The Department of Theater Studies is now accepting applications for three positions for the 2023-2024 academic year. Artist-in-Residence This is a FULL-TIME  I  ONE-YEAR POSITION * MFA (2020 or later preferred) in Acting or Directing * 2/2 teaching load in small, lab-based acting classes plus ancillary coaching in areas of expertise * Pursue creative project under faculty mentorshipApplication deadline is April 3, 2023. View the full description and apply.   Lecturing Fellow of Design… read more about Job Openings for the 2023-2024 Academic Year »

It’s a busy week for Brooklyn-based theater and digital media production company Fake Friends. They began a two week artist residency at Duke on February 20, then made a whirlwind return to New York on February 27 to attend the 66th annual Obie Awards, where they accepted a Special Citation in the Digital+Virtual+Hybrid Production category for Circle Jerk, a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Drama. Now back on campus, Fake Friends’ members Michael Breslin, Cat Rodríguez, Ariel Sibert and Zoe Mann are visiting acting… read more about Visiting Artists Fake Friends Collaborate With Students on New Work Devised at Duke »

Traditionally, the arts and the sciences have been viewed as two distinct fields of study, disconnected and distant to each other. But it isn’t uncommon to see Duke students with defined paths in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) also majoring or minoring in the performing and visual arts — adding these disciplines to not only their course loads but also their career goals.   Elliott Loverin, a junior majoring in Psychology with a minor in musical theater, is focused on the intersections of… read more about Psychology Student Hones Critical Thinking Skills in Theater »

The world of filmmaking is a notoriously insular industry. For students at Duke interested in succeeding in the field, it isn’t only the physical distance from Hollywood that can make the leap into film complicated. The connections and specialized knowledge necessary to break into the industry can be hard to come by. Duke’s Benenson Awards in the Arts helps students make these connections. The Benenson Award provides undergraduates with summer funding for a variety of training experiences, research opportunities or… read more about Benenson Awards Help Students Explore Paths Through Filmmaking »

Celebrate the renewal of spring with a book from a Duke author. This season of new and upcoming books that cover a variety of times, places and subjects from the arts to computer science. The writings include studies of body shaming in the theater, civil defense in Japan, intellectual conformity in higher education and a cautionary look at the future of brain hacking. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the “Duke Authors” display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins… read more about Spring Books from Duke Authors from Wittgenstein to Capoeira »

English actor, teacher, and director Jonathan Cullen will be in residency in Theater Studies in Fall 2023, directing the department's Mainstage production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. In preparation, Cullen will be holding auditions for Twelfth Night on campus on March 25 and 26. If you would like to sign up for an audition, please prepare a monologue from Shakespeare that is no longer than two minutes. In addition to the monologue, you may also be asked to sing… read more about Visiting artist Jonathan Cullen to hold auditions for Twelfth Night »

“The Fury” weaves together ancient myth with recent and current events in an exploration of women’s anger, a subject that was central to much of ancient Greek theater. Devised and directed by visiting artist Blair Cadden, the play arose out of Cadden’s personal effort to understand her moments of rage and to use it for positive purposes. ”We're trained to suppress it or call it something else,” Cadden said. ”Anger is ultimately a positive emotion because unlike despair, which says things are terrible and there's nothing… read more about What the Ancient Greeks Knew About Anger & Justice »

Ryan Donovan’s book, “Broadway Bodies: A Critical History of Conformity,” to be released by Oxford University Press on February 24, is creating a buzz by engaging with the evident. “What I’ve written about is visible to Broadway audiences, and yet it's also the elephant in the room that nobody talked about for a long time: that casting is inherently a discriminatory process favoring some bodies over others.” In writing “Broadway Bodies,” Donovan was motivated by “taking the discrimination that people inside the… read more about “Broadway Bodies” Explores Who’s in the Spotlight. Chances Are, It’s Not You or Me. »

On February 9, 10 and 11, audiences at Duke are invited into a ritual exploration of women’s rage. Created in collaboration with Duke students, “fury” is devised and directed by Blair Cadden, a director, dramaturg and this year’s visiting artist in the Department of Theater Studies. The piece weaves together ancient myth, recent and current events and the writings and reflections of the devising company, creating a communal theatrical ritual where women's rage can be honored, reclaimed and reshaped. We spoke with Cadden… read more about Women’s Rage as a Force for Good »

To strengthen the role of the arts at the university and to attract nationally and internationally known artists to the faculty, Duke should establish a new tenure track for visual and performing artists, a faculty committee reported to the Academic Council Thursday. The special pathway in the report would be part of the university’s normal appointments, promotions and tenure (APT) process and would allow for appointments (external or internal) of tenured full professor or professor of the practice to attract the most… read more about Academic Council Considers Tenure Pathway for Creative Artists »

