Welcome! I am an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and teacher working at the intersection of four academic fields: theatre studies, performance studies, disability studies, and mad studies. Specifically, I focus on the performativity of madness and its representation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Through a combination of performance analysis, historical research, and practice-based methodologies, I explore cultural responses to bodymind difference in a variety of settings, including the theatre, the clinic, and the classroom.
- In the theatre, I analyze live performance. I observe how artists reproduce specific gestures, vocalizations, or movements when portraying mental disability and distress, and assess how such representations reflect or refute ableist beliefs.
- In the clinic, I evaluate archival documents. I identify the use of distinctly theatrical language within psychiatric literature, and trace the ways this language morphs in tandem with changing aesthetic preferences.
- In the classroom, I survey a variety of teaching methods. I draw on theories from theatre studies and disability studies to develop strategies for accessible pedagogy, deploying drama-based activities as a means to foster diversity and inclusion.
I share my research in publications, presentations, workshops, and performances. This work has been made possible through generous support from a variety of professional organizations, including the Theatre and Social Change (TASC) Working Group at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS), and, most recently, a year-long fellowship from The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation at The Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly The Woodrow Wilson Foundation).
I am currently in my final year as a PhD candidate in the Performance as Public Practice Program at The University of Texas at Austin, where I am completing my dissertation on performances of historical trauma created by survivors, artists, and mental health professionals at Oregon State Hospital (1883-present), one of the oldest continuously-operating psychiatric institutions in the United States.