Department Highlights

TDPS's spring musical Spring Awakening will hold auditions December 9-11, 2021 with callbacks on December 12. 

Congratulations to all the students, faculty, staff, and members of the TDPS community who came together to create Almanac and the Fall 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.”