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Graduate Students

Graduate Students in Theatre and Performance Studies
Whitney Brady-GuzmánWhitney Brady-Guzmán
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Whitney Brady-Guzmán is a second year M.A./Ph.D. student whose research focus lies at the intersections of religion, performance, and nationalism in Latin America. Current work examines how Catholicism, kinship, and tourist ecologies in Mexico articulate the ongoing legacies of colonial encounter. She received a B.A. in Drama and Religion from Vassar College. There, she was awarded the Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for Excellence in Drama. Whitney has previously been on staff in the Theatre Department at Suffolk University in Boston; she is also an award-winning lighting designer who has worked professionally in Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.
Steve Drum Steve Drum
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Steve Drum is a PhD candidate at Tufts. His research interests include celebrity performance, film history, and LGBTQ popular entertainments. He has presented his work at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the International Celebrity Studies Conference, the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association, and the Northeast Modern Language Association. Steve works as a Writing and Public Speaking consultant for the Academic Resource Center at Tufts. He also serves as chair for the Academic and Career Development committee in Tufts' Graduate Student Council. He earned a BFA in Drama from New York University and an MA in Cinema Studies from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Stephanie Engel Stephanie Engel
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Stephanie Engel is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate from Fort Worth, Texas. Stephanie's current dissertation focuses on biocapitalism and the workings of restrictive economies in contemporary U.S culture. Stephanie's other research works within disability studies, gender power dynamics, race and performance, and U.S./Latin America relations in performative cultural outlets. Her master's thesis analyzed the presence of female Afro-LatinX celebrities in U.S. pop culture. Before Tufts, Stephanie studied at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and received a BA from Allegheny College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude with a dual degree in Theatre and History. Stephanie has also previously worked in dramaturgy and community outreach for the likes of A.R.T., Company One, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, the Guthrie Theater, and Mixed Blood Theatre.
Amelia Estrada Amelia Estrada
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Amelia Estrada is a first year MA/PhD student. Her interests include Latinx-Jewish performance in the Americas and Caribbean, dance studies, colonialism's impact on performance, and intercultural dance and theater. As a performance maker, her work lives in between dance and theater and explores identity, vulnerability, memory, and play. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Dance and Classical Studies. Prior to attending Tufts, she was a freelance dance and performing artist in Philadelphia where she worked with companies including Brian Sanders’ JUNK, Megan Flynn Dance Company, Keila Cordova/3 Pony Show, and Leilani Chirino Drum and Dance Ensemble. During her time in Philly, she was also a teaching artist for BalletX, a writer for Thinking Dance, and an administrator at The Merchants Fund. More at AREmoves.com.
Emma Futhey Emma Futhey
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Emma Futhey is a Ph.D. candidate who received her B.A. in Theatre Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 2010. In 2013 she graduated with a Masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College. Her Master's Thesis, "Trauma and the Theatrical Aesthetic: Post 9/11 Trauma Theory in Contemporary British Documentary Theatre," received the Emerson College Performing Arts Department Graduate Award. She has presented papers at CDC, MATC, ATHE, and LMDA. At Tufts, she served as the graduate dramaturg for the department's mainstage productions of Richard III, Desire Under the Elms, and Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes, and dramaturg for 3P's production of Stop Kiss. She previously worked at ArtsBoston, a performing arts nonprofit geared towards audience development and arts promotion in the Greater Boston area; as the Program Assistant for the Office of Scholar Development at Tufts; and as a graduate writing consultant at the Academic Resource Center at Tufts She was a Summer 2018 Tisch Library Fellow. She is finishing her dissertation, "'Born for Universal Sway': Women and Performance Culture in Boston, 1785-1861," a cultural exploration of the performance of womanhood in Antebellum Boston. Emma started a full-time position as an Academic Advisor in University Honors Program at Northeastern University in the spring of 2019.
