/    /  PROFESSORS
DIANA LOOSER | TAPS Department Chair; Associate Professor



Diana Looser

Associate Professor of Theater & Performance Studies; TAPS Department Chair. Diana Looser comes to theatre academia from a background in theatre practice and education (acting, voice and speech), with other disciplinary training in literary studies, sociolinguistics, and social psychology. Before moving to Cornell to train as a theatre professor, she spent a decade working in New Zealand as a registered drama teacher, performer, and performing arts festival adjudicator. 


Her research and teaching interests lie in the following areas: historiographic approaches to performance; ethnographic approaches to performance; postcolonial, transnational, and intercultural performance; performance from/about the Pacific Islands region (Oceania) and the Southern Ocean; transpacific studies; environment and performance; global humanities; theatre history studies; contemporary theatre and performance.


Diana is the author of Remaking Pacific Pasts: History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Theater from Oceania (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014; paperback edition, 2023), winner of the 2016 Rob Jordan Book Prize from the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies. Her subsequent book Moving Islands: Contemporary Performance and the Global Pacific (University of Michigan Press, 2021) was named a Finalist for the 2022 Outstanding Book Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and a Finalist for the 2022 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History from the American Society for Theatre Research. She is currently at work on a new book, Performing Beaches, under contract with Palgrave Macmillan Press. 


Diana’s writing has also appeared in Theatre JournalTheatre SurveyTDRTheatre Research International, Contemporary Theatre ReviewPerformance ResearchNew Theatre QuarterlyModern DramaRecherche littéraire/Literary ResearchPacific ArtsAustralasian Drama StudiesThe Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and The Contemporary Pacific, as well as in numerous edited collections. Her articles have received several awards, including the ADSA Marlis Thiersch Essay Prize, the ASTR Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize, and the ASTR Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize. She has been an editorial board member of Theatre Survey and Theatre Research International, and was the Book Review Editor for Modern Drama from 2016-2021. Diana currently serves on the editorial board for Palgrave Macmillan’s Transnational Theatre Histories monograph series.


Prior to working at Stanford, Diana taught Drama at The University of Queensland in Australia. 

SAMER AL-SABER | Assistant Professor



Samer Al-SaberAssistant Professor, Theory; History; Criticism; Middle Eastern Theatre; Islam and the Arts; Arab Theatre; Directing; Historiography; Postcolonialism; Nationalism; Ethnography; Performance and Politics. At Stanford University, Samer Al-Saber is affiliated with the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. Before joining the faculty at TAPS, he has taught a wide range of topics in theory, history, and performance, including various periods in theatre history from antiquity to the present, Conflict and Theatre, Arab Theatre and Culture, Palestinian Theatre, Performing Arabs, Staging Islam and American Politics, Orientalism and the Victorians, Workshops in Theatre, Play Analysis, Introduction to Theatre, and Acting. He received his MFA from the University of Calgary and his PhD from the University of Washington. His recent scholarship focuses on Palestinian theatre in Jerusalem. His work appeared in Theatre Research International, Alt.Theatre, Performance Paradigm, Critical Survey, Theatre Survey, Jadaliyya, Counterpunch, This Week In Palestine, and various edited volumes, such as Palgrave’s Performing For Survival, Edinburgh Press’ Being Palestinian, and the Freedom Theatre’s recently published Performing Cultural Resistance in Palestine. He is the co-editor of the anthology Stories Under Occupation and Other Plays from Palestine, forthcoming from the In Performance series by Seagull Press. He has previously held the positions of Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at Florida State University and Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Davidson College.


  JBRODY1@STANFORD.EDU    (650) 725-9109      ROBLE GYM ROOM 107


Jennifer BrodyProfessor of Theater & Performance Studies; Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Race Theory, and Performance Studies.

