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"Dumpster Diving: Aquatic Leisure, DIY-Aesthetics, and Performance of Public Space in Macro-Sea’s Mobile Pools"


Space and Cult


In August 2010, as part of Summer Streets, a citywide initiative to celebrate “New York City’s most valuable public space [its streets],” the Department of Transportation installed three mobile pools, made from dumpsters, on Park Avenue between 40th and 41st streets. The choice of dumpster swimming pools as keystone attractions for 2010 Summer Streets is not only testament to the need for a summer cool-down but also participates in the long history that public pools have played in urban planning as markers of a community’s health and well-being. Through tracing the mobile pools’ connections to the Do-It-Yourself (DIY)-aesthetic practice and public swimming pool history, I argue that although the dumpster pools were intended as a popular intervention to reconfigure socio-spatial relationships, the effectiveness of that intervention was varied. The pools recapitulated notions of private leisure and failed to participate in the actual city surroundings—allowing privileged participants to perform an ethical commitment to re-use and public good without promoting change for the actual communities in need.

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“Conjuring Kuwait onstage: an interview with Mohammed Al-Hemely” co-authored with Hassan Hajiyah in Theatre Topics

An interview about Kuwait commercial theater with actor, director, and producer Mohammed Al-Hemely.

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Western Theatre in Global Contexts: Directing and Teaching Western Theatre Making Processes Around the World

Co-Editor Jillian Campana

Published by: Routledge

Western Theatre in Global Contexts explores the junctures, tensions, and discoveries that occur when teaching Western theatrical practices or directing English-language plays in countries that do not share Western theatre histories or in which English is the non-dominant language.

This edited volume examines pedagogical discoveries and teaching methods, how to produce specific plays and musicals, and how students who explore Western practices in non-Western places contribute to the art form. Offering on-the-ground perspectives of teaching and working outside of North America and Europe, the book analyzes the importance of paying attention to the local context when developing theatrical practice and education. It also explores how educators and artists who make deep connections in the local culture can facilitate ethical accessibility to Western models of performance for students, practitioners, and audiences.

Western Theatre in Global Contexts is an excellent resource for scholars, artists, and teachers that are working abroad or on intercultural projects in theatre, education, and the arts.

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A cover of academic book, the book explores research and literature

"Mind Readers: Imagining Research-Led Practice in Doctoral Education"

Co-authored with Hala Baki, Joyelle Ball, and Haddy Kreie


Theatre Topics, Special Issue on Graduate Education

In the summer of 2014, four of us, three PhD candidates and one professor, gathered around a table to discuss an increased demand from graduate students and the academic market to find innovative ways to merge scholarship and theatrical practice within the doctoral education experience. While in many ways our discussion focused on how to develop us as in-demand products for an over-saturated job market—a market that was increasingly seeking production experience of doctoral students in theatre history, literature, and criticism—we also knew that, through performatively approaching our research, we gain insight into our work and become better teachers and thinkers.

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“'We Rule the Waves:' Athletic labor, femininity, and national collective in Billy Rose’s Aquacade"


TDR: The Drama Review

In the 1930s and '40s, nightclub impresario Billy Rose cast Olympic swimmers and divers in starring roles for his patriotic World's Fair revue. Positioning the Aquacade in the genealogies of mass spectacles, militaristic display, girly revues, and the rising popularity of pool culture reveals the theatrical framing of athletic labor as vigorously effective in creating a visible female collective on the eve of World War II.

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"Picture Perfect: Nostalgic Femininity and Temporal Disruptions in the Aqualillies’ Water Ballets"


Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory

This article examines nostalgic femininity in the aquatic performances of present-day synchronized swimming performance troupe, the Aqualillies. In spite of their fervent emulation of the iconic images of Golden Age Hollywood's splashiest star, Esther Williams, the Aqualillies’ performances refuse to be only a kitschy nod to the past through the addition of marketable symbols of modern femininity, such as the bikini, to their otherwise nostalgic representation. Through a concurrent multiplicity of temporally diverse femininities, they challenge the neoliberal rhetoric of choice that can arise in reperformance. This article invokes Svetlana Boym's theory of reflective nostalgia ­– an emotional connection to the past that does not foreclose critical reflection – to argue that the Aqualillies’ water ballets use performative temporal vacillation to expose the physical and psychical labor in the picture-perfect images of femininity in order to subvert the image's dominance and to defy capital's linear organization of time.

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“Intelligent Bodies: Dance’s Critical Corporality”


The Living Dance
3rd Edition Ed. Ninotchka Bennahum,

cover of book with women in a dance pose
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