“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-EvansJohn M. Clum Distinguished Theater Studies Graduate Award Tia SmithReynolds Price Award for Best Original Script Johnathan BrownDale B.J. Randall Award in Dramatic Literature Tia SmithAward for Excellence in Design or Theater Technology Ivy SunAlex Cohen Award for Summer Initiatives in Theater Anastacia PogodinaForlines Family Theater… 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 performance-installation… 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 »

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.   Biology and Theater Studies junior Emi Hegarty came to Duke with a plan to major only in Biology with a focus on… 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 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 »