Jennifer DeVere Brody holds a BA in Victorian Studies from Vassar College and an MA and PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Her scholarship and service in African and African American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, visual and performance studies have been recognized by numerous awards: a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2023 Virginia Howard Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation, support from the Mellon and Ford Foundations, the Monette-Horwitz Prize for Independent Research Against Homophobia, the Royal Society for Theatre Research, and the Thurgood Marshall Prize for Academics and Community Service among others. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders, Callaloo, Screen, Text and Performance Quarterly and other journals as well as in numerous edited volumes. Her books include: Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (Duke University Press, 1998), Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (Duke University Press, 2008) and Moving Stones: About the Art of Edmonia Lewis (forthcoming from Duke University Press). She has served as the President of the Women and Theatre Program, on the board of Women and Performance and has worked with the Ford and Mellon Foundations. She co-produced “The Theme is Blackness” festival of black plays in Durham, NC when she taught in African American Studies at Duke University. Her research and teaching focus on performance, aesthetics, politics as well as black feminist theory, queer studies and contemporary cultural studies. She co-edited, with Nicholas Boggs, the re-publication of James Baldwin’s illustrated book, Little Man, Little Man (Duke UP, 2018). She held the Weinberg College of Board of Visitors Professorship at Northwestern University and has been a tenured professor at six different Universities in her thirty-year career. Her expertise in Black Queer Studies led to be the co-editor with C. Riley Snorton of the flagship journal GLQ. She serves on the Editorial Board of Transition and other key journals in global 19th Century Studies. At Stanford, she served as Chair of the Theater & Performance Studies Department (2012-2015) and Faculty Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (2016-2021) where she won a major grant from the Mellon Foundation and developed the original idea for an Institute on Race Studies.

BRANISLAV JAKOVLJEVIĆ | Professor; Artistic Director

  BJAKOV@STANFORD.EDU    (650) 725-9109      ROBLE GYM 109


Branislav Jakovljevic

The Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities; Artistic Director. My main teaching and research interests are performance theory, avant-garde and experimental performance, performance and politics, theater history and, most recently, performance and climate change. My approach to the study of theater and performance is interdisciplinary. I often approach performance from the perspective of visual arts, film, feminist theory, critique of ideology, and political theories on the left.


My most recent scholarly monograph is Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia 1945-1991 (University of Michigan Press 2016), which was the co-recipient of the 2017 ATHE Outstanding Book Award and the winner of the Joe A. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theater for 2016-17. I have recently completed my new book manuscript Performance Apparatus: Impossible Communities, Unextractable Behaviors, in which I investigate the relationship between performance art and theories of ideological formations from the 1970s until the present. If all goes well, it should come out in 2023. 


In TAPS, I have served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Chair (2015-2019). 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 transition back to its regular activities, which were disrupted by COVID closures. 


I teach both graduate and undergraduate courses. Over the years, I have offered a number of graduate seminars. Some of the seminars I offer on graduate level are Ars Theoretica: On Scholar-Artists, which explores the integration of scholarly research and creative practice as the main methodological premise of TAPS doctoral program, and Dramaturgy, which aims to help scholars to apply in production situations the skills and creativity they developed in their research. At undergraduate level, I teach History of Directing, The Avant-Garde, Revolutions in the Theater, and other courses. In Spring 2023, I will offer a new Introductory Seminar Climate Change and the Arts. In this seminar, I will share my research on this issue, on which I have worked for a few years now.  Over the past year, I have co-edited with my colleagues from TAPS Diana Looser and Matthew W. Smith a two-part special issue of TDR: The Drama Review on performance and climate change.


More information

YOUNG JEAN LEE | Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies



Young Jean Lee

Denning Family Professor in the Arts; Director of Undergraduate Studies. Young Jean Lee is a playwright, director, and filmmaker who has been called “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by The New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. She is the first Asian-American female playwright to have had a play produced on Broadway, and she has written and directed ten shows in New York with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company. Her plays have been performed in more than eighty cities around the world and have been published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, and Theatre Communications Group. Her short films have been presented at The Locarno International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and BAMcinemaFest. Lee is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN Literary Award, a United States Artists Fellowship, and the Windham-Campbell Prize. She has worked as a television writer for Disney, Hulu, and FX, and is currently developing an original television series with Made Up Stories for Fifth Season.

JISHA MENON | Professor

  JMENON@STANFORD.EDU    (650) 723-2682  ROBLE GYM ROOM 143


Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature. Fisher Family Director of Stanford Global Studies. Jisha Menon teaches courses at the intersection of critical theory and performance studies. Her research interests lie at the intersection of law and performance, affect theory and capitalism, aesthetics and politics. Her four books include Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in Urban India (Northwestern UP, 2021,) which explores the aesthetic dimensions of neoliberalism. The book considers the city and the self as aesthetic projects that are renovated in the wake of neoliberal economic reforms in India. Her first monograph, Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition (Cambridge UP, 2013), analyzes the affective and performative dimensions of nation-making. The book recuperates the idea of “mimesis” to think about 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 toxic waste, governance feminism, diasporic feminist theatre, transnational queer theory, and neoliberal urbanism. She has served as Denning Faculty Director of Stanford Arts Institute and as Faculty Director of Stanford Center for South Asia. Previously, she served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She received her M.A. in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and her PhD in Drama from Stanford University.

Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature. Fisher Family Director of Stanford Global Studies. Jisha Menon teaches courses at the intersection of critical theory and performance studies. Her research interests lie at the intersection of law and performance, affect theory and capitalism, aesthetics and politics. Her four books include Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in Urban India (Northwestern UP, 2021,) which explores the aesthetic dimensions of neoliberalism. The book considers the city and the self as aesthetic projects that are renovated in the wake of neoliberal economic reforms in India. Her first monograph, Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition (Cambridge UP, 2013), analyzes the affective and performative dimensions of nation-making. The book recuperates the idea of “mimesis” to think about 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 toxic waste, governance feminism, diasporic feminist theatre, transnational queer theory, and neoliberal urbanism. She has served as Denning Faculty Director of Stanford Arts Institute and as Faculty Director of Stanford Center for South Asia. Previously, she served as Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She received her M.A. in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and her PhD in Drama from Stanford University.

PEGGY PHELAN | Professor

  PPHELAN@STANFORD.EDU    (650) 725-7017    ROBLE GYM ROOM 103A


Peggy PhelanAnn O’Day Maples Chair in the Arts; Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and English. I like to call myself “a generalist” because I am interested in a wide range of questions, issues, methods, and art forms. I view my work as a scholar as an effort to name and give voice to things that are hard to comprehend but worth struggling to grasp and articulate. I teach courses in performance theory, American drama, Beckett’s plays, adoption literature, contemporary art, and poetry. I also teach and write often about feminist art. I have served as chair of multiple academic departments; and served as President of Performance Studies international, and the chair of the editorial board of Art Journal. I have also directed the Stanford Art Institute. I have been a recipient of many fellowships and prizes, including the Prize for Excellence in Teaching.


My publications include: Unmarked: the politics of performance (Routledge, 1993); Mourning Sex: performing public memories (Routledge, 1997; honorable mention Callaway Prize for dramatic criticism 1997-1999); the survey essay for Art and Feminism, ed. by Helena Reckitt (Phaidon, 2001, cited as one of the “The top 25 best books in art and architecture” by Amazon.com, 2001, translated into several languages, and three editions); the survey essay for Pipilotti Rist (Phaidon,2001). Additionally, I contributed to the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Initiative, primarily by editing and writing the lead essay for Live Art in Los Angeles: Performance in Southern California, 1970-1983 (Routledge, 2012). With the late Lynda Hart, I co-edited, Acting Out: Feminist Performances (University of Michigan Press, 1993; cited as “best critical anthology” of 1993 by American Book Review); and with Jill Lane, I co-edited The Ends of Performance (New York University Press, 1997). Some essays I have written for art catalogs include: Intus: Helena Almeida (Lisbon, 2004). Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles (Mak Center, 2013), Haunted: Contemporary Photography, Video, and Performance (Guggenheim Museum, 2010); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007); Out of Now, The LifeWorks of Tehching Hsieh (MIT Press, 2015) and Andy Warhol: Giant Size (Phaidon, 2008), among others. With my colleague in Art and Art History, Richard Meyer, I co-curated the Cantor Art Center’s exhibition, Andy Warhol: Photography Without End, and MIT Press published our book with the same title in 2018. With Amy di Pasquale, I organized and wrote the text for the Stanford Library online exhibition devoted to Andy Warhol’s photography: https://exhibits.stanford.edu/warhol.


Recent writing includes:

“Bodies to Come” on feminism and trans art: https://feministartcoalition.org/essays-list/peggy-phelan

On the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson and adoption: https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/30/article/881455/pdf

