School of Humanities and Sciences
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Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies
BioAmy Freed is the author of Restoration Comedy, The Beard of Avon, Freedomland, Safe in Hell, The Psychic Life of Savages, You, Nero and other plays. She 's a past recipient of the Charles McArthur Playwriting Award (D.C.) The New York Art's Club Joseph Kesserling Award, a several-times winner of the LA Critic's Circle Award, and a Pulitzer Prize Finalist. Her work has been produced at South Coast Repertory Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Seattle Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Yale Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Rep, the Goodman, Playwright's Horizons, Woolly Mammoth, Arena Stage and other theaters around the country.
Her most recent play is The Monster Builder, and she is developing commissions for Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep and Arena Stage. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University and also holds a Mellon Foundation Playwriting Residency for the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
Stephanie Jane Hunt
BioStephanie is an actor, director, and teacher of voice and acting. As a core member of the Bay Area theatre company, Word for Word, Stephanie has acted in numerous productions, including Tobias Wolff’s Sanity, Colm Tóibín’s Silence, Upton Sinclair’s Oil! and Susan Glaspell’s A Jury of her Peers. She played Lizzie Borden in The Fall River Axe Murders by Angela Carter directed by Amy Freed. For Word for Word, she directed the productions of Bullet in the Brain and Lady's Dream by Tobias Wolff, and All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones, which played at the Z Space before touring France. She has acted with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Campo Santo, Aurora Theatre, the Magic Theatre, Berkeley Shakespeare, the One Act Theater, and in New York at La Mama. For two years with Pulp Playhouse, Stephanie performed late-night comedy improv with O-Lan Jones and Mike McShane at the Eureka Theater. She has taught voice at ACT in the Summer Training Congress, and at the University of San Francisco, Chabot College, and Sonoma State University. She has directed a number of university productions, most recently at USF, where she directed Twelfth Night, and adapted and directed Alice Munro’s The View from Castle Rock. Her training includes an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and certification as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. Stephanie is committed to creating and teaching ensemble-based theater with a focus on heightened language.
Sara Hart Kimball Professor of the Humanities
BioMy research is highly interdisciplinary. I find it very rewarding to study performance in the context of visual arts, film and digital media, literature and poetry, critical theory, as well as larger social and historical processes. Most recently, I have been focusing on climate change and environmental justice, which led me to an interest in cultural policies and funding for the arts in the US.
My most recent monograph in English is Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia 1945-1991 (University of Michigan Press, 2016) which received the Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theater for 2016-17 and Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Outstanding Book Award, 2017. It has been translated into Serbian (2019) and Slovenian (2021). I co-translated and edited Radomir Konstantinović’s book The Philosophy of Parochialism, a groundbreaking analysis of the relation of the national literature, primarily poetry, and the formation of totalitarian ideas and political practices in a small European nation during the first half of the 20th century (forthcoming from University Michigan Press in the fall of 2021). Together with my colleague Diana Looser, I edited a special issue of TDR: The Drama Review on climate change, which is also forthcoming in the winter of 2021. Currently, I am completing the book manuscript Performance Apparatus, in which I investigate the relationship between performance art and theories of ideological and power formations from the 1970s until the present.
I hail from Yugoslavia, the country that was located in central and western Balkans, in southeastern Europe. There, I trained in Drama Schools at universities in Skopje and Belgrade (present-day Northern Macedonia and Serbia, respectively). I worked as Dramaturg in professional theaters during and immediately after the completion of my BFA studies.
Most of my views on politics, ethics, justice, and the arts were informed by the unraveling of Yugoslavia in a series of bloody civil wars in the 1990s. I was active in anti-war movements before I left the country, and remained active in pro-democracy publications in Serbia and the region of the former Yugoslavia. Some of these writings have been collected in the book Frozen donkey and other essays (Smrznuti magarac i drugi eseji, Komuna Links, Belgrade 2017).
Both my MA and PhD are from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. While pursuing my PhD, I was active in the New York downtown theater and alternative press scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the subsequent years, I served on the board of Performance Studies international (PSi), and chaired the 19th PSi conference held at Stanford in June of 2013.
Before joining Stanford in 2006, I taught at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and University of Minnesota. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in my home department, over the years I served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Chair (2015-2019). Some of the highlights from my tenure as Chair are: devising a strategic plan for the department that yielded the current structure of our undergraduate program, supervising the return of the department to the renovated Roble Gym, the establishment of Nitery Experimental Theater as the first fully student-run theater space on campus, working with the Dean’s office to set up Carl Weber graduate fellowships, and opening TAPS season-planning process to include all members of the department who are willing to participate (students, faculty, staff). As of the fall of 2021, I again assumed the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies. It is my hope that in this capacity I will be able to help TAPS re-open after the COVID closure.
Associate Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature
BioJisha Menon is a scholar of postcolonial theory and performance studies whose research interests lie at the intersection of law and performance; race and the carceral state; affect theory, cities, and capitalism; gender and sexuality; cosmopolitanism and nationalism. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in Urban India (Northwestern UP, 2021,) which considers the city and the self as aesthetic projects that are renovated in the wake of neoliberal economic reforms in India. The study explores how discourses of beauty are mobilized toward anti-democratic ends. Sketching out scenes of urban aspiration and its dark underbelly, the book delineates the creative and destructive potential of India’s lurch into contemporary capitalism. Her first book, The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan and the Memory of Partition (Cambridge UP, 2013), examines the affective and performative dimensions of nation-making. The book recuperates the idea of "mimesis" to think about political history and the crisis of its aesthetic representation, while also paying attention to the mimetic relationality that undergirds the encounter between India and Pakistan. She is also co-editor of two volumes: Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict (with Patrick Anderson) (Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2009) and Performing the Secular: Religion, Representation, and Politics (with Milija Gluhovic) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.) She has published essays on the Indian partition, diasporic feminist theatre, political violence and performance, transnational queer theory, and neoliberal urbanism. Previously, she served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.