taps graduate students

Kari Barclay
Kari Barclay is a theater director, researcher, and activist in Stanford's PhD in Theater and Performance Studies. Working at the intersection of theater and political theory, he currently studies the role of democracy, community, and the state in contemporary community-based performance.

Kari holds a BA in theater studies and political science from Duke University, where he was an Angier B. Duke Scholar and Humanity in Action Fellow. His past directing work includes The Bull City Dignity Project (an original performance with Durham, NC teenagers about civil rights history, gentrification, and LGBT+ politics), Me Too Monologues (a nationwide program exploring identity in higher education), and All the World's a Stage (theater workshops with refugee youth). He continues to research and make theater at Stanford and in the Bay Area more broadly.
csberg@stanford.edu |
Cynthia Bergeron-Zaidi
Cynthia Shazia Bergeron-Zaidi’s research focuses on the concept of performativity as articulated in the work of the French-Algerian philosopher Jacques Derrida, and is especially interested the work he produces in the 1990s on what he refers to as “return of the religious.” She completed her Études pré-universitaires (DEC) in Arts et Lettres at Le Collège Lionel-Groulx, her BA in Art History at Concordia and her MA in Art History and Communications at McGill University. Past experiences include working as an assistant director on productions of Huis Clos, Cyrano de Bergerac, L’Auberge des morts subites and Emile; and as a curator for shows such as Orgasmes legers and En voilà une archive.
ebuttner@stanford.edu |
Emily Buttner
Emily Buttner holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University. Before arriving at Stanford, she spent four years in Ibaraki, Japan on the JET Programme, where she was teaching English, advising, studying Japanese, and lecturing and singing in her community. Her current research interests include, but are not limited to, trans-national and intercultural performance, adaptation, and the performativity of language and translation.

Emily is primarily an actor and singer, but has engaged with theater practice from a variety of angles. While an undergraduate student, she worked with several theater companies around Manhattan, including internships in properties at Punchdrunk’s "Sleep No More", and in stage management with the Keen Company at Theatre Row. Emily also enjoys opera and collecting Japanese puns.
conleyd@stanford.edu |
Danee Conley
Danee Conley is a dramaturg turned academic in Stanford's PhD TAPS program. She received her BA in Theater/Dance and American Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, CT as well as her MA in Theater and Performance Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She has also studied with the La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and the Shakespeare Globe in London.

Her current research looks at the intersection between religion and political activism, primarily focusing on gestural performativity, as a link between African American and African Diaspora communities. She has been the lead production dramaturg for approximately ten performances ranging from university and student theater to professional companies since beginning her creative practice in 2014. The most recent productions include Molly's Hammer at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, The Mammaries of Tiresias with the Stanford Women* in Theater, and Elephant's Graveyard at Washington University.

As a side project, she is currently in discussion with collaborators to form a circus company in the near future.
Douglas Eacho
Douglas Eacho holds a BA from Brown University in Philosophy and Theater & Performance Studies. He researches modernist avant-garde performance, computational media, and histories of liberal capitalism. He is often interested in aleatory aesthetics, procedural and algorithmic generation, and forms of vitality or agency perceived in material or self-organizing systems. For his dissertation, he intends to research the legacies of surrealist automatism in theater, performance, and politics. He is a coordinator of the Geballe Workshop in Digital Aesthetics and recipient of the Frankenstein@200 Medicine & The Muse grant.

