Dissertations and Theses

The dissertation is the culminating project for the PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies. A formal proposal for a dissertation should be submitted for the endorsement of the Graduate Faculty. See the department's Graduate Student Handbook for proposal instructions. The Graduate Faculty will review the proposal. Sample proposals are on file in the department or by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies.

We welcome projects that include archival research, ethnography, critical theory, literary analysis, and performance studies. Dissertation work begins in the third year of the PhD program and is typically completed in a student's fourth or fifth year in the doctoral program.

Recent Dissertations and Theses

2023 – Dissertations

"Relajo y Joteria: Reimagining Family, Devotion, and Desire through the work of Teatro Alebrijes, 2011-2022" (Javier Hurtado)

"Who’s That Girl?”: Women Writing Women on the Broadway Stage" (Jess Pearson-Bleyer)

2022 – Dissertations

"Americanizing Shakespeare in Print: Nineteeth Century American Illustrated Editions of Shakespeare as Representations of National Identity" (Hesam Sharifian)

"New Game+: Memories Made in Virtual Worlds" (Peter Spearman)

2022 – Theses

"Balancing and Bending in Bling: The Aesthetics of the Acrobatic Latina Athlete" (Amelia Estrada)

“Perform Falling: Reframing Chinese Rural “Left-Behind” Children” (Wenxuan Xue)

2021 – Dissertations

"Cosmopolitan Performance and Its Ecologies in Interwar Shanghai" (Yizhou Huang)

"Defiant Acrobatic Bodies: Gender in the Performance of Ground Acrobatic Acts from the Inception of the Modern Anglo Circus" (Amy Meyer)

"Performing History in North Tulsa: Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre" (Tara Brook Watkins)

2021 – Theses

"Processing the Pain of Others: Witinessing Semana Santa Penitents in Taxco Through Procession" (Whitney Brady-Guzmán)

"[W]righting the Highway: Black Counter-Maps and American Interstates" (Jenny Henderson)

2020 – Theses

"Theatre in the Time of Cholera: Health, Medicine, and The Physician's Role on the American Stage 1832-1883" (Mia Levenson)

"Phantacamp: Queer Temporal Ruptures in the Performance of Restaged Camp" (Jo Rezes)

2019 – Dissertations

"Beyond Dahomey: The Legacy and Afterlife of the Williams and Walker Company 1902-1921" (Beck Holden) (Pat King)

"Directing btween the Lines: Iranian Theatre and the Aesthetics of Ambiguity" (Reza Mirsajadi)

"Homing a Turkish Diaspora: Turkish-American Women's Creative Labor" (Irem Seçil Rell Sen)

"Inspiration, Countercultural Aesthetics, and Dissent: The Ilklhom Theatre of Mark Weil" (Irina Yakubovskaya)

"Theories for Corporate Theatre" (Michael Morris)

2019 – Theses

"'ENOUGH OF THIS I'M NOTE LATINO ENOUGH BULLSHIT' The Social Re-Evaluative Eroticisms of Afro-Latinx Identities in U.S. Pop Culture" (Stephanie Engel)

"In Solidarity: Queer Appalachia's Zine Activism and the Radical Aesthetics of Homemaking." (Harry Hoke)

2018 – Dissertations

"An obvious caricature: The Consequences of Scientific Discourse on Theatrical Madness, 1807-1895" (Katherine Swimm)

Brief Deceptive Rainbows: Cultural Memory in Productions of Tennessee Williams's The Glass MenagerieA Streetcar Named Desire, and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Daniel Ciba)

2018 – Theses

"But What if Instead We Imagine Black Life" Femininity, Performance, and the Black Lives Movement (Teri Incampo)

The Man Within: Depictions of Blackness in Superhero Adaptations” (Peter Spearman)

2016 – Dissertations

"Black or Red? The Construction of Identity in Langston Hughes' Plays" (Katya Vrtis)

"Forgotten Figures: The Rhetorical Function of Tecmessa, Chrysothemis, and Ismene in Tragedies of Sophocles and Selected Adaptations" (Tiffany Pounds-Williams)

"Theatre of Common Sense: Ernie McClintock, Jazz Acting, and the Black Power Aesthetic (1965-2003)" (Ibby Cizmar)

2016 – Theses

"'Am I Not A Woman and A Sister?' Performance as Political Discourse in African American Women's Literary Societies" (Jenny Herron)

"Staging as Youth Culture in Colonial-Modern Shanghai: Student Theatre from the 1890s-1920s" (Yizhou Huang)

2015 – Dissertations

"American Billing: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Shakespeare" (Danielle Rosvally)

"The American Pipe Dream: Drug Addiction on Stage 1890-1940" (Max Shulman)

"Arab and Muslim American Female Playwrights: Resistance and Revision through Solo Performance" (Megan Stahl)

"Freaks, Beasts, and Gadgets: Performing Order and Disorder in Early America" (Matthew DiCintio)

"Constructing the Sensorium: Neoliberalism and Aesthetic Practice in Neoliberal Theatre" (Paul Masters)

"Cultural Improvisations: Luigi Riccoboni and the Nouveau Theatre Italien" (Matthew McMahan)

"Documenting Rehearsal for Revolution: Theory, Practice, and Praxis in Theatre of the Oppressed" (Betsy Goldman)

2015 – Theses

"'Of Thee We Sing:' Microhistories of the Northeastern United States through the Lens of American Folkloric Opera" (Christian Krenek)

"Spectrums of Truth: Transcribing Reality in the Documentary Musical" (Reza Mirsajadi)

Search the Archive

Dissertations and theses by our graduate are catalogued in the Dissertations & Theses @ Tufts University database. In the "Advanced Search" option, search for "drama" in the "Department – DEP" category. Dissertations & Theses @ Tufts provides full text for:

  • Most PhD dissertations issued after 1996
  • Most master's theses issued after 2005