Amanda Jane Olmstead

  • PhD Student

Amanda Olmstead is a PhD Candidate in theatre and performance studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

She is an active theatre practitioner, instructor, and scholar with research focuses in choreography, dance, musical theatre, 20th century German theatre, and the Walt Disney Company.

She has a BA in theatre with a dance minor from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a MA in performance studies from NYU. At Pitt she serves as the Musical Theatre Club’s Graduate Student Advisor.

She has choreographed Urinetown and Hair as well as performed in Big Fish. Amanda has had the pleasure of teaching a number of Introduction to Performance classes as well as Contemporary Global Stages: Dance Worlds, World Theatre II 1640-1890, and Enjoying Performances.  

Her current dissertation project is tentatively titled “Blankenbuehlerizing Broadway: Methods of Creating and Analyzing Choreography in Musical Theatre.” This project seeks to develop a methodology of both analyzing and creating musical theatre choreography for both traditional and contemporary musicals that are sensitized to race, gender, and sexuality. Leaning on the work of choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, there is a move within musical theatre in particular to including work and cultural traditions of, by, and for people of color.

She also is currently an adjunct instructor at Fairmont State University.

Representative Publications

“Développé: Katherine Dunham’s Diasporic Dance.” Studies in Musical Theatre. Intellect, Ltd. 4.27.2018.

Research Interests

Dance, Choreography, Musical Theatre, 20th Century German Theatre, Colonial Latin American Performance, The Walt Disney Company, Performance Studies, Corporeality, Somatic Psychology, and Musicology and Narrative.

Education & Training

  • BA, Theatre with a minor in Dance, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • MA, Performance Studies, New York University