MICHAEL RAU | Assistant Professor



Michael RauAssistant Professor, Performance-making. Michael Rau is a live performance director specializing in new plays, opera, and digital media projects. He has directed projects internationally in Germany, the UK, Brazil, Ireland, Denmark, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and the Czech Republic. He has created work in New York City at Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, PS122, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, 59E59, 3LD, and Dixon Place. Regionally, his work has been seen at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, and the Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville. His work with composer Kate Soper has been performed at the Seattle Symphony, Smith College, and The New York Festival of Song at the Dimenna Center. He has developed new plays at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Realm and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. His production of temping was selected by the Guardian and the Telegraph as one of the best productions of the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the piece was featured twice in New York Times He is a recipient of a 2021 Artists + Machine Intelligence Research Award from Google, as well as fellowships from the Likhachev Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the National New Play Network. He has been a resident artist at the Orchard Project, E|MERGE, and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. His experimental opera, developed in collaboration with MeowWolf narrative director Joanna Garner was a finalist for the Finnish National Opera’s Opera Beyond competition. Rau is a Forward/Story fellow and a speaker at Books in Browsers, Performing Robots, and StoryCode. He has been an assistant director for Francesca Zambello, John Turturro, Robert Woodruff and associate director for Anne Bogart, Les Waters, and Ivo Van Hove. He is a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received his MFA in Theater Directing from Columbia University. At Stanford, he is an affiliate faculty member with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and within TAPS serves as the head for the Theater-Making Concentration as well as the Artistic Director for the department.

RUSH REHM | Professor



Rush Rehm

Professor, TAPS and also Professor in the Department of Classics.

Founder and Artistic Director of Stanford Repertory Theater (SRT), Rush has overseen the work of this professional company for the past 25 years. Go to http://stanfordreptheater.com/ for production histories, cast, reviews, scripts, and translations SRT presented the visual version of Voices of the Earth: From Sophocles to Rachel Carson and Beyond at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in November 2021. We hope to re-stage the production in South Africa in May/June 2023.


 Rehm’s books include Aeschylus’ Oresteia: A Theatre Version (Melbourne 1978); Greek Tragic Theatre (Routledge: London 1992, paper 1994, modern Greek translation 1999; a new edition entitled Understanding Greek Tragedy appeared in 2016); Marriage to Death: The Conflation of Marriage and Funeral Rituals in Greek Tragedy (Princeton 1994, paper 1996); The Play of Space: Spatial Transformation in Greek Tragedy (Princeton 2002); Radical Theatre: Greek Tragedy and the Modern World (Duckworth: London 2003), and Euripides: Electra (Bloomsbury 2021), the final volume in the Duckworth Companion to Greek and Roman Drama series. 


Recent contributions to edited volumes include essays in Eurypides Innowator (Osrodek Praktyk Teatralnych „Gardzienice” Warszawa); Dramaturgias 17, Aeschylus, (Brasilia); Looking at Persians, Looking at Agamemnon, and Looking at Antigone (all Bloomsbury); Aeschylus’ Tragedies: The Cultural Divide and the Trauma of Adaptation (Brill); Close Relations:The Spaces of Greek and Roman Theatre (Cambridge); The Brill Companion to Euripides; The Brill Companion to Sophocles; The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre; The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas; Rebel Women (Methuen); Aeschylus’ Agamemnon in Performance (Oxford); Sophocles and the Greek Language (Brill); Antigone’s Answer (Helios Supplement), and Post-Colonial Classics (Oxford).


 As well as courses on ancient theater and culture, Rehm teaches courses on contemporary politics, the media, and U.S. imperialism. Rush received the Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding service to undergraduates in 2014.


AILEEN ROBINSON | Assistant Professor



Aileen RobinsonAssistant Professor and the Annenberg Faculty Fellow. Aileen received an Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University in 2016 and her A.B. in Literature from Harvard University. Her current project explores the contribution of theatre and magic performance to emerging practices of science communication in the nineteenth century. She investigates how theatrical performances and magic shows drew upon technological innovations and formed unique methods for disseminating scientific knowledge. She conducted archival research in Britain and the United States supported through an SSRC International Dissertation Fellowship and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.


Her primary research and teaching interests are in the history of optics and physics, magic performance and practice, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British theatrical performance and stagecraft. She teaches classes on the intersection between science, stagecraft, and theatre, as well as British and American theatrical traditions. At Northwestern, she also served as dramaturg and assistant director on productions such as The Secret Garden and Lydia Diamond’s The Bluest Eye. She served as a Mellon Fellow in the Scholars in the Humanities program for 2016-2018 at Stanford University.

