Department Highlights

Maurice Emmanuel Parent has been cast as Seth Holly in August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Huntington Theater.  The production runs October 14 - November 13, 2022.

This year, The Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies has compiled a forward-facing annual report for the 2021-2022 academic year. This report documents much of the work and craft that TDPS faculty, staff, and students put into the program.

Noe Montez has been elected Vice President for Publications for the American Society for Theatre Research beginning in 2022. 

Congratulations to all the 2022 TDPS graduates! Their vibrancy and resilience made the department brighter, and we know they will continue to bring that ingenuity and tenacity wherever they go next. You can see them and some of the work they've done over the past four years in our 2022 Senior Slideshow.

Kareem Khubchandani is the winner of the 2022 Recognition of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (ROUTE) Award, which recognizes distinguished teaching, advising, and mentoring by tenure-track members of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. This award is specifically intended for untenured (but tenure-track) full-time faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching and advising, show concern for their students' academic and personal growth, and who convey a passion and enthusiasm for their field of study. We are so thrilled for him and grateful for all he does for TDPS.

TDPS is proud to partner with Company One Theatre who will be in residence April 4-9 developing Idris Goodwin's hip-hop play Quotables. TDPS students will shadow Director Summer L Williams, Artistic Director Shawn LaCount, Playwright Idris Goodwin, and Dramaturg Ilana Brownstein, and they will have access to all of the members of the company and a chance to ask questions about the creative process! A staged reading of Quotables will take place in Balch Arena Theatre on April 9, 2022 at 11am. The event is free and open to the public. 

Congratulations to the company of Spring Awakening on two fantastic weekends of performances and persevering through many bumps in the road throughout the process, remaining flexible and passionate all the while. See the program and photos from the production on our productions page

Jenny Oliver is a recipient of one of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice 2021 Changemaker Awards. "The 2021 Changemaker Awards shine a light on individuals who didn’t necessarily make headlines, but have been on the frontlines supporting their neighbors and communities, demonstrating remarkable service, courage, and generosity while confronting unprecedented adversity over the past two years."

Jo Rezes has been cast in Speakeasy Stage's Production of The Inheritance.  Jo was cast as Young Man 4/ Young Walter. You can see them in this production when it runs April 22-June 11, 2022. 

Congratulations to all the students, faculty, staff, and members of the TDPS community who came together to create Almanac and the Fall 2021 Dance Concert. Both productions featured original student compositions and incredible problem solving and flexibility as we continue to navigate live performance.  We can't wait for the chance to bring more theater and dance to you next semester. 

Tufts Dance Program hosted two choreographic commissions by guest artists, Geneviève Du Paul and Ian Berg, a presentation by faculty member, Jenny Oliver, and her Boston-based dance company, and a reconstruction by faculty member, Renata Celichowska, performed as part of our Fall 2021 Dance Concert. The concert featured capstone projects from three senior choreographers. 

Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor Kareem Khubchandani received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's Outstanding Book Award for Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press). For Ishtyle, Kareem also received the de la Torre Bueno Prize from the Dance Studies Association in 2021. 

Khary Jones is a recipient of the 2021 William Greaves Fund for his project Night Fight. The William Greaves Fund provides $40,000 grants to each recipient for research and development on a feature-length non-fiction film.

Sheriden Thomas was cast as Grandma Violet in Tiffany Paulson’s film About Fate, with Emma Roberts and Cheryl Hines.

Maurice Emmanuel Parent’s Front Porch Arts Collective received a $175,000 grant from the Boston Foundation and begins a three-year residency with the Huntington Theatre Company.

As of September 1, 2021, the following faculty are in new positions in the department: Noe Montez, Department Chair; Linda Ross Girard, Associate Department Chair; Kareem Khubchandani, Director of Graduate Studies; Jessica "JP" Pizzuti, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Lilian Mengesha, Fletcher Foundation Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the American Society for Theatre Research. Her term will begin in November 2021.  

Jenny Oliver, part-time lecturer, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has collaborated with the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Office of Budget Management to present “Moving Through the Budget.” The 8-week community based residency took place May 8-June 28, 2021 and provided residents of East Boston with a new approach to learning about the city of Boston’s budget through creative expression, movement, and dance. 

Khary Saeed Jones, professor of the practice in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has been named a LEF Fellow by the Harvard Film Study Center at the same time his work-in-progress, “Night Fight,” won a grant from LEF’s Moving Image Fund. “Night Fight” explores the interior life of a Black man living amid COVID-19, the racial reckoning catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd, and the countdown to the 2020 presidential election. Read more about Professor Jones. 

Lilian Mengesha, Fletcher Foundation Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has been named as a 2021 Career Enhancement Fellow by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Career Enhancement Fellowship seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented faculty members in the humanities, social sciences, and arts by supporting career development opportunities for outstanding faculty awardees.   

Ian Berg, visiting artist, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has been named as a member of the artist cohort for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Regional Dance Development Initiative (RDDI): New England Now

Heather S. Nathans, chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and Alice and Nathan Gantcher Professor in Judaic Studies, with a colleague from the Black Theatre Association, was guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, entitled Milestones in Black Theater. Tufts graduate students Stephanie Engel, AG19; Javier Hurtado, AG22; and Mia Levenson, AG20, joined her on the editorial team. Nathans also contributed her interviews with a group of groundbreaking scholars in Black theatre, including David Krasner, AG96. Elizabeth Cizmar, AG17, of Vanderbilt University, also contributed an article

Maurice Parent, professor of the Practice in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies reports that his company, Front Porch Arts Collective, has been nominated for the Paul Robeson Award by the Equity Association and the Actors’ Equity Foundation. The award is presented “to an individual or organization that best leverages theatre to go beyond the stage to enact their commitment to the freedom of expression and conscience, their belief in the artist’s responsibility to society and their dedication to the betterment of humankind.” Parent is also speaking on a panel at the New Pathways Social Justice Conference, a virtual event presented by Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups, November 6-9, 2020 and headlined by Angela Davis.  

Ian Berg, visiting artist, has been awarded named a 2020 Choreography Fellow by the Massachusetts Cultural Council

Kareem Khubchandani, Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies has published Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan). 

Lilian Mengesha, Fletcher Foundation Assistant Professor of Dramatic Literature, and Kareem Khubchandani, Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor, both with the Department of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies, have been awarded a New England Humanities Consortium grant for a project with faculty at Colby College and University of Rhode Island called “Undisciplining Performance.”