera. While in New York she also spent five years teaching stagecraft to high school students. Angrette's academic research is invested in the belief that the physical spaces we inhabit have profound effects on our beings. Her work is an exploration of space's ability to nurture an affective relationship between itself and its inhabitant, particularly through the construction process.
Derek’s research focuses on copyright law and the performing arts in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Secondary research interests include music-as-performance and musical theater. His articles and reviews have appeared in Theatre Journal, Contemporary Theatre Review, TDR: The Drama Review, Musicology Australia, and Studies in Musical Theatre. He has presented at conferences of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the American Society for Theatre Research, Performance Studies international, and the American Musicological Society. Derek’s theater practice includes work as an actor, writer, music director, and dramaturg. An original one-act opera, with music by Giancarlo Aquilanti, will premiere at Stanford in Winter 2013. He won a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship in support of his research and holds a BA cum laude in English from Yale. For more information, visit his website.
Matthew is a graduate student at TAPS. He holds a BA in English and Theater from Muhlenberg College and has worked as a director in various theaters on the East Coast. At Stanford, he directed the premiere of a short play by Mac Wellman last spring and Caryl Churchill’s Far Away. Matthew is interested in the interplay of theater and politics during times of artistic and political revolution, and is especially concerned with the collisions of Modernism and Post-Colonial discourse in the early twentieth century.
Ciara is a native of Ireland, and holds a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin. At Stanford, she has directed Bedbound by Enda Walsh and Splendour by Abi Morgan, and co-directed Our Country's Good and Major Barbara with playwright Amy Freed. She assisted media and film artist Lynn Hershman Leeson on a forthcoming film concerning the history of feminist art in the United States.
Jessica Nakamura is a doctoral candidate in TAPS. She holds a BA (with Honors) from Swarthmore College and a MFA in Asian Theatre Directing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research interests include contemporary Japanese performance and intercultural theatre. She spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Japan on a Blakemore Fellowship.
Rebecca Ormiston holds a B.A. in Theatre and English from Florida Gulf Coast University, and an M.A. in Theatre Studies from Florida State University. Before attending FSU, Becky recently completed an internship in Literary Management at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. Her research interests include critical theory and the avant-garde, and the intersection between postmodernism, race, and sexuality in feminist performance. Becky is also interested in exploring methods of devised performance, and has worked with several groups in the Southwest Florida area on new work concerning coalition building among women of color, and their allies.
Virginia Preston is a PhD candidate at TAPS. She is working on a dissertation on the figure and globalization in early ballet. Her research interests include theater, dance studies, interdisciplinary performance and history. Her previous degrees include an MA in Comparative Literature and Translation, at Binghamton, and a BA from the Liberal Arts College at Concordia. Virginia’s research focuses on francophone artists. Her paper Imag/ing Theatre: Wajdi Mouawad's Seuls appeared in TheatreForum 35. She is a Fall 2011 resident at La Cité internationale des arts, in Paris, and a past participant in ‘New Dramaturgies in Canada and Germany’ at HAU II. She joined the Mobile Academy in Warsaw, Klangkunstbühne at Universität der Kunste Berlin and the Interdisciplinary Fine Arts Program at Concordia. Virginia comes to performance studies via dance. She works in dramaturgy and directing, and she trained as a performer in Ottawa, at Le groupe de la place royale, and in Montreal at LADMMI. She is the graduate student representative for the Society of Dance History Scholars, and she is thrilled to join the board of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies this year.
Myrton is a Blackfeet Indian from Browning, Montana. He received his Masters degree in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2008. A tuition scholarship award winner to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and a Master of Fine Arts graduate in film production from the University of Southern California in 2003, his interests include the marginalization and overt romantic depictions of Native Americans in mainstream media, the cultural politics of accessibility to feature film, broadcast television, and Broadway theater, critical race theory, and religious studies. More broadly, he is interested in the transition period from 1875–1915 when the myth of Native America ceased to be anthropologic in nature and shifted to Third World politics. His play titled Carlisle – a different three sisters, inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters and set at the infamous Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the year 1913, received multimedia staged readings to standing-room only audiences at La MAMA ETC., The American Indian Community House (NYC), The Kimmel Center at NYU, The Barrow Group Theater, and Vassar College in Upstate New York.
His recent short film JARIN – a fable by Jim, Knute, and Red, won the Disney ABC Television Group’s VideoFest and the Best Short Film category at The International Cherokee Film Festival 2009; it was also nominated in the Best Live Short Subject category at the 34th Annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco and has been invited to the Smithsonian Institute’s Native Film+Video Festival 2010.
Michael is a graduate student at TAPS. He received a BA from Case Western University. At Stanford, he has directed Sam Shepard’s Action and Tennessee Williams’s Suddenly Last Summer.
Ryan holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied briefly at the Experimental Performance Institute at New College of California with an emphasis in queer activism. His current research is invested in bridging critical theory with performance architecture through feminist and queer investigations of dwelling, place and paratheatrical space. Other interests include the postdramatic, postcolonial theory, the economics of live-art and (re)examing site specificity in performance. Most recently he completed a DIY residency at Mama Calizo's Voice Factory with the debut of Anal Foreclosure and is currently a director of The Good Shop Co-op in San Francisco, Ca.
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Raegan holds a B.A. in English from Colorado College; an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Program at NYU with a concentration in Gender Politics; and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. Her research interests include the body and violence, and she is currently researching resilience as an embodied performance while creating a dramaturgy of what she terms the misbehaving body. She was the recipient of The Leigh George Odom Memorial Award for Distinguished Master's Student from NYU's Department of Performance Studies and most recently worked with Guggenheim Fellow Carlos Motta on an international multi-media art project We Who Feel Differently. Raegan spent seven years working as the Director of Programming for Learning through an Expanded Arts Program, the largest Arts in Education Non-Profit in New York City which trains artists and organizations to develop quality arts programming for kids.
Giulia obtained both a BA and a MA summa cum laude in Theatre History from the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice. She is interested in modern and contemporary theatre history and in aesthetics. She published an essay from her thesis: Giulia Vittori, Ethics of space. Space according to Robert Wilson. In Kandinsky’s footsteps, “Il Castello di Elsinore” 58, University of Turin. She has been for many years performer and vocal trainer for an indipendent vanguarded theatre group in Venice, ItinerisTeatro. She is also a musician and a teacher of music.
Isaiah Matthew Wooden is a doctoral candidate and director-dramaturg in TAPS with creative and research interests in cross-cultural performance, popular culture, and contemporary black drama. His research has been supported by the Denning Family Fellowship for the Arts, the Ric Weiland Graduate Fellowship, and the Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship at Stanford. Isaiah’s academic writing has appeared in Theatre Journal, Callaloo, and Southern Studies, and he has presented at inter/national conferences including ATHE, PSi, and BTN. Isaiah received his Bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University, where he also served as an adjunct faculty member and Artistic Director of the Black Theatre Ensemble (2005-2008). Recent directing credits include Eisa Davis’s Bulrusher, Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation, Nilaja Sun’s No Child…, and Beyond My Circle, the multidisciplinary performance event that he co-directed and co-devised with collaborators from Stanford and Makerere Universities in 2009. He will next direct Tarell Alvin McCraney's Marcus, or the Secret of Sweet at Stanford.