MATTHEW WILSON SMITH | TAPS Professor; Director of Graduate Studies

  MWSMITH1@STANFORD.EDU    (650) 723-2576    ROBLE GYM ROOM 141


Matthew Wilson SmithProfessor of Theater & Performance Studies and German Studies; Director of Graduate Studies ( B.A. Brown University, 1993; M.A. University of Chicago, 1995; M.A., Ph.D. Columbia University 2002). Matthew Wilson Smith’s interests include modern theatre and relations between science, technology, and the arts. His book The Nervous Stage: 19th-century Neuroscience and the Birth of Modern Theatre (Oxford, 2017) explores historical intersections between theatre and neurology and traces the construction of a “neural subject” over the course of the nineteenth century. It was a finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award of the Theater Library Association. His previous book, The Total Work of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007), presents a history and theory of attempts to unify the arts; the book places such diverse figures as Wagner, Moholy-Nagy, Brecht, Riefenstahl, Disney, Warhol, and contemporary cyber-artists within a coherent genealogy of multimedia performance. He is the editor of Georg Büchner: The Major Works, which appeared as a Norton Critical Edition in 2011, and the co-editor of Modernism and Opera (Johns Hopkins, 2016), which was shortlisted for an MSA Book Prize. His essays on theater, opera, film, and virtual reality have appeared widely, and his work as a playwright has appeared at the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater, and other stages. He previously held professorships at Cornell University and Boston University as well as visiting positions at Columbia University and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität (Mainz).


AMY FREED | Artist-In-Residence; Coordinator of the Acting Concentration



Amy FreedArtist-in-Residence, Playwriting; Coordinator of the Acting Concentration. Amy Freed is the author of Shrew!, The Monster Builder, Restoration Comedy, The Beard of Avon, Freedomland, Safe in Hell, The Psychic Life of Savages, You, Nero and other plays. She ‘s a recipient of the Charles McArthur Playwriting Award (D.C.) The New York Arts Club’s Joseph Kesserling Award, a several-times winner of the LA Critic’s Circle Award, the Bay Area Critic’s Circle Award and is a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Her work has been seen 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. She has held playwriting residencies at South Coast Rep, the Arena Stage, and San Diego’s Old Globe. She is currently working on a commission for South Coast Rep.


Freed received a BFA in theater from Southern Methodist University, and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. She has taught acting and directed for ACT’s MFA program. She’s also taught playwriting at San Francisco State and for the MFA playwriting program of UCSD.

amara tabor-smith | Artist-In-Residence



Amara Tabor-Smith

amara tabor-smith is a dancer, choreographer/performance maker, and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater based in Oakland. She describes her work as Afro Futurist Conjure Art. Her site responsive and community specific performance making practice utilizes Yoruba Lukumí spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity, and belonging. tabor-smith is a 2021 inaugural recipient of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Fellowship. She is also a 2019 Dance/USA Fellow, and a 2018 United States Artist Fellow. Her work has been performed in Brazil, the Republic of the Congo, New York, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area where her company is based. tabor-smith has performed in the works of Ed Mock, Joanna Haigood, Anna Deavere Smith, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and was formerly the associate artistic director and company member with Urban Bush Women. Other grants and awards include, A Blade of Grass Fellowship (2019); Creative Work Fund grant (2016); Sacatar artist in residence (2018); MAP Fund grant (2017); Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant (2017); Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellowship (2017), and she is a co-recipient of the 2016 Creative Capital Grant with longtime collaborator, Ellen Sebastian Chang. tabor-smith received an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and the University of Music and Performance in Frankfurt, Germany.