Jenny HendersonJenny Henderson
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Jenny Henderson is currently a second-year M.A./Ph.D student at Tufts University in Theatre and Performance Studies. She graduated Cum Laude from Miami University in 2017 and spent the following few years working as a copyeditor in Chicago, IL. While at Miami, she received the Senior Critical Essay Prize, Darling Research Scholarships, the Barbara E. Nicholson Essay Prize, and her theatre department’s Senior Award for Academic Excellence. In 2019, she was awarded the Mid-America Theatre Conference's "Emerging Scholar" award for her essay "Betwixt/Between: Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, August Wilson, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (W)right Movement, Memory, and the South." In addition to her scholarship, Jenny has gained recognition for her work in dramaturgy and creative nonfiction. She is presently working on her M.A. thesis which examines the United States highway as both a route to freedom and a site of violence for Black Americans. Research interests include: post-traumatic representation, constructions of girlhood, Blues and Black feminist performance, and the intersections of place, movement, mourning, memory, and ritual.
Jennifer HerronJennifer Herron
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Jenny Herron is a doctoral candidate writing a dissertation on lesbian theatres of the 1970s. Having recently earned her Master's degree in Theatre and Performance Studies from Tufts, she is now pursuing her Ph.D. Her research interests include antebellum African American theatre, LGBTQ theatre, and theatre in the education sector. Before coming to Tufts, Jenny had the opportunity to work as a member of the stage management team with The New Group, an off-Broadway theatre company in New York City. She also had the privilege of working as a high school English teacher in rural North Carolina through Teach for America. Jenny currently works as Arts Coordinator and Theatre Director for Boston Collegiate Charter School.
Yizhou HuangYizhou Huang
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Yizhou Huang is a Ph.D. candidate working on her dissertation entitled "Staging Colonial Modernity: Performances for English-Speaking Audiences in Shanghai between the Two World Wars." Her research interests include theatre history, modern and contemporary Chinese theatre, Asian American theatre and performance, and interculturalism and performance. She has presented her scholarship at national and international conferences, including the Association for Asian Performance, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, American Society for Theatre Research, and International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). She was awarded the 2014 Helsinki Prize by IFTR, and her writings have appeared in Asian Theatre Journal and Texas Theatre Journal. She holds a B.A. in English from Beijing Foreign Studies University and an M.A. in Drama from Tufts.
Javier Luis HurtadoJavier Luis Hurtado
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Javier Luis Hurtado is a doctoral candidate whose research interests include Latinx theatre and performance, liturgical drama, playwriting and adaptations, queer performance, and circus history. Prior to coming to Tufts, Javier earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside. His plays and other performance work has been produced and developed by theater companies and universities across the United States. He is a proud Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting, a GLUCK Foundation Theater Fellow, an alumnus of the NALAC Leadership Academy, the Maria Irene Fornés Playwriting Workshop and the LAByrinth Theatre Company's Summer Intensive Ensemble.

Theresa IncampoTeri Incampo
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Teri Incampo is a Ph.D student. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she has called Boston her home since 2013. She received her B.A. in Theater and Dance from Trinity College (Harford), where she completed her thesis on the short dramatic works of Samuel Beckett. Her current research interests include postmodern and contemporary drama, phenomenology, and the utilization of theories of consciousness as tools in the praxis of performance. Teri is the Co-Artistic Director of the Boston-area fringe company Exiled Theatre. She is also an actor and director, having worked professionally in New York, Boston, and Northampton, MA.

Mac IrvineMac Irvine
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Mac Irvine is a queer writer, curator, and Ph.D. candidate in Theatre & Performance Studies at Tufts University. Their interdisciplinary work explores the gendered and racialized labor of identity, community, and movement making in nightlife and performance spaces. Mac is a regular curator and collaborator with Thee Gay Agenda, a queer performance collective based in Austin, Texas. They have also worked with Austin-based organizations including Badgerdog, OutYouth, and The Austin Chronicle. In 2019, Mac received an M.A. in Women's & Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, where their performance ethnography with queer nightlife creators in Chicago was recognized with the department's award for outstanding thesis. Mac received their B.S.J. in Magazine Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2014.

