April 19: Peggy Phelan Delivers 2013 Wertheim Seminar in Performance

The Wertheim Seminar in Performance and the Department of English invite interested graduate students to participate in a seminar conducted by Professor Peggy Phelan

“Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?”

Friday, April 19 | 10:30-12:00
Distinguished Alumni Room, IMU

This seminar will look more closely at Albee’s play, concentrating in particular on the boundaries around sexual acts and the family. Using a broadly psychoanalytic method, we will consider the genre of theatre in relation to knowing and making public that which may not ever be fully knowable. Questions to be considered: what is fundamentally secret and unknown in sexual acts? What is the family’s interest in maintaining and revealing sexual secrets? How does this relate to the broader culture’s interest in “coming out” on the one hand, and the massively expensive and sophisticated interest in maintaining national and personal secrets on the other?

SPACE IS LIMITED; please RSVP to lcharnes@indiana.edu to attend. Three readings will be made available to participating students in advance of the seminar.

Peggy Phelan

Dr. Peggy Phelan, Stanford University

PEGGY PHELAN is the Ann O’Day Maples Chair in the Arts,  and holds a joint appointment in English and Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University.  A leading authority in performance art, her most recent book is the edited volume, Live Art in LA: Performance in Southern California: 1970-83 (Routledge: 2012). Phelan’s other works include Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (1993); Mourning Sex: Performing Public Memories (1997); Acting Out: Feminist Performances (1993); and The Ends of Performance (1998), as well as several co-edited volumes and more than sixty articles and essays in scholarly, artistic, and commercial magazines ranging from Artforum to Signs.

Professor Phelan’s essays have been cited in the fields of architecture, art history, psychoanalytic criticism, visual culture, performance studies, theater studies, and film and video studies. She has been a fellow of the Humanities Institute at the University of California, Irvine and the Australian National University. She served on the Editorial Board of Art Journal, one of three quarterly publications of the College Art Association, and served as Chair of the board. She has been President of Performance Studies International and has been a fellow of the Getty Research Institute and a Guggenheim Fellow.

CMCL’s Joshua Trey Barnett is the (corpo)realities Symposium Essay Prize Winner

We are pleased to announce that Joshua Trey Barnett, MA Student in Indiana University’s Department of Communication & Culture is the winner of the  2013 Indiana University Graduate Symposium on Theatre & Performance Studies Essay Prize. His paper “Photographic Sequences of Transsexual Bodies as Performance” investigated Joshua Riverdale’s “Gender Outlaw: My Physical Evolution on Testosterone,” a 110- photograph sequence of the photographer’s body in various states of somatic transition.


Screenshot from Joshua Riverdale’s FTM Transition Blog, “Gender Outlaw: My Physical Evolution on Testosterone,” the case study at the heart of Barnett’s prize-winning paper.

In his paper presented at the 2013 (corpo)realities conference sponsored by ART@IU, Joshua demonstrates the productive potential of consecutive images to render the prolonged process of transition visible. According to Joshua:

“Riverdale’s photographic sequence straddles the divide between embodied performance and archival documentation, and functions to perform his transition in a coherent way that relies on and refers to the corporeal. This analysis offers a generative framework for re-imagining the relationships between visual rhetoric and performance, representation and performativity, image and flesh.”

The prize comes with recognition in Department of Theatre and Drama’s various publications and a $200 stipend sponsored by the Indiana University Department of Theatre & Drama and ART@IU.


IU CMCL Student, Joshua Trey Barnett

Joshua Trey Barnett is an associate instructor and graduate student in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University Bloomington. His research program centers on questions of (in)visibility with an emphasis on queer and environmental visual rhetorics. Invisible processes such as climate change, community pollution, and somatic transitions constitute the primary sites of Barnett’s research and attention. He theorizes at the intersections of rhetorical, performance, and critical cultural studies. He is also a photographer and queer activist.

Recognizing Talent

MA Candidate Jess Drew

MA Candidate Jessica Taylor Drew

Congratulations to MA Candidate Jessica Taylor Drew who recently accepted a position as a youth theatre educator at the Center for Talent Development (CTD) housed at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. An accredited learning center and research facility that has been serving gifted students, their families and educators for nearly 30 years, CTD prides itself on taking notions of what learning is and introducing students to what learning should be.

When Jess graduates in May, she plans to leave Bloomington for the Evanston Campus of NU where she will put her new degree to work cultivating the theatre scholars of tomorrow.

Jess received her BA in Theatre and Art History from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Her research interests include the fat body onstage, the epic, theatre education, contemporary theatre of the Americas, and the performativity of monster truck rallies. A board member of the Goat Song Theatre Company in Chicago, she has worked in various capacities for the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Vitalist Theatre of Chicago, and Northwestern University.