WILLIAM EDDELMAN | Associate Professor Emeritus



William EddelmanAssociate Professor Emeritus, Theater Design and History. William Eddelman is an Associate Professor Emeritus at Stanford TAPS. He received MA and PhD degrees from Stanford in Theatre History and Design, and completed his dissertation research on the development of landscape on the 17th and 18th century Italian opera stages with a United States Fulbright Scholarship at the Theatre Institute of the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, Italy. He was also a member of the Master Classes, sponsored by Friedelind Wagner, at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany in 1965. During his teaching career at Stanford, he combined the artistic and the academic teaching classes in theater history, art history, musical theater, cultural history, theater aesthetics, costume and scenic design, dramatic literature, theater and politics, and the psychology of clothes (“Mapping and Wrapping the Body”). He taught several times at the Stanford Center in Berlin, focusing on the culture of the Weimar Period, contemporary German drama and German modernity. He has taught seventeen various classes for the Continuing Studies program at Stanford, participated in several Stanford Summer Theatre symposiums, and has led travel study tours to Northern Italy with an emphasis on Palladian villas and Venice with a focus on Venetian Carnivals for the Stanford Alumni Association. In addition to designing sets and costumes for numerous Stanford productions, he has also designed for professional companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. These productions have included operas, dramas, musicals and experimental texts. He has taught various classes at two fashion institutes in San Francisco, and delivered lectures and presentations for a variety of local cultural organizations and institutions. During his first Stanford sabbatical in 1977-78 he was in Europe for 10 months and saw 135 theatrical productions in fourteen cities from Moscow to London at a time when the great European theatre companies were at their peak. This exposure served as an intellectual and artistic educational background beyond the world of academia and gave him the opportunity to develop his expertise in international theater design. Being a specialist in international theatrical design, Professor Eddelman established the Theatrical Design Collection at the Museum of Performance and Design (MPD) in San Francisco and while on the board of MPD gave lectures and curated exhibits. He is currently on the board of the Achenbach Foundation at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and is involved in building a research library and design collection in International Theatre Design for the Achenbach Collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He is teaching classes at the Fromm Institute in San Francisco and Stanford Continuing Studies and is preparing future lectures on such subjects as design interpretations of Wagner’s “Ring,” “The Eighteenth Century Grand Tour: From London to Naples” and “Incognito: Unmasking Venetian Carnivals.”

HARRY J. ELAM, JR. | Professor Emeritus



Harry Elam Jr.

Senior Vice Provost for Education, Vice President for the Arts, Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities, Emeritus. Harry J. Elam, Jr. is author of and editor of seven books, Taking It to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka; The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson (Winner of the 2005 Errol Hill Award from the American Society of Theatre Research); and co‑editor of four books, African American Performance and Theater History: A Critical Reader; Colored Contradictions: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Drama; The Fire This Time: African American Plays for the New Millennium; and Black Cultural Traffic: Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture. His articles have appeared in American Drama, Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Text and Performance Quarterly as well as journals in Israel, Taiwan and Poland and several critical anthologies. Professor Elam is also the former editor of Theatre Journal and on the editorial boards of Atlantic Studies, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and Modern Drama. He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in April 2006. In August 2006 he won the Betty Jean Jones Outstanding Teaching Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society and in November 2006 he won the Distinguished Scholar Award form the American Society of Theatre Research. In July 2014, Elam received the Association of Theatre in Higher education’s highest award for theatre scholars, the Career Achievement Award. In addition to his scholarly work, he has directed professionally for over twenty years: most notably, he directed Tod, the Boy Tod by Talvin Wilks for the Oakland Ensemble Company, and for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto California, he directed Jar the Floor by Cheryl West and Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleague, which was nominated for nine Bay Area Circle Critics Awards and was the winner of DramaLogue Awards for Best Production, Best Design, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Direction. He has directed several of August Wilson’s plays, including Radio Golf, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Two Trains Running, and Fences, the latter of which won eight Bay Area “Choice” Awards. At Stanford he has been awarded five different teaching awards: The ASSU Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Small Classes (1992); the Humanities and Sciences Deans Distinguished Teaching Award (1993); the Black Community Service Center Outstanding Teacher Award (1994), The Bing Teaching Fellowship for Undergraduate Teaching (1994-1997); The Rhodes Prize for Undergraduate Teaching (1998). He received his AB from Harvard College in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Dramatic Arts from the University of California Berkeley in 1984.

MICHAEL RAMSAUR | Professor Emeritus



Michael RamsaurProfessor Emeritus, Lighting Design. Michael Ramsaur served Stanford for over 40 years as Director of Production and Professor of Lighting Design. In addition to his teaching responsibilities for the Department of Theater and Performance Studies he is a Guest Professor at Novi Sad University, Novi Sad Serbia and an Honorary Professor at the Central Academy of Drama, Beijing in addition to giving lectures and lighting design workshops in over 20 countries. He has served eight years as the Chair of the Education Commission of the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians (OSTAT) and as President of OISTAT. He is a long time member of United States Institute for Theater Technology (USITT) and Fellow of Institute (USITT). He is also a member of the United Scenic Artist Association (USAA) Local 829 (Lighting Design), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 16, the Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), the British Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), the Taiwan Association of Theater Technicians (TATT), and the German Theater Theater Association (DTHG). He has had a 40 year career in theater including serving as a lighting designer for many theater companies internationally and locally. Examples of his designs have been exhibited at two United States Institute for Theater Technology Design Expositions, a theater design exhibit at the Triton Museum San Jose and at theatrical design exhibitions in Prague and Shanghai. He has been awarded Outstanding Lighting Design awards from the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Association, Dean Goodman Award, and Drama Logue Award as well as receiving a Fulbright grant.