Mia LevensonMia Levenson
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Mia Levenson is a Ph.D. student at Tufts University whose research explores the intersections of biomedical science and theatre. Her research interests include the history of science and medicine, the performance of science, nineteenth-century drama, the medicalized body on stage, and performance of identity. She recently completed her master's thesis, "Theatre in the Time of Cholera: Health, Medicine, and the Physician’s Role on the American Stage, 1832-1883." She is a 2020-2021 Andrew Mellon Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society and her essay, "Anatomical Acts: Minstrelsy and Nineteenth-Century Performances of Popular Anatomy," will be published in the forthcoming anthology, From the Curious to the Quantum: Identity, Culture, and the Science Performance, edited by Meredith Conti and Vivian Appler. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park as well as an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Tufts University.
Amy MeyerAmy Meyer
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Amy Meyer is a doctoral candidate whose research combines gender and dance theory with theatre history to analyze the ways that performing bodies communicate with audiences. Her areas of specialty are circus history and acrobatic acts, gender in performance, and risk in performance. Her dissertation looks at ground acts throughout the history of the western circus and explores how acrobatic bodies have long challenged dominant cultural conceptions of gender. As a theatre practitioner Amy is also interested in highly physical traditions. She does work in movement-based devised theatre, partner acrobatics, aerial silks, and flying trapeze. She is a longtime member of the IRNE-award-winning theatre troupe imaginary beasts, in residence at the Charlestown Working Theater. Amy received a BA in Theatre and English from Connecticut College and an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Tufts. As a Robyn Gittleman Graduate Teaching Fellow at Tufts' Experimental College, she designed and taught a course called Circus and Society. She also teaches writing and public speaking for Tufts' Academic Resource Center. Amy is a Lecturer in Theatre at Boston College.
Manjari Mukherjee Manjari Mukherjee
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Manjari Mukherjee is a Ph.D. student whose research interests include trauma studies, gender and citizenship studies, and race and minority studies in India. She completed her MPhil in Theatre and Performance Studies from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi. Her dissertation focused on the legitimate and illegitimate performance practices the Anglo-Indians community between 1940 and 1950 in Calcutta and Bombay. As an academic, she has presented her research at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and Indian society for Theatre Research (ISTR) and has published a part of her dissertation with the Theatre Research International (TRI). Manjari is a trained Kathak dancer and a theatre practitioner. Prior to joining the graduate department at Tufts, Manjari worked as an Arts Manager for Mojarto, India's largest curated e-commerce art portal. Manjari completed her bachelors (BA) in English Literature (Honours) from Presidency College, Kolkata; and masters (MA) in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
Jesse MurphyJesse Murphy
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Jesse Murphy is an M.A./Ph.D. student in the department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies who received their B.A. in Theatre at Franklin & Marshall College. Her current research is focused on horror, postmodern performance, and posthuman representations of queer monstrosity. He is also a director and has previously assistant directed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and directed many works with Creative Works of Lancaster.
Jo Michael Rezes Jo Michael Rezes
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Jo Michael Rezes is a third year Ph.D. student from Hunterdon County, NJ who received a B.A. from Vassar College in both Drama and English with queer studies and stage directing concentrations. There, Jo received the Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for their direction of "Melancholy Play: a chamber musical." Their completed MA thesis "Phantacamp: Queer Temporal Ruptures in the Performance of Restaged Camp" has sparked current research interests in ethnographic explorations of queer time ruptures in performance spaces, disintegration of the body in camp theatre, Theatre of Cruelty, 20th century performance praxis, and protest-as-performance. Jo works as a director, performer, and theatre educator in the Greater Boston Area. Learn more at: jmrezes.com
Jessica Pearson-Bleyer Jessica Pearson-Bleyer
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Jessica Pearson-Bleyer is a Ph.D. candidate originally from Maryland. She received a B.A. in Drama and an M.A. in History, Criticism, and Dramaturgy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and has worked as a director, dramaturg, and teaching artist. Her dissertations project looks at the way female composers, lyricists, and librettists wrote female characters for the Broadway musical stage from Annie Get Your Gun (1946) to Applause (1970.) Other research interests include the American musical theatre and the ethical representation of gender, race, ethnicity and ability. Her most recent publication is a short biography of writer Liz Swados for the Jewish Women's Archive Encyclopedia of Jewish Women.
