Faculty News

John Clum has just finished a book on the plays, musicals, and screenplays of Arthur Laurents. He and Sean Metzger are co-editing a volume, Awkward Stages: Dramas About Gay Teens for Cambria Press. John is also writing an essay on Terrence McNally for a new Methuen volume of essays about contemporary American playwrights. Heartbreak Express, an opera with music by George Lam and libretto by John Clum will receive its first concert performance in New York and Baltimore in November. A full production is planned for 2015.

Claire Conceison published “China’s Experimental Mainstream: The Badass Theatre of Meng Jinghui” in TDR (The Drama Review), Spring 2014 issue. Her translation of Meng Jinghui’s play I Love XXX was published in The Methuen Drama Anthology of Modern Asian Plays (edited by Kevin Wetmore and Siyuan Liu). She presented a paper “Translation and Embodied Performance: Chinese Literature on the Global Stage” at the AAS (Association for Asian Studies) conference in March on a panel about China and World Literature. She gave invited lectures at Skidmore College (PA) and MIT (MA).

Thomas DeFrantz acted as dramaturg and composed soundscore for past-carry-forward, an original ballet commissioned by the Dance Theatre of Harlem; New York City Lincoln Center opening April 23, 2014. He published Black Performance Theory as editor, Duke University Press, 2014. Performance and direction, "theory-ography 4.5: we  [still] queer here" at University of Michigan, September 2013. Keynote: “Black Dance and Mobilization” Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem, Brazil, November 28, 2013, Keynote: “Dance and the African Diaspora” Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil, October 2, 2013. Roundtable Keynote: “Hip Hop Dance and Political Empowerment” Hannover, Germany, September 12, 2013. He was on the faculty of Shanghai Theater Academy, January, 2014.

Dan Ellison presented two workshops at the Southeastern Theatre Conference Annual Convention in March 2014: (a) "Who's the Boss? Interns and Volunteers at your Theater - the Legal Issues" and (b) "Legal Issues for the Theater - Update 2014." He is curating the exhibit, "Un~straight Art" at Durham Arts Place, opening August 15th and running through September 27th, and he was elected to a second term as President of the Durham Arts Council. 

Ellen Hemphill is teaching at ADF this summer. In collaboration with filmmaker Jim Haverkamp and Archipelago Theatre, Ellen will also direct a short film It Had Wings based on the short story by Allan Gurganus. The film will be sent to festivals in 2015. Ellen and Jim will also continue editing the film version of The Narrowing (see article here) later in the fall. During her dean's leave this fall, Ellen will begin the research towards a digital art enhanced ebook, a retrospective on the 30 year history of Archipelago Theatre. She will spend time in France to work on this as well as teach masterclasses in France and in Minneapolis.

Keval Kaur Khalsa received Collaborative Teaching Through Research Across Institutions funding from the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences at Duke University. This funding will be used to develop and implement a joint Duke-UCLA service learning course, Performing Sexual Health, in the fall of 2015. In collaboration with Michele Berger, Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Keval has received a Bass Connections grant from Duke University for a yoga-based research project,  Mindfulness In Education & Human Development. She is serving as a faculty advisor for a new student group, Duke Theater of the Oppressed.  DTO aims to create a space for dialogue and action around current social issues on campus and in the community through participatory theater based on the work of Brazilian director/activist Augusto Boal.

Jody McAuliffe was guest artist at the Great Plains Theatre Conference where she directed a mainstage reading of David Hilder's Drown, conducted a workshop, responded to new work, and participated in a panel on "Creating Works From Other Sources." She served as dramaturg on guest playwright Sibyl Kempson's new play Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag, a Theatre Previews New Works Lab.  She directed a new Focus Program: Liveness: Digital Media & Performance and directs the new summer program, Duke in Chicago stARTup Arts Entrepreneurship.  She is a Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow.

Jaybird O’Berski will travel to China this summer to teach teachers in Beijing how to create documentary theater. Directing projects include the world premiere of Monica Byrne's Tarantino’s Yellow Speedo (May 2014), HMLT (an adaptation of Hamlet, September 2014) and Endless Endless (based on the music of Kraftwerk, December 2014) with Little Green Pig; Pinter's The Caretaker (South Stream, January 2015); and Annie Baker's Nocturama (Manbites Dog, March 2015). In May of 2015 Jaybird will appear in an original adaptation of Nick Cave's cult classic And the Ass Saw the Angel (LG Pig). He is also making final edits on his feature film Nadia.

Jules Odendahl-James's essay "The Science of Dramaturgy and the Dramaturgy of Science" will appear in The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, due out in June.  Her article, "Mapping and Making: Dramaturg as Performance Geneticist" has been accepted, pending revisions, for the “Dramaturgy” special issue of Theater Topics as has a book chapter she is writing with this year's guest artist/movement designer, Kali Quinn. That essay "'Lit from Within': Illuminating a new path to Chekhovian realism through movement dramaturgy" follows our collaboration with students and creative partners on last fall's production of Uncle Vanya at Duke and is written for the collection Physical Dramaturgy in the 21st Century, under development for Routledge.

This past season she served as production dramaturg for Uncle Vanya and directedMachinal for Duke Theater Studies (see article here). She continues to serve as the advisor to Me Too Monologues which expanded its run to two weekends with a full week of supplemental programming. Locally, she was a consulting director for Durham-based Haymaker and their collaboration with last fall's guest artists PearlDamour on a new project, "I Know You Are But What Am I?" funded by the Network of Ensemble Theatres. Her spring 2014 seminar course Medicine, Performance and Visual Culture, worked with staff and volunteers at Duke's Arts & Health office in a semester-long inquiry into questions of embodiment, empathy, and ethics in healthcare. For the final project, students created a resource website to highlight challenges faced by integrating creative arts practice into healthcare domains.

This June she was invited to participate in the Mellon School of Theater and Performance “Locations of Theater” summer seminar at Harvard University.  She curated a "women playwrights and theater artists" Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon as part of this year's Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas conference in Boston. She has joined the board of Hidden Voices and will debut a new interview series with local women theater artists for Ladies of the Triangle Theater, a gender parity in the arts advocacy organization. In the fall, she is happy to announce she will be serving as the dramaturg for Manbites Dog's regional premiere of Lauren Gunderson's award-winning play, I & You.

Jeff Storer is still artistic director of Manbites Dog Theater and planning for the company's  28th season.  September 2013 he directed Cock by British playwright Mike Bartlett for Manbites Dog. November 2013 he directed the Annie Baker translation of Uncle Vanya(see article here) for the department. May of 2014 he directed Chicago playwright Mickle Maher's Spirits to Enforce for Manbites.  Summers he spends teaching in the Duke in New York program. This year Jeff celebrates 32 years with Duke University.  Last October he married his partner of 30 years, Edward Hunt.