ALICE RAYNER | Professor Emerita



Alice RaynerProfessor Emeritus, Critical Theory and Dramatic Literature. Alice Rayner teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in dramatic literature and theory. Her research interests include the phenomenology of theater as well as comedy, genre theory, rhetoric, psychoanalysis, and hermeneutics in the analysis of texts and performance. Published books include Comic Persuasion (University of California Press), To Act, To Do, To Perform: Drama and the Phenomenology of Action (University of Michigan Press) and Ghosts: Death’s Double and the Phenomenon of Theatre (University of Minnesota Press, 2006). Her essays on technology and culture have been included in Discourse as well as in Michal Kobialka’s book, Of Borders and Thresholds, and Una Chaudhuri and Elinor Fuchs’ Landscape and Theatre. She has written on Harold Pinter for Theatre Journal as well as the collection Harold Pinter at 60 (ed. Katherine Burkman, Indiana). Three essays on Suzan-Lori Parks, co-authored with Harry Elam, have appeared in Theatre Journal as well as in Performing America (ed. Jeffrey Mason and J. Ellen Gainor) and Staging Resistence (ed. Jeanne Colleran and Jenny Spencer). Also published in Theatre Journal is “Rude Mechanicals and The Specters of Marx,” a theory of practical labor in theater. Other essays include a study of metaphor and performance in Études Théâtrales/Essays in Theatre; on Stanislavksy and A.C. Bradley in Theatre Quarterly, “The Audience…and the Ethics of Listening,” an examination of the responsibilities of an audience; “Grammatic Action and the Art of Tautology,” a theory of action derived from Hamlet (both in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism); and “All Her Children: Caryl Churchill’s Furious Ghosts,” a study of the unborn in Churchill’s plays (in Sheila Rabillard’s Essays on Churchill). Her article on stage objects in relation to Heidegger’s essay, The Thing, appears in the collection, Staging Philosophy, (ed. David Krasner and David Saltz, Michigan, 2006). She is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and Theatre Journal. From 1996-99 she was Director of Stanford’s Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and Department Chair from 2002-2005.

JANICE ROSS | Professor Emerita



Janice RossProfessor Emerita, Dance Studies, Dance History, Dance in Prisons. Janice Ross former Professor in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies and Faculty Director of ITALIC, Immersion In The Arts Living In Culture, freshman residential program. She has a BA with Honors from UC Berkeley and MA and PhD degrees from Stanford. Her books include Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia (Yale University Press, 2015). Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance, (University of California Press 2007/2009 paper), winner of a de la Torre Bueno Award 2008 Special Citation, San Francisco Ballet at 75 (Chronicle Books 2007) and Moving Lessons: The Beginning of Dance in American Education, (University of Wisconsin 2001/UFP 2021 second edition). She is co-editor, with Susan Manning and Rebecca Schneider, of Futures of Dance Studies, (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020). Her essays on dance have been published in numerous anthologies including On Stage Alone, ed. Claudia Gittleman, (Univ. of Florida Press, 2012), Dignity in Motion: Dance, Human Rights and Social Justice, ed. by Naomi Jackson (Scarecrow Press 2008), Perspectives on Israeli and Jewish Dance, ed. Judith Brin Ingber, (Wayne State University Press, 2008), The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counter-culture and the Avant-Garde, Performance and Ritual, edited by Mark Franco (Routledge 2007), Everything Was Possible (Re) Inventing Dance in the 1960s, edited by Sally Banes (University of Wisconsin Press 2003), Caught by Surprise: Essays on Art and Improvisation, edited by Ann Cooper Albright and David Gere (Wesleyan University press 2003). 


Her awards include Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, two Stanford Humanities Center Fellowships, a 2022 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Italy, NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts 2018-19 Fellowship, research grants from the Iris Litt Fund of the Clayman Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, a Jacobs’ Pillow Research Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She received the 2021-2022 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford, and in 2022 she was named an Honorary Fellow of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Israel. From 2012-2018 she was co-director, with Susan Manning and Rebecca Schneider, of the Mellon Foundation Initiative, Dance Studies in/and The Humanities. She is past President of the international Society of Dance History Scholars and past President of the Dance Critics Association and a former delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies.