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Start using our forums! 0 J. Shandell, Arcadia University We now have these online forums to connect with other members of our Focus Group. So feel free to use them however you see fit.  Reach out to others, start discussion topics, seek panelists for proposals for next year, announce your accomplishments or events that might be of interest to our members...
by J. Shandell, Arcadia University
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
ASTR Working Group 0 M. Green-Rogers, SUNY New Paltz Hello All, I apologize for cross-listings. If you are planning to attend ASTR, please consider this working group: About Face: The Material History of Difference in Stage Makeup and Masks Jane Barnette, University of Kansas Esther Kim Lee, University of Maryland Martine Kei Green-Rogers, SUNY New Paltz The performer’s face is at the root of our perceptions and performances of difference. Extant stage makeup manuals feature tutorials on how to use cosmetics to change one’s appearance, including one’s age, race, and gender (or even species). Partial and full masks provide another way to transform the actor’s face into various others, as a technology of performing difference. This working session explores the use of makeup in the construction and maintenance of difference, broadly conceived. We will consider makeup, including cosmetics, prosthetics, and special effects makeup from both historical and contemporary perspectives. We welcome contributions about the material history of a wide variety of stage makeup, which can extend to include hair and those elements of costume that highlight the face. This working session explores the use of makeup in the construction and maintenance of difference, broadly conceived. We will consider makeup, including cosmetics, prosthetics, and special effects makeup from both historical and contemporary perspectives. What assumptions about otherness does the use of makeup imply? In what ways does makeup reflect the perception of ordinary and extraordinary, and in what ways does it participate in shaping those perceptions? How, for example, do makeup manuals and product guides draw on and perpetuate social norms of age, race, class, and gender? Participants might address questions related to the following: What does the material history of stage makeup tell us about how bodies are perceived and represented? How does the focus on the face within the field of stage makeup (design and technique) contribute to larger conversations about “extraordinary bodies” and freaks? How do makeup objects (manuals, tools, cosmetic colors and formulations, etc.) reveal users' biases about faces and bodies, and how are those biases materially linked to the cultures of design and production of that particular moment in history? In this working group, our primary interest is in projects that engage in the material practice of makeup and mask-making. We will also consider papers on fashion/editorial makeup. What does the use of paint and powder conceal and reveal? We are particularly interested in how makeup has been used to transform performers into non-human characters, “freaks,” “ugly ducklings,” and racial Others onstage and in the performance of everyday life. Do these representations presume that the face is in some ways a static object that can be framed by a narrative for the audience, but overlook the considerable technology, artistry, and biases that shape that perception, which starts with facial recognition? Even in repose, through cosmetics the face is always already performing. Before the conference, participants will share critical reflections (2500 words maximum) via our shared private wiki. Each participant will then pose questions for at least two colleagues from the seminar, with the goal of elucidating the crucial elements of each colleague’s project: its context, its execution, and its potential contribution to the conversation. Following a dialogue occasioned by these questions, each member of the working group will post one artifact (photo of made-up face, technical diagram, mask, video, makeup tool or product, etc.) to the wiki; participants will review all posted artifacts as their final step of preparation. The two hours we share at the conference itself will be our opportunity to share insights about connections and provocations across projects, and to brainstorm the next steps for the participants who want to continue these conversations. For any specific questions, please contact the working group convenors at Please note that all submissions must be received formally through the ASTR website here ( The form will allow you to indicate second and third choice working groups if you wish; if you do so, note that there is a space for you to indicate how your work will fit into those groups. The deadline for receipt of working group proposals is 1 June 2017 and we anticipate that participants will be notified of their acceptance no later than 30 June. Please contact the conference organizers at if you have any questions about the process. Best, Martine
by M. Green-Rogers, SUNY New Paltz
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
ASTR Call for Papers 0 M. Green-Rogers, SUNY New Paltz Reclaiming the “F” Word: Historical and Contemporary Feminist Performance as Theatrical Activism Conveners: Victoria P. Lantz (Sam Houston State University) and Angela Sweigart-Gallagher (Northeastern Illinois University)   On November 12, 2014, Nancy Gibbs of TIME Magazine released this statement: “TIME apologizes for the execution of this [Banned Words for 2015] poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban […] we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.” The politicking and policing of women’s bodies and position in society is an old trope in American culture, and asking women the gotcha question of “do you consider yourself a feminist” is now standard for public figures, especially young women. Many people run away from the term, and those who do not are often cast as die-hard, in-your-face “femi-nazis” (to borrow an old term from Rush Limbaugh).   Considering the 2015 theme of what is at stake when creating theatre of activism, urgency, conviction, etc., this working group seeks to explore the nuances of in-your-face performance by women who have championed the term feminism. The focus of this session is to engage with the concept of feminist performance as a platform for political activism and debate the following: 1) the effectiveness of un-subtle performance; 2) whether overt feminism has/can have mainstream appeal; and 3) how have different performance groups articulated, challenged, or reconstructed the nature of feminism.   As mainstream culture continues to deride the idea of being a feminist, it is vital for scholars to debate and challenge what is at stake when women (and men) identify as feminists and how the landscape of feminist scholarship is reflected in or affected by historical or contemporary performance practice. Papers might address the following: How have historical feminist movements utilized theatre as a platform for activism? How are contemporary playwrights, performers, and theatres staging feminism or feminist activism? How have historical and/or contemporary feminist protests incorporated theatricality/performance? How have feminist performance artists explored, exposed, or manipulated the body on stage? How does the male feminist perform feminism? How is the male feminist staged? How do issues of intersectionality inform feminist performance or activism? What is the relationship between the label “feminist” and the performance or staging of gender? How are feminist artists and scholars positioned and taught in academic institutions?   By mid-October, participants will submit their papers (10-15 pages). Leading up to the conference, participants will be divided into smaller groups, for feedback and discussions on themes. At ASTR, we will break up the two-hour session into three sections. First, we will talk as one large group introducing the work and the major concepts at play in the papers. Then, we will have break-out sessions where participants work in different small groups with specific questions developed by the session conveners. Finally, we will reconvene together to hear from the small groups and take questions. Inquiries may be directed to Please send a 250-word abstract along with a brief bio by May 31, 2015 to the conveners at: Members will be notified by the end of June whether their proposals have been accepted for the working group.
