Alison M. Mahoney

  • PhD Student

Alison M. Mahoney (she/they) is a theatre deviser, director, educator, and scholar currently in her second year of the PhD program in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research and practice focuses on performances of disability and neurodiversity, and she is completing her immersive practice credential in devised theatre.

Alison was a 2020 George J. Mitchell Scholar, through which she completed her MA in Contemporary Performance Practice at Ulster University in Derry, Northern Ireland. Her thesis examined changes to sensory theatre practices for neurodiverse audiences during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. While in Derry, she worked with Stage Beyond Theatre Company, a company of learning disabled actors, as assistant director on their RTÉ Radio Drama Hamlet: Prince of Derry.

Alison was the founding Artistic Director of New York-based Bluelaces Theater Company, which creates sensory theater for young audiences with sensory and developmental disabilities. Alison directed the devising processes for Bluelaces’ productions Out There! (2015) and SUDS (2018), which was produced at the American Repertory Theatre and at Lincoln Center Education. Under Alison’s artistic direction, Bluelaces received the Winnifred Ward Award for Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company from the American Alliance for Theatre in Education (AATE) in 2019.

Also in New York, Alison was the Manager of Accessibility at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and a teaching artist with CO/LAB Theater Group, working with actors with learning and developmental disabilities. She also served as a steering committee member of the Museum, Arts, and Culture Access Consortium (MAC), working on initiatives to increase opportunities for disabled and neurodivergent adults at cultural institutions.

She has a BS in Gender Studies and Theater (summa cum laude), with a concentration in Theater for Young Audiences, from Northwestern University, and an MA in Contemporary Performance Practice from Ulster University.

Research Interests

Disability/Neurodiversity Arts and Culture
Sensory and Immersive Theatre
Contemporary Performance

Education & Training

  • M.A. Contemporary Performance Practice, Ulster University (Derry, Northern Ireland), 2020
  • B.S. Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences concentration, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), 2014
  • B.S. Gender Studies, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), 2014
  • Disability Arts New York Bootcamp (with Dr. Simi Linton and Dr. Kevin Gotkin, New York, NY, 2019)
  • Training for Artists and Administrators in Creative Aging, The Creative Center at University Settlement (New York, NY, 2018)
  • Training in Sensory Theatre for Autistic Audiences (with Tim Webb and Claire De Loon of Oily Cart, New York, NY, 2015)