taps graduate students

Kari Barclay
Kari Barclay is a director, playwright, and researcher working at the intersection of theater and politics. Originally from Washington, DC, he has made work regionally and in New York at venues including the San Francisco Mime Troupe Studio, Round House Theater, and Manbites Dog. His most recent original play, CAN I HOLD YOU?, was the first full-length piece about asexuality performed in the U.S. and enjoyed a sold-out run in San Francisco.

Kari's research interests include cultural policy, the political and racial economies of performance, and equity, diversity, and inclusion in the American theater. His most recent project, "Me Too and the Method," examines histories of American actor training in light of the #MeToo movement and suggests avenues for theaters to normalize consent in the rehearsal room, inspired by the emerging field of "intimacy direction." Kari was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University, where he received his BA in Theater and Political Science and was awarded the Sudler Award in the Arts, given to one graduating senior in recognition of outstanding contribution to the arts. Kari-barclay.com
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.
Danee Conley
Danee Conley is a dramaturg turned academic in Stanford TAPS’ PhD 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 contemporary strategic board games as they intersect with postcolonial spectatorship, activism, and identity formation through game play. Her interests also include game design, intent versus impact, and the potential for cultural or ethical consulting in gaming companies, both board and video.

In her theater practice, she has served the role of lead production dramaturg for university and student theater as well as professional companies since beginning her creative practice in 2012. 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 A Raisin in the Sun with Stanford’s Theater and Performance Studies Department.
Douglas Eacho
Douglas Eacho holds a BA from Brown University in Philosophy and Theater & Performance Studies. He researches modernist avant-garde performance and computational media. 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 intersections between the automation of labor and twentieth-century stage aesthetics. He coordinates the Geballe Workshop in Digital Aesthetics and is a Pigott Scholars Fellow. His article on Rimini Protokoll and statistical reason is in press at Theatre Research International.

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 tourism, in 2017.
Sariel Frankfurter
Sariel Frankfurter holds a BA in Dance and English from Columbia University. Her research focuses on fantasies of primal urge through movement-based performance, in particular the staging of violence, sexuality, and embodied trauma, and the implications of such scenes on the conceptualization of body and personhood. Her interests include visual culture, postcolonial and gender studies, and affect, trauma, and memory studies.

As an undergraduate Sariel danced in works by Heidi Henderson, Pam Tanowitz, Sam Kim, Alexandra Beller, Gwen Welliver, and Trisha Brown. She has since performed and curated professionally in New York City, and her writings on dance have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail as well as the blogs of The Kitchen and LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts. Sariel coordinates the Future Artists Initiative (FAI), a national scholarship dedicated to increasing diversity in pre-professional dance education.
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 research areas include social protest theatre, the aesthetics of Latinx/Chicanx representation, and the politics of performance/ space. She has previously presented her research at the National Association of Chicano Studies (NACCS), the National Association of Ethnic Studies (NAES), and The Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). She currently serves as a Graduate Scholar-in-Residence at El Centro Chicano y Latino, as well as Co-Artistic Director of the Nitery Experimental Theatre (NExT) at Stanford University. Outside of academia, Karina is an advocate for Latinx/Chicanx representation in the arts, and is a co-founder of BALTAN, the Bay Area Latino Theatre Alliance Network.
Emma Humphris
Emma holds a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Oxford University, a Bachelor in Philosophy and Political Science from Sciences Po-Paris and La Sorbonne. She comes to the field of performance studies with extensive work and research experience in the Lebanese criminal justice system. She is now looking to explore the intersections of performance studies, security sector reform, and conflict resolution processes. She is also a film-maker eager to use visual media and new technologies to bridge those fields. Her first dance film, advocating against arbitrary detention in Lebanon, got selected for screening in the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.
Anna Kimmel
Anna Jayne Kimmel holds an A.B. in French and Italian, cum laude, from Princeton University, where she also pursued certificates from the Program in African Studies and the Program in Dance. As a doctoral candidate in Performance Studies at Stanford University, her research intersects: race, immigration, national identity, and post-colonialism through performance. Specifically, her current work engages French and Francophone African dance as a tool for investigating immigrant social and affective infrastructure, cultural memory, and movement practice.

As a dancer, Anna has performed the works of: Ohad Naharin, Trisha Brown, John Jaspers, Francesca Harper, Rebecca Lazier, Olivier Tarpaga, Marjani Forte, Susan Marshall, Loni Landon, and Christopher Ralph, amongst others. She was awarded the Francis LeMoyne Page Dance Award at Princeton University, and was a two-time recipient of Koch Cultural Trust Grant.
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 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.
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 research areas include queer and trans* people of color (QTPOC) literature, performance and film; the intersection of sexual violence and structural violence; and queer migration. 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 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, playwright, and performance scholar, whose research is on caste and anti-caste politics in south India. His dissertation project, “Stolen Fire: Caste Scripts and Repurposed Universals in South India, 1893-2018,” views Kerala in the colonial period as well as in contemporary times through the lens of performance. Through archival, ethnographic, and literary methods, his interdisciplinary research develops a framework of caste as performance and a theory of political action to situate anti-caste politics in south India within a transnational context. In addition to a Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies, he is pursuing a Ph.D. Minor in Anthropology at Stanford. He is an alumnus of Royal Holloway, University of London, where he completed MA Theatre Direction on a Charles Wallace India Trust Award. His theatre work has been staged in India, the UK, and the US. 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. Most recently, he directed Caryl Churchill's Far Away at Stanford (2016). He is a Graduate Dissertation Fellow for 2018-2019  at the Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University.
Jessi Piggott
Jessi is a director, theater historian and performance scholar whose research focuses on past and present intersections of political and theatrical performance. Her dissertation, "Acts of Commitment,” explores the agitprop theater movement of the Weimar Republic as a means of cultivating new subjectivities, spaces and publics. Her archival research for this and related projects has been supported with awards from the DAAD, Stanford’s The Europe Center, and the Graduate Research Opportunity. Jessi received her M.A. in Theater Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin, where she also studied as a DAAD scholarship holder. Her master’s thesis took up the monstrous as a strategy of adaptation in the works of Heiner Müller. Hailing from Edmonton, Canada, Jessi completed her B.A. in the drama honors program at the University of Alberta, with a focus on critical theory, solo performance and directing. Concurrent to her scholarship, Jessi has been an active theater artist, with a special focus on integrating performance and pedagogy. Her most recent directing project was a riot grrrl adaptation of Brecht’s Saint Joan of the Stockyards, for which she was awarded the Marilyn Yalom Research Fund of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Jessi also runs workshops on topics including guerrilla performance, Brecht in practice, and drag, as well as public speaking seminars for Stanford's Hume Center for Speaking and Writing.
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. His research focuses on the theatrical cultures of modern Western Europe (primarily Germany and France) and examines the relation between modes of spectatorship and political conceptions of community in these contexts. His Master’s thesis intervened in Alain Badiou’s 2010 book project Five Lessons on Wagner, bringing historical evidence from the 1882 premiere of Wagner’s Parsifal to bear on Badiou’s claims about the opera as a modern ceremony. Other research interests include theories of spectacle, 19th-century German literature, and sound studies.

As a theater-maker, Matt works primarily as a director and sound designer. His productions of Genet’s The Balcony and Kane’s Cleansed appeared on the American Repertory Theater’s Mainstage in 2011, and he has also directed projects for Sightline Theater Company and the Dunster House Opera Society. His sound design credits include work for the ART/MXAT Institute, Fulcrum Theater, Sightline Theater Company, and art.party.theater.company.

Aine Tyrrell
Áine Josephine Tyrrell is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Stanford Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and a recipient of the 2018-2019 Pigott Fellowship in the Humanities. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Drama Studies from University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). In 2011 she was awarded Ireland's Foundational Scholarship and made a fellow of TCD in recognition of contributions to scholarship. Her current research explores terrorism, counter-terrorist strategy, and security policy through the lens of performance. Her focus is on the European Union and, more particularly, upon the attacks and policies implemented in France, the UK, and Brussels since 9/11. Alongside this research, she also maintains an artistic practice; Áine has worked as a singer, a director, and a set designer at Stanford as well as in Dublin, Denmark, Norway, and in Italy. As a co-director of the Stanford Nitery Experimental Theater (NExT), she continues to direct and act in experimental work intent on critiquing contemporary politics.