Hesam Sharifian Hesam Sharifian
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Hesam Sharifian is a Ph.D candidate at Tufts University, Department of Drama and Dance, and is currently at the final stages of completing his dissertation entitled, "Americanizing Shakespeare in Print: Nineteenth Century American Illustrated Editions of Shakespeare's Works as Representations of National Identity," under the supervision of Laurence Senelick. He holds a bachelor's degree in Dramatic Literature from Tehran University and a master's degree in Theatre History and Criticism from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His scholarly publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Theatre Survey, Asian Theatre Journal, New England Theatre Journal, and Academic Theatre Journal of Iran. Recognized by the professional associations of the fields of Theatre and Performance Studies, Hesam has been the recipient of the Helen Krich Chinoy Award and the Thomas Marshal Award, both from the American Society for Theatre Research. He has also won several grants and research competitions, such as the Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship in American Visual Arts from the American Antiquarian Society, University of New Hampshire Summer Institute in Public Humanities grant from the Mellon Foundation, and the Tisch Library Fellowship in Humanities. He served as a guest editor for a special issue of Ecumenica on Theatre and Performance of Muslim Worlds, published in Fall 2018. His areas of scholarly interest include theatre and opera iconography, American commercial theatre in the long nineteenth century, German expressionist theatre and opera, and multi-culturalism in theatre. Hesam is currently a fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT).
Peter Spearman Peter Spearman
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Peter Spearman is a PhD Candidate from Charleston, SC. He holds a BA in English and Theatre Performance from the College of Charleston as well as an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Tufts University. In his dissertation Peter utilizes theories of the theatrical event and the relationship between play, player, and play space to explore the efficacy of video games from the 21st Century at addressing social and political problems from the personal to the global. His article, "The Man Within: Blackness and Simulation in 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'" can be seen in the peer-reviewed theatre and performance studies journal, Etudes Online. He has served as an instructor for "Introduction to Acting" as well as assisting for courses in theatre history and screenwriting. Peter has also worked with the Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College (TUPIT) serving as a TA for "Mass Incarceration and the Literature of Confinement" as well as co-teaching a writing lab for incarcerated students. He has presented papers at ATHE and the International Conference on Romanticism. He is currently a Robyn Gittleman teaching fellow at the Ex College and a dissertation fellow at the Center for Humanities at Tufts (CHAT).
Tara-Brooke Watkins Tara-Brooke Watkins
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Tara Brooke Watkins is a doctoral candidate. She holds an MA from Emerson College and a BA from Eastern Nazarene College. Her master's thesis on the performance art of Robbie McCauley, "Her Body as Voice," received the Emerson College Graduate Award and she has gone on to present at the ATHE conference on the work of McCauley and recently directed her in a revival of her award-winning play Sugar. With a special interest in seeking out the connections between hidden histories and current trends within a community, Tara combines her theatre research with ethnography. Past research projects include: the evangelical response to Salem’s Halloween carnival, Cambodian genocide survivors and descendents' performance in the Lowell Angkor Dance Company, and, currently, the untold tale of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. A practicing director and playwright, Tara's original ethnographic play The Bible Women's Project was recently accepted to the New York International Fringe Festival. She also owns and operates South Shore School of Theatre, a theatre school for children in Quincy, MA. She currently acts as the artistic director at Eastern Nazarene College.
Wenxuan Xue Wenxuan Xue 文轩
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Wenxuan Xue (wen-shoo-an, shoo-e) is an MA/PhD student whose research interests are queer theatre in the transnational Asias, sinophone studies and settler colonialism, and everyday activism in contemporary China. He holds a BA in Theatre from Wesleyan University, where he completed his thesis on the transnational productions of Chay Yew's A Language of Their Own in Singapore and New York. He is a theatre-maker and teaching artist. Before he came to Tufts, he worked as the Communications Apprentice at The Lark Play Development Center in New York. He is a provost leadership fellow at Tufts.