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Cast Your Vote! Access the electronic ballot here

Voting Ends: April 30


David Kaye

David Kaye is Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of New Hampshire where he teaches acting, directing and theatre and social justice. He has served ATHE in many capacities including FGR of the Acting Program, VP for Conference Planning (Denver) and VP for Membership and Marketing. He has also served on several committees including Awards, Conference Planning, Finance and Interactive Theatre. He has published articles, book chapters and plays and continues to work professionally as a Director, Actor and Playwright and serves as Artistic Director of Power Play, an applied theatre company.

Vision Statement

Theatre in Higher Education is undergoing enormous change. If elected to lead our association, this reality will be at the forefront of my agenda. Building on Henry Bial’s work collecting the data needed to understand the state of Theatre in Higher Education and Patricia Ybarra’s leadership in creating our new strategic plan, I will focus on making ATHE the advocate, resource and innovator we must have to build a bright future. I am dedicated to helping ATHE bring together the energy and ideas of its dynamic membership at this critical time where we must claim our seat at the table of Higher Education.

Harvey Young

Harvey Young is Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre at Northwestern University. He is the author/editor of seven books, including Embodying Black Experience and The Cambridge Companion to African American Theatre. His books have won awards for outstanding scholarship from ATHE, ASTR and the National Communication Association. His articles have appeared in TDR, Modern Drama, and ATHE’s Theatre Journal and Theatre Topics. An ATHE member for 16 years, Dr. Young previously served as Vice President-Conference (New York City), Vice President-Research & Publications and as a Focus Group Representative (BTA). He is editor of Theatre Survey and holds a lifetime membership in the American Theatre and Drama Society.

Vision Statement

I will work to make ATHE a more effective advocate for theatre in higher education. I will use the resources of the association to lobby more aggressively to protect theatre departments from university and state-level budget cuts. The doors of theatres need to be opened, not shuttered. I will work to expand the international reach of ATHE. Theatre educators everywhere, should view ATHE as their organization. I will work with the leaders of the other professional associations with the aim of developing new initiatives (such as reciprocal memberships) that will expand services for ATHE members while lowering the costs of membership and conference attendance.

Vice President for Conference Planning, 2017

Laura MacDonald

Laura MacDonald is a Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the University of Portsmouth (UK). She is currently completing a monograph on the persistence of long-running Broadway musicals, and co-editing (with William A. Everett) The Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers, forthcoming in 2016. Her articles have appeared in Studies in Musical Theatre, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, New England Theatre Journal, and Theatre Research International. Funded by the British Council, in the autumn of 2015 she will be a Visiting Researcher at Ewha Womans University, in Seoul, Korea, where she will research Korean musical theatre and Korea's role in the transnational musical theatre industry.

Vision statement:

It would be a privilege to build on my experience as a Graduate Student Representative, Conference Planner and Focus Group Representative for the Music Theatre/Dance Focus Group and serve as VP for Conference 2017. I would lead a diverse conference committee to craft an exciting multidisciplinary event, in tune with the needs and challenges of our evolving profession. Acknowledging the opportunities, resources and inspiration that ATHE's practitioners, teachers and scholars seek from the annual gathering, I would aim to engage locally with the conference site's academic and theatre communities, while building ATHE's international profile and engagement.

Alicia Tafoya

Alicia Tafoya is based out of San Antonio, Texas where she directs, performs, and teaches. She currently teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes at Our Lady of the Lake University and Northwest Vista College. She is the social media networking and community outreach director at the Palmetto Center for the Arts. Her leadership tenure at ATHE includes numerous leadership positions including List Serv and Digital Networking Administrator, Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chair for the Acting Program Focus Group. She has also served on the Governing Council as both Member at Large for Focus Group Representatives and Member at Large for Finance (currently serving). Alicia Tafoya did her undergraduate studies at Southern Utah University in acting/directing and dance performance. She received an MFA in performance and pedagogy of acting/directing from Texas Tech University. She is currently pursuing her teaching certification in the Michael Chekhov Technique. As a freelance artist she has had the opportunity to meet and work with many amazing organizations and individuals including working at the Utah Shakespearian Festival, an observership with Peter Sellers at the Santa Fe Opera, an intensive workshop with Augosto Boal, and a workshop with Arthur Lessac. Her directing credits include work with universities, community theatres, youth and senior groups, and span a range of styles from full-length opera to one-man show and even theater for young audiences. She also does dramaturgy for new scripts her dramaturgy credits include KCACTF award winning Flipside: The Patti Page Story. She is currently working on Rising Starr a new jukebox musical about Kay Starr. Alicia travels as a performer, a guest director, and teaches workshops in Theatre of the Oppressed and Mask and Movement.

Vision Statement:

ATHE’s mission is to support and advance the study and practice of theatre and performance in higher education. As the Vice President for Conference I would make it my goal to embody this mission in my approach to conference planning. Having served ATHE for many years in various leadership positions I have developed an in-depth understanding of how ATHE works and how it serves the needs of its members. During my tenure, ATHE leadership has embarked on annual discussions about how to change the format of our conference to better meet the needs of our members. Many members and leaders alike have voiced ideas about ways to improve the conference. It is time for us to act on this repeated request for change, however, that change must be tempered by an understanding of our organizational needs as well as the needs and expectations of our members. I will work to find innovative ways to incorporate suggested improvements with the rich traditions that our members have grown to know and love. I am confident that in collaboration with the elected conference planners from each focus group we can grow and advance a creative approach to the study and practice of theatre via our annual conference.

