Kristin O'Malley

  • PhD Student

Kristin O’Malley is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on relationship between theatre and Catholicism in the 20th and 21st century. Her dissertation, “Performances of Faith: Post-Vatican II American Catholicism in the Public Sphere,” explores theatrical performances of contemporary religion and considers how performance enables, (re)envisions, and propagates historical narratives of religion. Additional research interests include intersections of performance and the sacred, modern American and European theatre, and theatre education and integration in K-12 education. During her time at Pitt, Kristin also directed The Bay at Nice and served as the Graduate Dramaturg for Rhinoceros during the 2015 University of Pittsburgh States season. At the University of Pittsburgh, Kristin has taught Introduction to Dramatic Art, Enjoying Performances, and Introduction to Performance. She also served as TA for Theatre and Collaboration.

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, Kristin was a full-time middle school teacher, focused on employing theatre integration techniques in her classroom to create a kinesthetic-oriented classroom. Kristin also worked as a teaching artist in other school settings, using theatre integration to enhance vocabulary and reading comprehension skills of 3rd & 4th grade students who were reading significantly below grade level. Beyond her work in the classroom, Kristin served as the facilitator and director of the middle school Shakespeare Club as well as co-director and costume designer for the annual musical performed by the Drama Club. In addition to her work in the school setting, she also created and led theatre programs for summer camps, directed for local children’s theatre, and was involved in her local community theatre.


“The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project: A Religious Intervention?” Will be presented at The Secular and the Sacred: The Alchemy of the Revolution, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, August 2018.

“Divine Intervention in International Concerns in Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho.” Rescripting Intersections of Race, Gender, and Religion, Mid- Atlantic Theatre Conference, March 2018.

“The Performing Corpses of Santa Maria della Concezione.” Rituals of Death, American Society for Theatre Research, November 2017.

“Bones, Bodies, and Capuchin Conceptions of Death.” Transfigured Performance, American Society for Theatre Research, November 2016.

“Tearing Down Stereotypes: Addressing Religious Diversity in the Undergraduate Theatre Classroom.” Engaging Diversity and Revising Undergraduate Education, American Alliance for Theatre & Education, July 2016.

“Performances of the Crusades in Post-9/11 Culture.” Theatre History Symposium, Mid-Atlantic Theatre Conference, March 2016.

“For the Greater Good: Romance and Responsibility in Young Adult Dystopian Literature.” Novels, Then and Now, Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association, November 2015.

“Equivocation: Questioning the Portrayal of Truth or Purporting the Truth”. Theatre History Symposium, Mid-Atlantic Theatre Conference, March 2015.

Representative Publications

Scholarly Publications

“Sacred Spaces: Experiencing the Supernatural in Only These Places.” Ecumenica. Fall 2017.

Creative Publications

Words. New York: Brooklyn Publishers, 2013. 10 Minute One-Act Play.

Research Interest Summary

Theatre and Catholicism, Religion and Theatre, Modern European and US theatre

Education & Training

  • MA, Theatre Education, The Catholic University of America, 2013
  • BA, Drama, Franciscan University of Steubenville, 2010