Who we are

The TAPS Workshop brings together faculty and graduate students from across the university whose research concerns theater and/or performance. If you would like to join our email list, please contact the workshop coordinators at their emails below, or using the contact page.

Faculty sponsors:

David Levin, Ph.D., is the Addie Clark Harding Professor of Germanic Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College at the University of Chicago. In June 2011, Professor Levin was appointed the inaugural Director of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, a new collaborative center for artists and scholars. From 2007-10, he was Co-Director of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH). Before joining the faculty at Chicago in 1998, he taught German and Theater Studies at Columbia University. He has been a guest professor of Theater and Performance Studies at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Mainz; he regularly team-teaches courses on opera, theater, and performance at the University of Konstanz with Professor Christopher Wild (Chicago) and Professor Juliane Vogel (Konstanz).
Professor Levin’s recent work focuses on the aesthetics and politics of performance in opera, theater, and cinema. He is the editor of Opera Through Other Eyes (Stanford University Press, 1994) and the author of Richard Wagner, Fritz Lang, and the Nibelungen: The Dramaturgy of Disavowal (Princeton University Press, 1998). His book, Unsettling Opera: Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Zemlinsky, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007; a paperback edition appeared in autumn 2010. Professor Levin has also worked extensively as a dramaturg for various opera houses in Germany and the United States and for William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet. He serves as co-executive editor of the Opera Quarterly, published by Oxford University Press. In the Spring of 2010, Levin and Christopher Wild hosted “Praxes of Theory“, an international conference at Chicago that brought together artists and scholars form Berlin and Chicago to explore the intersections of performance practice and performance theory. The conference inaugurated a multi-year cooperation with the Institute for Theater Studies at the Free University Berlin.
John Muse, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English; Committee on Theater and Performance Studies. Professor Muse’s research and teaching focus on modern and contemporary theater, modernist literature, and performance. He is particularly interested in work that tests the boundaries of a given medium or the borders between media: plays that approach visual art, poems performed on stage, closet dramas, novels in dramatic form, metatheater and metafiction, and digital or otherwise virtual theater.
Professor Muse’s current book project, for instance, explores the minimum boundaries of dramatic form by focusing attention on modernist microdramas. The book argues that short plays warrant at least as much attention as short stories, lyric poems, or short films, in part because the temporal medium of theater allowed modernist artists both to represent and unsettle emergent conceptions of time. Plays by figures like August Strindberg and Suzan-Lori Parks, F. T. Marinetti and Samuel Beckett demonstrate that theatrical time is relative in particular ways, that minimal compositions often magnify their subjects, and that a drama of impoverishment can enrich our understanding of the possibilities and limits of the theater.

Workshop coordinator:

Sharvari Sastry is a PhD student in the departments of  South Asian Languages and Civilizations and Theater and Performance Studies. Her research interests focus on the ethics and aesthetics of archiving performance, particularly in the context of modern Indian theatre practice. She primarily works with materials in Hindi, Marathi and English. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked for four years in Mumbai variously as an editor for a theatre magazine, a co-ordinator for a theatre archiving project, and an administrator for two theatre companies.

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