April 1: Dr. Gary Taylor Discusses Shakespeare as Multimedia Artist

The Department of Theatre & Drama Presents a Seminar with Gary Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University

    Dr. Gary Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University

Dr. Gary Taylor, Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University

“Platformalism: Shakespeare as Multimedia Performance Poet”

April 1, 2013 | 5:00 – 6:15pm
Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center, AD 152

GARY TAYLOR is Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University, where he founded their interdisciplinary History of Text Technologies program in 2005 and is currently a founding member of their interdisciplinary Performance in Context group. The (co)author or (co)editor of 22 books, a Guggenheim fellow, winner of the MLA prize for distinguished scholarly editing and the Elizabeth Deitz prize for outstanding contribution to early modern studies, Taylor was co-general editor of the revolutionary 1986 Oxford edition of Shakespeare’s works. That edition for the first time edited Shakespeare as a writer specifically for the theatre. He is currently working on the multimedia collection, New Oxford Shakespeare, the first Complete Works to include an Equity actor as one of its general editors, and to incorporate theatre as a form of research. Since 1992 he has worked with theatre companies in New York, Washington, Chicago, London and Canada, and with university theatre programs in New Zealand and Florida. In 2010 he co-founded Hoosier Bard Productions.

(corpo)realities | March 23-24 | Conference Weekend Itinerary


All events are in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405. There is free parking across the street from the theatre building, on the upper level of the Jordan Avenue Garage.

Friday, March 22


3:00 pm-4:45 pm

Rhizome: Choreography of a Moving Writing Self…………………………………………..Studio Theatre
Dr. Petra Kuppers, Professor of English, Theatre and Dance, & Women’s Studies, University of Michigan

Registration, Dinner, and a Show

5:00-6:00 pm

Registration Table Open……………………………………………………………………..Michaels Lobby

6:00-7:15 pm

Welcome Reception and Catered Dinner………..………………………………….Mezzanine Gallery

7:30-9:00 pm

IU Theatre’s At First Sight, A Repertory of New Plays……………Wells-Metz Theatre

(a love story) by Kelly P. Lusk, directed by Paul Daily
Kelly Lusk, MFA Playwriting Student in Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

Saturday, March 23

Breakfast and Departmental Welcome

8:00-8:30 am

Bagel Breakfast…………………………………………………………………………………Michaels Lobby

8:30-8:35 am

Welcome.…..……………..……………..……………..……..……………..………………Wells-Metz Theatre
Professor Ronald Wainscott, Director of Graduate Studies, Head of Theatre History, Theory, & Literature

8:35-9:20 am

How to Tell (a love story) ………………………………………………………………Wells-Metz Theatre
Assistant Professor Ken Weitzman, Head of IU’s MFA Playwriting Program, interviews Kelly P. Lusk

Panel Presentations

9:30 am-10:45 am

Panel 1a: Dramaturgies of Difference………………………………………………Studio Theatre

1. Elephants on the Moors: The Abberant Patient’s Construction and Resistance in Joan Schenkar’s Signs of Life
Kim Hinton, PhD Candidate and Undergraduate Advisor in Theatre & Drama, Indiana University

2. Sterno und Drang: The Connection Between Agency and Outlaw in Machinal, The Verge, and Out of Sterno
Julia Moriarty, PhD Student in Theatre, Wayne State University

3.  Reclaiming Wholeness: The Dramaturgy of Disability in D.W. Gregory’s Dirty Pictures
Bradley Stephenson, PhD Student in Theatre, University of Missouri

9:30 am-10:45 am

Panel 1b: Building Character with Cognitive Science…….…………………………A 201

4.  Their Bodies Are Also Mine: Extended Cognition Meets Becoming in a Physical Theatre Rehearsal Room
Slade Billew, PhD Student in Theatre & Film, Bowling Green State University
Angenette Spalink, PhD Student in Theatre & Film, Bowling Green State University (via Skype)

5.  Speaking Bodies: An Actor’s Awareness of Character
Tyler Eglen, MFA in Theatre Performance, Arizona State University

6.  From the Body Into the World: Viewpoints’ Use of the Actor’s Memory
Dr. Devin Malcolm, Adjunct Professor of Theatre, Slippery Rock University

11:00 am-12:15 pm

Panel 2a: The Effect of Affect on Othered Bodies…………………….………Studio Theatre

7.  Crip Identifications: The Affective Possibilities of Disability and Dance
Sami Schalk, PhD Candidate in Gender Studies, Indiana University

8.  Bodies in Motion: Photographic Sequences of Transsexual Bodies as Performance
Joshua Trey Barnett, MA Student in Communication and Culture, Indiana University

9.  Towards a Phenomenological Approach to the Black Performer’s Body in Brazilian Black Theatrical Practice
Gustavo Melo Cerqueira, MA Student in African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas – Austin

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(corpo)realities | Indiana University’s 2nd Annual Graduate Symposium on Theatre & Performance Studies


This March, the Department of Theatre and Drama will host its second annual Graduate Symposium on Theatre and Performance Studies, a two-day event where young scholars from all over Europe and the Americas will convene in Bloomington to present their research in progress. This year’s conference is titled (corpo)realities and will feature academic paper presentations, demonstrations, actor-training workshops, and short performance pieces that actively question the role of embodiment and presence in art.

