Shelby Brewster

  • PhD Student

Shelby Brewster is a director, dramaturg, actor, teacher, and scholar originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is currently completing her fourth year of the PhD in the Department of Theatre Arts, and she was a 2015-2016 Provost’s Humanities Predoctoral Fellow. She is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Cultural Studies. Her research explores the place of and possibilities for performance under the crises of climate change and in the Anthropocene. 

Shelby has presented her research at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, American Society of Theatre Research, Canadian Association for Theatre Research, and Comparative Drama. She was selected for the 2018 Northwestern Summer Institute in Performance Studies. Her work has been published in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre and Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction.

Shelby also maintains an active artistic practice. In the summer of 2018, she directed new productions at both the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival (It Sounded Like a Good Idea in My Dreams) and the Pittsburgh New Works Festival (Astronaut (or Frantic Action)). At Pitt, she directed Aglaonike’s Tiger, a new play by Claudia Barnett, in the fall of 2016. Shelby works as an editor with Plays Inverse Press, a Pittsburgh-based independent publisher of unconventional performance texts. As a stage manager, she has worked with the Lunar Stratagem (Huntington, WV) on three new works, and played at the Berkshire Fringe Festival (Great Barrington, MA) and English Theatre Berlin (Berlin, Germany). 

Representative Publications

“Performing Cognitive Estrangement: Future Memory Technics in Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime.” Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction 128 (Winter 2017).

“Food Futures: Speculative Performance in the Anthropocene.” The Journal of American Drama and Theatre 29, no. 2 (Spring 2017).

Research Interest Summary

Science in/as Performance; Digital Performance; Media Studies; Cultural Studies; Contemporary Theatre; Science Fiction Studies

Education & Training

  • MA - Theatre History, Literature, and Criticism, The Ohio State University, 2015
  • BFA - Theatre, Emphasis in Performance, summa cum laude, Marshall University, 2012
  • BA - History, summa cum laude, Marshall University, 2012