Douglas is also a director of original, found-text performances. At Brown, he received the 2011 Weston Fine Arts Prize in directing. In New York, his work was presented at the Center for Performance Research, Theatre for the New City, Judson Memorial Church, the Invisible Dog, and in the Catch! curation series. He was proud to work with Stanford students on Fear of a Lonely Planet, a piece about travel guidebooks, in 2017.
kgutierr@stanford.edu |
Karina Gutierrez
Karina is a doctoral student in the department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. As a performer, Karina has appeared in productions throughout California, having worked with Magic Theatre, Teatro Visiόn, Shotgun Players, San Francisco Playwright’s Foundation, BRAVA Center for the Arts, San Diego Repertory Theatre and Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs. Karina received her undergraduate degrees in Theatre and Spanish Literature from the University of California, San Diego. Her primary research interest involves the appropriation of space and genre as it pertains to US Latina/o and Chican@ theatre. Other research interests include theatre for social change, gender studies, race, theatre history and the intersection of politics and performance. She is a McNair and MURAP Scholar and is currently a part of the literary committee at the Magic Theatre. She has presented her work at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (MURAP) at UNC, Chapel Hill, and the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS). She is also a co-founder of BALTAN, the Bay Area Latino Theatre Artist's Network.
So-Rim Lee
So-Rim Lee is a doctoral candidate researching on contemporary popular culture’s complex embodiments of neoliberalism through performance studies and visual culture, with a particular focus on modern South Korea. Her dissertation, “(Re)Made in Korea: Cosmetic Surgery, Koreanness, and the Performance of Self,” investigates South Korea's cosmetic surgery industry and the politics of self-management in the twenty-first century. So-Rim also researches on beauty as a mode of neoliberal governmentality, K-pop's transnationalism, everyday performance in the discourse of self-care, and the intersections between theater and visual culture. So-Rim holds a B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, an M.A. in English Literature from Seoul National University, and an M.A. in Text and Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
angrette@stanford.edu |
Angrette McCloskey
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.
smeera@stanford.edu |
Suhaila Meera
Suhaila Meera holds a BA in History and Film from Cornell University. An actor and dancer, she has studied with Barry John in Bombay and at the Stella Adler Studio in New York, and has a background in jazz, hiphop, Bollywood, and Indian folk dance. Before beginning her PhD at Stanford she worked for prominent Delhi-based arts management firm, Teamwork Arts, New York-based nonprofit Girls Write Now, and The Juilliard School. Her academic interests include (but are not limited to!) authenticity, play, and politics in performance: where the lines blur between identity and persona, in life and on stage.
rishika@stanford.edu |
Rishika Mehrishi
Rishika Mehrishi holds a BA (honors) in History from Delhi University, and an MA in Performance Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. With a particular focus on human-nonhuman encounters in South Asia, her current research intersects multispecies ethnography, gender, object ontology, and postcolonial studies. As a performance artist, Rishika makes durational art that draws heavily on everyday rituals and laboring bodies. Her work as an archivist lies at the cusp of her academic and artistic pursuits. Rishika has spent several years working on research, documentation, and cataloguing of theater and performance based archival collections in Delhi, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, and New York.
THaon@stanford.edu |
Thao P. Nguyen
Thao P. Nguyen holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Performance Studies from San Francisco State University, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Psychology from Brown University. As a scholar, her area of study is at the intersection of live performance, mental health, and social justice. She is particularly interested in increasing the visibility and understanding of issues most pertinent to populations experiencing multiple vectors of structural oppression, such as Asian American women and Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC). Nguyen is a playwright, solo performer, and comic storyteller. Her full-length one-person comedy Fortunate Daughter was named one of the top ten Bay Area plays of 2013 by KQED Year in the Arts. Nguyen has been a member of the Solo Performance Workshop since 2007. She served as the Artistic Director for the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center of San Francisco from 2013 to 2014. For more information, please visit www.thaosolo.com.
Vivek V. Narayan
Vivek is a theatre director and playwright, whose current research is on caste, capital and performance in India during the era of economic liberalization. He is artistic director of Theatre Counteract (www.theatrecounteract.com) and alumnus of Royal Holloway, University of London, where he completed MA Theatre Direction on a Charles Wallace Award. Directorial credits include Ends and Beginnings (2007-08), based on Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Girish Karnad’s The Fire and the Rain (2004), as well as the new plays An Arrangements of Shoes (2011) by Abhishek Majumdar, A Flame in Hero's Tower by Andy Dickinson (2009) and Pestilences (2012), a multilingual production inspired by Albert Camus's The Plague. In 2010, he wrote Walking to the Sun for the Mumbai-based Theatre Arpana, directed by Sunil Shanbag at the Tagore Utsav in Kolkata.
RORMISTO@stanford.edu |
Rebecca Ormiston
Rebecca 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.
Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa
Gigi is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary performance artist, writer, and psychogeographer.  She holds a B.A. from Brown University in an independent concentration entitled “Hybridity and Performance” and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Her master’s thesis focused on issues of memory, embodiment, and the politics of space in relation to public art and memorials in the aftermath of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983). Her work in performance and video has been presented nationally and internationally. From 2002 to 2008, she directed her own arts organization (a)eromestiza, dedicated to presenting cutting edge video and performance by queer artists of color.  Her writing has been published in Performance Research, Social Justice Journal, shellac, artistmanifesto.com, Antithesis Journal: Sex 2000 and anthologies such as Postcolonial and Queer Theories: Intersections and Essays and Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory / Theorizing the Filipina American Experience. She has received awards from Core77, Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the San Francisco Art Commission, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, and the National Association for Latino Art and Culture, among others. She is also a Ph.D. minor in Art History and is currently working on her dissertation entitled "The Efficacy of Erotics: Performance, Art, and Activism in San Francisco Strip Clubs (1960s-2010s)" which employs ethnographic, historiographic, and art historical methods. More info: gigiotalvaro.com
Jessi Piggott
Jessi received an M.A. in Theater Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin where she studied as a DAAD scholarship holder. Her thesis explored monstrous strategies of Shakespearean adaptation in the work of German playwright Heiner Müller. Originally from Canada, Jessi completed her B.A. in the drama honors program at the University of Alberta with a focus on critical theory, solo and clown performance, and directing. Current research interests include embodiments of monstrosity in contemporary performance, postdramatic theater, and intersections of politics and performance.
Amani Starnes
Amani Starnes is an actress, dancer, writer, producer, and singer in Stanford’s PhD TAPS program. She graduated from Yale University, where she majored in Theater Studies with a concentration in Performance and African American Studies.