Long winter nights make for good reads. Duke publications from the fall and winter include attractions for readers of many interests.  For history buffs, there's new history of the American West and a timely assessment of economic sanctions. For politicos, there's a blueprint for protecting democracy and a study of the contributions of migrants to various cultures. Movie fans can read about the history of Asians in theater and cinema and a surprising look at the politics of Marvel movies. Many of the books, including new… read more about Warm Up With Winter Books From Duke Authors »

The evils haunting the real world can be a lot harder to see than dragons and orcs. But in this semester’s Theater Studies Mainstage production of Qui Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters,” racism, sexism and homophobia take the shape of fantastical beasts that can be fought head on. After premiering in 2011, the play has become a beloved and acclaimed piece of theater. It earned a GLAAD Media Award in 2012 for its “fair, accurate and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues” and has been produced over 900 times in the… read more about In Fall Mainstage, Theater Studies Slays Monsters Real and Fantastical »

Traditionally, the arts and sciences have been viewed as two distinct fields of study, disconnected and distant to each other. But it isn’t uncommon to see Duke students with defined paths in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) also majoring or minoring in the performing and visual arts — adding these disciplines to not only their course loads but also their career goals.   Junior Emily Miller is majoring in Biology with double minors in Theater Studies and Chinese — and can’t remember a point in… read more about Theater Studies Gives This Medical Researcher the Creativity She Needs to Discover New Solutions »

In her new book, "Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era," Esther Kim Lee traces the history of yellowface from 1862 to 1940 — a time when Asians faced legal and cultural exclusion from immigration and citizenship in the United States. We sat down with the professor of Theater Studies, International Comparative Studies and History and director of the Asian American Diaspora Studies Program to talk about the book, why Hollywood producers would go to such lengths to avoid hiring East Asian actors and how this… read more about Esther Kim Lee Explains How Today’s Racism Has Roots in Last Century’s Yellowface »

Come as you are I find that that challenge is the reason people show up. Because at the end of it when they say, 'I got up and I did that song, or that monologue, or that scene, or the play,' that's something that they found that they couldn't get anywhere else. A 20-year veteran of Broadway, Off Broadway, Broadway National Tour, and regional productions, Chauntee’ Schuler Irving joins the Duke faculty as assistant professor of the practice in… read more about Two New Performance Professors Bring Bravery and Compassion »

What can a puppet do that a human can’t? That’s the question puppeteer Dan Hurlin asks every time he writes a new play, including “Bismarck,” a new work he’s developing during a two-week residency with the Department of Theater Studies. Part of the New Works Lab, “Bismarck” is based on the true story of a young woman named Takako Konishi, who was found wandering the icy streets of Bismarck, North Dakota wearing a miniskirt, a cropped jacket and no hat or gloves in the winter of 2001. Clearly, she was not dressed for the… read more about What You Can See in a Puppet »

Ryan Donovan, assistant professor of Theater Studies, can pinpoint the moment he decided to become a dancer. “It all began at the National Theater in Washington, D.C., when I was seven years old and my mom took me to see the touring production of ‘Cats,’” he said. “I was sitting on the aisle, and when those dancers came into the auditorium dressed as cats, one of them came up to me and played with my clip-on tie. I was hooked.” The wonder of that moment led directly to the decade Donovan spent as a professional dancer,… read more about Ryan Donovan Is Making The Stage An Inclusive Space »

Six of this year's 24 Benenson Award winners have a major or minor in the Department of Theater Studies. Given annually, the prize offers funding for arts-centered projects proposed by undergraduates, including graduating seniors. The Theater Studies students include: Madison Canfora '22, Major: Neuroscience, Minors: Chemistry; Musical Theater, Project Area: Theater John Kang '23, Major: Visual & Media Studies (Concentration in Cinematic Arts),… read more about 6 Theater Studies Students Win Benenson Awards »

This semester, Theater Studies welcomed Associate Professor Douglas A. Jones, Jr. to the department. Before arriving at Duke, Jones served as faculty in the Department of English at Rutgers and was previously a fellow in the Society of Fellows at Princeton. He holds a Ph.D. in drama and humanities from Stanford University and earned his B.F.A. in theater at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.  Although dramatic literature is his primary literary form, Jones has worked deeply in other cultural areas, too,… read more about Douglas Jones Finds the Theatrical in the Political »

When you read a play from the early 1600s, are you reading a literary artifact or a blueprint for a live production? Is the dialogue better understood by analyzing the text or acting it out? What’s more important: the tropes of the era or the architecture of the theater it was first performed in? The answer to all of those questions is both, and a collaboration between the departments of Theater Studies and Romance Studies will show why when a new production of Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s famous play “Life Is a Dream”… read more about How 2 Departments Brought a 17th Century Play to Life in 2022 »