Vice President for Awards

Cheryl Black

Cheryl Black is Professor of Theatre and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Missouri. She is President of the American Theatre and Drama Society and has served as Treasurer of ATHE’s Acting Program, ATDS focus group rep, a member of ATHE’s Outstanding Article Award and Professional Development subcommittees, and Theatre Topics’s editorial board. She is an alum of ATHE's Leadership Institute and received ATHE’s Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award in 2012. She is the author of The Women of Provincetown, 1915-1922, co-editor (with Jonathan Shandell) of Experiments in Democracy: Interracial and Cross-cultural Exchange in American Theatre, 1912-1945 (forthcoming, SIU Press) and numerous book chapters and journal articles.

Vision Statement

I would consider it a privilege to serve ATHE in the role of VP of Awards and to continue ATHE's commitment to encourage and to honor outstanding achievement in theatre scholarship, pedagogy, and practice.

Jocelyn L. Buckner

Jocelyn L. Buckner is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Chapman University in Orange, California. Her research and teaching center on intersectional identities in theatre and popular entertainments from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. She is the editor of the forthcoming anthology A Critical Companion to Lynn Nottage, and has published articles and reviews in African American Review, Ecumenica Journal, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Popular Entertainment Studies, Theatre History Studies, Theatre Journal, and Theatre Survey. She is the current Conference Planner for the American Theatre and Drama Society sessions at ATHE.

Vision Statement

Recognizing excellence in theatre and performance studies is an important tradition. The Awards Committee is tasked with identifying and honoring those scholars, artists, and teachers whose work has made a significant and positive contribution to our field. As VP of Awards, I will work with the Awards Committee and Sub-Committees to solicit nominations that reflect the multiplicity of voices and expertise represented in our organization, and to honor colleagues whose work helps define the field, signals new directions in and approaches to theatre and performance, and exemplifies excellence that the ATHE community can celebrate and strive to emulate.

Vice President for Advocacy

Kareem Khubchandani

Kareem received his PhD from Northwestern University’s Performance Studies program. He is the Embrey Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and is the incoming Mellon Assistant Professor of Drama at Tufts University. His book project is an ethnographic study of queer South Asian club cultures; he has published an essay on transgender theatre in India, and has forthcoming articles on Bollywood film and dance. Kareem currently serves as the LGBTQ Focus Group Representative at ATHE, and has also curated and emceed the group’s preconference cabaret.

Vision statement:

In the wake of highly publicized killings, bullying, and suicides of poor / queer / trans / non-white people, it has become clear that performance is a crucial means of responding to and seeking redress for systemic violence. I am interested in assembling teaching tools, online resources, and workshops that open up conversations--at the conference and in our classrooms--about how art researchers, educators, and practitioners can respond to these (inter)national crises. This might include inviting the #blacklivesmatters founders to speak, highlighting theatre companies that work with homeless queer youth, and documenting artistic responses to xenophobia.

Shawna Mefferd Kelty

Shawna Mefferd Kelty is an assistant professor of Theatre at SUNY Plattsburgh. She teaches courses in directing, script analysis, theatre history, American drama, and interactive theatre. She currently serves as TLA’s conference planner and is an active member of the ATHE, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, KCACTF Region I, and is a past participant of ATHE’s Leadership Institute. She serves as the cultural coordinator for SUNY Plattsburgh’s Center for Public Service. Shawna is the founder of the short Women’s Play Festival in Columbia, MO, and actively works towards women’s equity in theatre both on the page and the stage.

Vision Statement

Considering the devastating trends in higher education in states like Wisconsin and Arizona, as well as general devaluation of a liberal arts education, ATHE's leadership and advocacy is more critical than ever. We need to strive in our advocacy towards intentional action. I will work with the Advocacy Committee to develop clear strategic campaigns at both the national and institutional levels, to create resolutions in conjunction with other arts and arts education organizations to promote theatre and arts education, and to engage theatre educators and practitioners and our students in raising awareness of the value of theatre in higher education.

Vice President for Professional Development

James M. Cherry

James M. Cherry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theater at Wabash College. He is a theatre historian, an actor, a director, and an incoming Department Chair. Jim has published essays and reviews in a number of scholarly journals (Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Modern Drama), and in various edited collections. He has been a member of ATHE since 2000, and recently attended the ATHE Leadership Institute. He has served as the ATHE Conference Planner for The American Theatre and Drama Society, as well as on various committees fostering the development of graduate students and pre-tenure faculty.

Vision Statement

The success of ATHE as an organization is entirely dependent on the success of its individual members. As VP for Professional Development, I would work with the committee to develop programming that would attend to the varied professional needs of our diverse membership, focusing on the advancement of graduate students, issues of tenure and promotion, the work of department chairs, and the evolving goals of mid- and late-career faculty. At a time when the state of theater in higher education is in flux, the professional development and empowerment of ATHE’s membership is of critical importance.

Amy E. Hughes

Amy E. Hughes is Associate Professor and Deputy Chair for Graduate Studies in Theater at Brooklyn College (CUNY). Her first book, Spectacles of Reform: Theater and Activism in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Michigan Press, 2012), won ASTR’s Barnard Hewitt Award. Her essays and reviews have appeared in TJ, JADT, and Journal of American Culture, among others. She is in her second elected term on the board of ATDS and serves on two ASTR committees (Nominating and New Paradigms). She is deeply invested in teaching and mentoring; in 2010, Brooklyn College honored her with its Excellence in Teaching Award.

Vision Statement:

ATHE’s membership is incredibly diverse, which is one of the organization’s strengths. But our diversity poses a challenge: each of us—students, faculty, artists, administrators, independent scholars—has unique needs and goals when it comes to career development and advancement. Therefore, I want to explore ways that ATHE can encourage and support professional mentoring activities within focus groups. Such efforts should and can run in parallel with other key initiatives of the Professional Development Committee, such as tenure-and-promotion, the development of future leaders in our field, and assessment practices.

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