Her work focuses primarily on race and gender in performance and culture. Recently, Amani received critical acclaim in such publications as The Washington Post, Jezebel, The Jane Dough, Madame Noire, and Racialicious for a web series she wrote, produced, and headlined, The United Colors of Amani. In the tradition of Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle, the series explores Amani’s uncomfortable racial adventures in Hollywood.

In addition to her web presence, Amani is the face of several national commercials. She also sings, choreographs, produces content for networks like AOL and AMC, and performs in independent films, plays, concerts, music videos, rock operas and musicals. She has been a member of Tim Robbins’ The Actors’ Gang theater company for over a decade.
Matt Stone
Matt holds a B.A. in Literature from Harvard College and an M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. He is a theater historian who researches German drama and opera in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, employing methods from media studies and Marxist historiography. His dissertation project intends to construct a history of the disembodied voice in performance, examining interrelated genealogies of modern opera and the sonic technologies (recording, radio, sound film) that enabled its performance absent the body. Other research interests include the Frankfurt School, sound studies, and postmigrant theater.

As a theater-maker, Matt works as a director, translator, and sound designer. His credits with Stanford TAPS include Katzelmacher (Director/Translator), Bluebeard’s Castle (Director/Sound Designer), The Mammaries of Tiresias (Sound), and Saint Joan of the Stockyards (Sound). He also has professional credits as a director and designer with Sightline Theater Company, the ART/MXAT Institute, Columbia University, Fulcrum Theater, Ars Nova ANT Fest, and more.
Raegan Truax
Raegan works broadly across the disciplines of performance, dance, gender studies, art history and visual culture.  Her primary research is focused toward developing a nuanced understanding of durational and time-based performance, with a specific investment in queer and feminist performance art.

Artistically, Raegan is a durational performance artist and her research reflects her embodied knowledge of time-based work.  Her second year production at Stanford, if this gets messy, concluded with a consecutive twenty-eight hour performance. Her work has been presented at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZKU) in Berlin, The Northern California Performance Platform, Stanford’s Department of Art and Architecture, and Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City. She is also collaborator to Carlos Motta’s international art project “We Who Feel Differently” and the WWFD symposium at the New Museum in New York City.

Raegan holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Colorado College; an MA in Humanities and Social Thought with a concentration in Gender Politics from John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Program at NYU; and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. She was the recipient of The Leigh George Odom Memorial Award for Distinguished Master’s Student from NYU’s Department of Performance Studies in 2011, The Shannon McGee Prize in Women Studies in 2002, and the Ann Rice Memorial Award in 2001.
Aine Tyrrell
Áine Josephine Tyrrell is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. After briefly studying Medicine at University College London, she completed her B.A. in English Literature and Drama Studies at Trinity College Dublin. During this time she was awarded Trinity College's Foundational Scholarship and became a Scholar of the university as well as the Chief Editor of the college's Journal of Literary Translation. Though she is primarily a director, her background in theater includes set design, devising, music composition for the stage, and acting. Her focus is on interdisciplinary research, with particular attention to the intersections between neurology, human psychology, politics and performance. Her academic interests include, but are not limited to, psycho-geography and spatial theory, bio-art, and performance art that investigates states and experiences beyond language/articulation.