The conference is hosted by the Association for Research in Theatre at Indiana University, also known as ART@IU, a newly minted organization formed to foster a scholarly community for graduate and advanced undergraduate students to share their work in theatre and performance studies. With plans to host future conferences, guest speakers, and practice-as-research performances, ART@IU hopes to provide opportunities for Indiana University students to expand their professional networks by developing connections with other theatre researchers within the college and beyond.

Second-year Ph.D. students Sara Taylor and Eric “C” Heaps serve as the president and vice president of ART@IU and co-chaired this year’s conference with faculty support from Assistant Professors Ken Weitzman and Amy Cook. Their idea for the 2013 symposium grew out of a year-long conversation among students and faculty about the importance of attending to the physical reality of the actor’s body on stage and how that body can affect both the actor’s experience in playing a role and the audience’s understanding of it.

PhD Student Sara Taylor

PhD Student Sara Taylor

PhD Student Eric "C" Heaps

PhD Student Eric “C” Heaps

“Advances in scientific research continue to indicate that experience and cognition are bodily mediated,” Taylor noted. “That is to say that

the way that way we think is not just related to our individual physicalities, but is fundamentally structured by our experience of living in our bodies.”

Most scientists today do not consider the human mind and body to be separate, distinct entities and, according to Taylor, “When we take this into account, it becomes clear that the sensorimotor capacities of individuals, their size, shape, and ability to move through space can have a profound effect not just on what they feel, but how they know and understand the world.”

The project of the symposium’s participants is to relate this revelation to the theatre. How can innovations in artistic, scientific, and philosophical perspectives concerning the somatic structure our worldview in an age when technology infiltrates and organizes both the mental and physical tasks of daily life? The participants confront these questions from a variety of angles, presenting their work informed by current scholarship in theatre praxis, cognitive science, cultural theory and gender and disability studies.

This posits theatre and performance as a powerful tool for moving people at the cellular level, a happy idea shared by IU Theatre’s March mainstage productions in the new works series, At First Sight, which serve as the keystone of the symposium.

A scene from (a love story) by Kelly P. Lusk.

A scene from (a love story) by MFA Playwriting student Kelly P. Lusk. | Photo By Ben Tamir Rothenberg

“We planned the conference to begin with a performance of second-year M.F.A. Playwriting student Kelly Patrick Lusk’s new play (a love story), so that the presenters, who are from a variety of disciplines and cultural backgrounds, would have common ground,” Taylor said. On the morning of Saturday, March 23 the public portion of the symposium begins with a conversation featuring Lusk and Weitzman discussing the writing and revising of (a love story) and the process of new play development as an embodied experience.

Coming from more than a dozen universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America, the participants in this year’s symposium truly fulfill ART@IU’s mission to expand professional networks. “It was important to us to extend an invitation to people studying performance acts from many different perspectives,” Taylor said. “We wanted theatre scholars, practitioners, and critics, but we also wanted to meet with people who read performance as a new literature, or as rhetoric, or as a physiological function of the body.”

The keynote speaker for the symposium shares interdisciplinary interests as well. Dr. Petra Kuppers is Professor of English, Theatre and Dance, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. As a performance maker and community artist as well as a self-proclaimed witnessing critic, theorist, and a disability culture activist, Kuppers cites her journey as an artist as emerging from a “passionate exploration of performance ethics and community building.”

Petra Kuppers

Community artist and activist Dr. Petra Kuppers, Professor of English, Theatre & Dance, and Women’s Studies at University of Michigan.

“What we call ‘art’ is up for grabs, needs to be re-thought, re-created, every time we step into the river of practice,” she notes. “I know this because as a disabled dancer living with pain and fatigue, I have to subvert the ordinary, have fun in unusual spaces, and find time out of time.” For over twenty years, Kuppers has engaged community participants gently and with thought-in-process work. Some of these workshops happened in women’s centers, hospices, mental health self-help groups, youth groups, traditional Weavers and Knitters Guilds, with politicians, with people labeled as ‘developmentally disabled’, with cancer survivors, in National Parks, in abandoned buildings, and on the beach.

In addition to teaching, Kuppers is also Artistic Director of The Olimpias, a performance research project that investigates intersections between community art, identity politics, and (new) media. Some of her past works include Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (Routledge, 2003), The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), and Community Performance: An Introduction (Routledge, 2007). Her most recent book, Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape (Routledge 2011) won the American Society for Theatre Research’s 2011 Sally Banes Prize.

(corpo)realities will convene at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center with an evening performance of (a love story) on Friday, March 22.  The student presentations will commence in the morning on Saturday, March 23 and continue through the keynote speech in the late afternoon.  All events are open to the public, though seating is limited.

Tickets for (a love story) may be purchased through the box office, or by visiting theatre.indiana.edu.