Graduate Student News

Summer/Fall 2020-21

Congratulations to

Liz Kurtzman and Victoria LaFave for completing their department coursework!

Victoria LaFave received an honorable mention for the 2021 Tamara Horowitz Graduate Student Paper Prize from Pitt’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program.

Alison Mahoney published a piece in Theatre Survey's Notes from the Field entitled, "Oily Cart's Space to Be: Exploring the Carer's Role in Sensory Theatre for Neurodiverse Audiences during COVID-19."  Alison also won the Dick Thornburgh Disability Service Award.

Chris Staley presented papers at ATHE 2021, the European Shakespeare Research Association, International Symposium on Olympic and Paralympic Research hosted by the International Centre for Olympic Studies (“Staging Olympism in the Classroom: Teaching Theatre and Performance Studies for Contemporary Global Stages”), and the Comparative Drama Conference (on TMT and Antigone). This summer, he also participated in intensives with Theatre Nohgaku and SITI. He has forthcoming chapters in Theatre and the Macabre and Teaching Performance Practices in Remote and Hybrid Spaces. This fall, he started work at the Bronx Community Solutions and Center for Court Innovation. He also worked as a performance collaborator with the visual artist, Jia-Jen Lin in November, on her video sculpture “Treading on Thin Ice”, which will be installed as a solo exhibition at Locust Projects in Miami April 23-June 18, 2022.

Winter 2020-21

Congratulations to

Courtney Colligan, who was selected as a 2021 National Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Workshop Fellow.

Emma Squire, who was awarded the 2020 American Society for Theatre Research’s Helen Chinoy Dissertation Fellowship.

Graduate Student News

In mid-February, several Pitt graduate students will be presenting their work at UCLA’s TAPS Graduate Student Conference, “Contact: Performing Proximity”: Victoria LaFave, "Touched by History: Senti-Mental Embodiment in the Titanic Musuem Attraction;" Alison Mahoney, "Sensory Theatre during COVID-19;" and Chris Staley, “The Traditional Antinomy of Suzuki Tadashi’s Theatre: Globalism and Interculturalism as Multipodal Performance.” For more information on the upcoming conference (co-organized by Pitt MA alum Clara Wilch) see the UCLA TAPS conference site.

Chris Staley will present his paper “Active Analysis in Immersive Classrooms: Language Acquisition, Acting, and ‘Performing Japanese Culture’” at the American Association of Teachers of Japanese Conference in March.

Chris Staley also is working on an ongoing series of movement collaborations with musicians Devon Osamu Tipp, a Ph.D. candidate in Pitt’s Music Department, and Sarah Alice Steranka of Kamratōn Ensemble. Check out Tipp’s website , which includes videos and more information on Tipp’s development of Sonic Cartography.

Summer 2020

Graduate Student News Update

Graduate Student Alumni News Update

Spring 2020

Sean Cook (MFA) and Christopher Staley (PhD)
UP Stages production of Appropriate
Photo by Samantha Saunders Studio


Congratulations to

Nic Barilar (PhD), who was awarded a 2020-1 Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and European Studies Center Klinzing Dissertation Grant.

Shelby Brewster (PhD), who was awarded a 2020-1 Cultural Studies Graduate Student Fellowship.

Sean Cook (MFA), for successfully defending his thesis, "Stage to Screen: Pivoting from Traditional Theatrical Education Using Selected Techniques of Michael Chekhov." Sean also was awarded the 2020 MFA Teaching Award.

Vicki Hoskins (PhD),  for successfully defending her dissertation, “Playbill Takes the Stage: The Rise of America’s Foremost Theatrical Program.”

Meg Pryor (MFA), for successfully defending her thesis, “Connection in Chaos: Creating and Embodying Your Story Through Movement.”

Emma Squire (PhD), who received a Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, European Studies Center Klinzing Dissertation Grant, and Jewish Studies Gilboa Research Grant.

Chris Staley (PhD), who was awarded the 2020 PhD Teaching Award.

Shelby Brewster (PhD), published “Slow Violence and the Youth Climate Movement” as part of the Editor’s Forum: Theorizing the Contemporary for the Society of Cultural Anthropology.

Sean Cook (MFA), directed UP Stages lab production, Oblivion, and performed in UP Stages mainstage production, Appropriate. He also worked for Pittsburgh Playhouse as their Spring 2020 Intimacy Coach.

Andrea Gunoe (PhD), directed UP Stages mainstage production, The Verge.

Chris Staley (PhD), performed in the UP Stages mainstage production, Appropriate. He also appeared in the Pittsburgh Public Theatre’s PlayTime reading series.