by M. Green-Rogers, SUNY New Paltz
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
ATDS John W. Frick Book Award (15 Feb. 2015) 0 A. Hughes, Brooklyn College (CUNY) ATDS John W. Frick Book Award for the Best Book in American Theatre and Drama published in 2014     Deadline: February 15, 2015   Purpose: The American Theatre and Drama Society’s John W. Frick Book Award honors the best monograph published each year on American theatre and/or performance, recognizing that notions of “America” and the United States encompass migrations of peoples and cultures that overlap and influence one another. The award recipient will receive a cash prize of $200 and be recognized at the annual ATDS membership meeting at the ATHE Conference (July 30-August 2, 2015, in Montreal). For more information about ATDS, visit   Evaluation and eligibility: Books will be evaluated on the basis of originality, critical rigor, and contribution to the field of American theatre and drama. Books must exhibit a copyright date of 2014. Edited collections, anthologies, and plays are not eligible.   Nominations: The author, the publisher, or any member of ATDS may submit nominations.             Submissions: Please submit 1 copy of the book each to:   1. Amy E. Hughes (Chair, Frick Award Committee), Department of Theater, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210   2. James Fisher, 3516 Regents Park Lane, Greensboro, NC 27455   3. Ariel Nereson, Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Box 598, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604   4. Harvey Young, Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Theatre and Drama, Northwestern University, The Wirtz Center, 1949 Campus Drive, Room 215A, Evanston, IL 60208-2430   Questions? Please contact Dr. Amy E. Hughes at   Notification: The award recipient will be notified by May 1, 2015.     Dr. Amy E. HughesAssociate Professor, Theater History & Criticism Deputy Chair for Graduate Studies, Dept. of Theater Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY  11210 718.951.5000 x2767 // Author of Spectacles of Reform: Theater and Activism in Nineteenth-Century America: Co-editor, A Player and a Gentleman (critical/digital edition of the Harry Watkins Diary): Bio and CV:
by A. Hughes, Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
ATHE 2015 CFP: Feminist Pedagogies 0 C. Young, Princeton Writing Program Fantasy Feminisms: Remembering and Reimagining Feminist PedagogiesIn response to ATHE 2015’s conference theme, Je me souviens (“I remember”), this roundtable seeks to foster a community that reflects on their experiences of teaching theatre and performance with feminist intentions. We invite participants to remember a course or particular moment in a course---an assignment, a lesson plan, a discussion of a text or performance, for instance---that stands out as a success or a failure of feminist pedagogy. What did you do, what were your intentions, and what would you do differently in retrospect? We encourage participants to collect digital “souvenirs” to share---assignment sheets or (with students’ permission) examples of student writing, videos, images of projects, etc.---to enrich our conversation and to create an archive of feminist teaching practices. We seek participants eager to discuss such questions as:How do pedagogies that explicitly engage race, sexual and gender identity, ethnicity, and class, for example, intersect with feminisms in the classroom? How do feminist pedagogies work in practice-based classrooms? (This could address acting, directing, or design classes.) In what ways can digital connectivity be harnessed for sustained engagement and meaningful student learning in the classroom? This session builds on the ATHE 2014 Women and Theatre roundtable “Fantasy Feminisms: Dreaming of the Perfect Syllabus” in which five participants shared syllabi and assignment strategies on the blog This year, we will ask participants to post a 200-400 word reflection on the blog one month prior to the conference. At the conference, participants will share their memories and souvenirs with each other and the audience. The remainder of the session will be dedicated to a roundtable discussion of feminist classroom practices, allowing ample time for audience observations and contributions.If interested, please submit an abstract that includes the title of your course and a 1-3 sentence description of the memory you would like to present to and by Monday, October 27th.
by C. Young, Princeton Writing Program
Monday, October 13, 2014
Trying to get in touch with Tarrell McCraney 0 J. Shandell, Arcadia University This message below from Beth Schachter. If you have any advice for her, please email her directly at bschacht@muhlenberg.eduQuestion about Mr. Tarell McCraney: We would really like to produce Mr. McCraney's show, WIG OUT! this year, but we haven't been able to get any response from his agent. Does anyone have a suggestion about how I could send him the request directly? I would appreciate any help! Beth SchachterMuhlenberg College
by J. Shandell, Arcadia University
Monday, August 18, 2014

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