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“I love origin stories,” Johann Montozzi-Wood said.  Montozzi-Wood (he/they), assistant professor of the practice in the department of Theater Studies, had just moved into a new studio and was settling in. Gentle music played, the fragrant scent of tea filled the air and large windows along one wall provided soft light.  In his latest project, Montozzi-Woods explores both personal and universal questions of place and belonging. (Photo courtesy of Johann Montozzi-Wood) In… read more about Embodying Our Ancestors: Johann Montozzi-Wood’s "Grandfathered In"  »

Tom Zhang thinks you have issues. In fact, Zhang believes all of us do. It’s just a matter of discovering them, digging deep and uncovering our unconscious (and not so unconscious) biases. Their new devised work, DEI: Discovering Everyone’s Issues (the title a play on the abbreviation for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives), encourages the audience to explore these biases through a combination of workshop and scripted performance. With five student actors, Zhang, artist-in-residence this year in the… read more about Tom Zhang’s New Show Challenges You to Discover Your DEI Issues »

The Department of Theater Studies at Duke University in Durham, NC invites applications for an Artist in Residence to begin July 2024. This full-time, one-year position is intended for a recent graduate of an MFA program (2021 or later preferred) in either Acting or Directing; the position requires an MFA at the time of hire. Job duties will include a 2/1 teaching load in small laboratory-based acting classes as well as ancillary coaching in the successful candidate’s areas of expertise, whether as a choreographer, movement… read more about Job Announcement: Artist-in-Residence »

James T. Lane, a Broadway veteran and creator of the hit Off Broadway show, Triple Threat, joined students from Duke and Durham Public Schools for a two-day Broadway masterclass in October 2023. “What students learned quickly about James, a singer, actor and dancer who has performed in over ten Broadway, Off Broadway, and West End productions along with roles in television and film, is that he is truly a triple threat in every sense of the word,” said Chauntee' Schuler Irving… read more about James T. Lane leads workshops with students from Duke and Durham Public Schools »

The course of Esther Kim Lee’s scholarship was set by a book that didn’t exist. When she accepted the 2023 Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) on November 11, Duke's Frances Hill Fox Professor of Theater Studies, International Comparative Studies and History recounted an experience from her days as a graduate student at The Ohio State University in the 1990s. While working on her dissertation, Lee searched the library for books about the history of Asian American theater. To… read more about Esther Kim Lee Wins American Society for Theatre Research’s Distinguished Scholar Award »

The Duke University Department of Theater Studies will present William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as its Fall 2023 Mainstage production. English actor, teacher and director Jonathan Cullen, in residency at Duke this semester, will direct the all-student cast. Twelfth Night runs from November 9-18 in the von der Heyden Studio Theater in the Rubenstein Arts Center on the Duke University campus. Cullen's theatrical career in England has included major roles with the Royal Shakespeare… read more about Twelfth Night, Fall 2023 Mainstage Production, Opens November 9th »

Tom Zhang (they/them) is Duke Theater Studies’ Artist-in-Residence for the 2023-2024 academic year. Tom is an actor and theater-maker dedicated to creating performances that use humor to explore race relations and Asian American identity. As an actor, singer and writer, their works focus on telling stories typically left out of mainstream entertainment. Tom graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts in Acting, and is coming to Duke from Emory University, where they were an instructor… read more about Artist-in-Residence Wants You to Discover Everyone’s Issues, Including Your Own »

Theater Studies welcomes two new lecturing fellows who will enhance the department’s offerings in design and technical theater. Hannah Haverkamp is a costume designer and illustrator who is interested in the construction of identity through clothing, music and folklore. In addition to teaching, she will manage the Costume Shop, designing and constructing costumes for Theater Studies productions. Bill Webb is a lighting designer with over 200 productions to his credit. In addition to teaching, Bill will design lighting and… read more about New Lecturing Fellows Enhance the Curriculum in Design and Technical Theater »

“Middle school girls are a lot smarter than we give them credit for,” said Mathematics major Clara Henne. “We really shouldn’t underestimate them.” Henne learned that lesson by volunteering as a mentor with Girls Exploring Math (GEM), a Bass Connections project that offers free math enrichment workshops each Saturday at Gross Hall to girls who attend Durham Public Schools (DPS). In addition to math problems, the workshops include interactive discussions about why women occupy a disproportionately low percentage in STEM… read more about How Trinity Faculty and Students Are Sharing Resources in Support of Durham Public Schools »

Seven faculty members have been named 2023 Bass Chairs and inducted into the Bass Society of Fellows in recognition of their demonstrated excellence in both undergraduate teaching and research. The group was celebrated Monday evening during a reception at the J.B. Duke Hotel. The chairs were created in 1996 when Anne T. and Robert Bass gave $10 million as a matching gift to encourage Duke alumni, parents and friends to endow the positions. Candidates are nominated by faculty and evaluated by a faculty committee for… read more about Three Trinity Faculty Named 2023 Bass Chairs »

Harold Brody Award for Excellence in Musical Theater Blaze Gambla Anna Shenk-Evans John M. Clum Distinguished Theater Studies Graduate Award Tia Smith Reynolds Price Award for Best Original Script Johnathan Brown Dale B.J. Randall Award in Dramatic Literature Tia Smith Award for Excellence in Design or Theater Technology Ivy Sun Alex Cohen Award for Summer Initiatives in Theater Anastacia Pogodina read more about Congratulations to our 2023 student award winners »

Tia Smith was introduced to the works of Black playwright Steve Carter by her twin sister. “My sister studies theater at Northwestern,” said Smith, who is graduating from Duke with majors in Theater Studies and African & African American Studies. “When Steve Carter died in 2020 my sister saw his obituary in the New York Times. She was taking a class on the Black Arts Movement and had to write a paper about a Black Arts Movement playwright who was not covered in class. So, she chose to research Steve Carter… read more about Tia Smith Explores the Black Theatrical and Political Climate of Steve Carter’s 1976 Play, “Eden” »

Marina Heron Tsaplina is a performing artist, scholar and disability culture activist who forms participatory poetic enchantments through puppetry and site-specific performance. Whether on the stage, in a classroom or in an ancient forest, she invites collective community participation into her artistic process and vision.  Tsaplina was in residence at Duke for two weeks in March, working in Sheafer Theater on the creation of a piece called Soil and Spirit, a large-scale… read more about Soil and Spirit: Artist-in-Residence Marina Tsaplina »

The Department of Theater Studies, in association with student musical group Hoof ‘n’ Horn, will present Jonathan Larson’s award-winning musical Rent in newly renovated Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan University Center. Assistant professor of the practice of Theater Studies Chauntee’ Schuler Irving is directing the all-student cast in this Mainstage production. This is the first collaboration between the Department of Theater Studies and Hoof ‘n’ Horn since they produced read more about Duke Theater Studies and Hoof ‘n’ Horn Present RENT, Opening April 6 »

Biology and Theater Studies junior Emi Hegarty came to Duke with a plan to major only in Biology with a focus on genetics and genomics, but it was the course “Mechanisms of Animal Behavior” with Professor Stephen Nowicki that rekindled her interest in animal systems. “I love thinking about biology through more of an animal-focused lens,” she says. More specifically, her lens is focused on equine kinematics. With a love for horses that can be traced back to eighth grade, Hegarty worked at a barn during high school, helping… read more about Biology Student Builds Communications Chops Thanks to Theater »

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 mentorship Application deadline is April 3, 2023. View the full description and apply.  … read more about Job Openings for the 2023-2024 Academic Year »