I am a media scholar and a theater artist whose work in both fields mines the histories of art, media and popular entertainment in America, and the place of theatrical performance therein. I received my PhD from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. My recent dissertation examines several contemporary theater projects that consciously evoke populist performance cultures of nineteenth century America through lenses of political economy, community, aesthetics and spatial practices.
I am also a founder and co-artistic director of the OBIE Award winning NTUSA (the National Theater of the United States of America), an experimental collective of multidisciplinary artists based in Brooklyn with whom I continue to work as a writer, designer, director and performer. Most recently with the NTUSA, I co-designed and directed Normandy Raven Sherwood's The Golden Veil at the Kitchen in NYC. We also produced a recording of music from the show - available HERE as a vinyl LP, a digital download and an illustrated songbook.
As an actor, I recently performed in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men at the Orpheum Graz in Austria, the Public Theater in New York and the Kaai Theater in Brussels.
I am currently working on a book project with the NTUSA called A New Practical Guide to Rhetorical Gesture and Action. This project uses the form of Henry Siddons' 1807 actors guide for the London stage to document a spectrum of actors and performance artists working in New York’s experimental theater world. The project will eventually include 36 illustrations by Jesse Hawley with accompanying text by Normandy Raven Sherwood in a poetic subversion of the original's pedagogical style. These images and text panels will be framed by an introductory essay contextualizing this document among histories of acting and actors handbooks, and will include essays, interviews and commentary by scholars and some of the performers involved.
A New Practical Guide... will be published by 53rd State Press in Winter 2017. Publication will coincide with a gallery show of images and text from the book at Abrons Art Center in NYC.