Alison Mahoney, PhD Candidate
What are you studying at Pitt?
My research focuses on neurodiversity and disability in performance. Most of my work centers contemporary performance, but I also write about nineteenth-century freak performance and its legacy. I am also working towards an Immersive Practice Credential in accessible theatre.
How has the PhD program helped you move towards your personal and professional goals?
I spent several years working as a theatre-maker and arts administrator before beginning the PhD program, so this has given me the opportunity to think deeply about some of the work in which I was engaged prior to graduate school. I've also had the exciting opportunity to design and teach a course about contemporary disability performance; getting to share this work with Pitt undergrads has been one of my favorite experiences during the PhD program so far!
Is there a research opportunity, production, internship, class, etc. that has been instrumental to your time at Pitt or in helping you form your post-graduation goals? If so, please tell us about the experience.
Theatre Pedagogy and Professionalization with Michelle Granshaw was a really useful class for me! It very much demystified some of the scarier aspects of academia and prompted me to clarify my teaching and research priorities early in the program. I'm also so grateful for our faculty's mentorship and encouragement around conference participation. Getting to attend ATHE and ASTR over the past few years has allowed me to meet so many fascinating people and get incredibly helpful feedback on my work.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I would love to keep teaching, researching, and making accessible theatre!
What do you enjoy doing outside of academics?
I love to garden and bake - my favorite is when I can make pie with rhubarb from my garden!
Is there something you would like to share that you wish we asked you about?
I couldn't do any of this work without my wonderful research assistants (cats), Harold and Zazz.