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April 12 - 13, 2014
F. Loren Winship Drama Building

The Latin@ Performance Symposium engages University of Texas at Austin students and the community in dialogue around issues of Latino/a performance and ethics of identity and representation. Activities include scholarly discussions, panels and workshops with professional performance companies, staged readings, talkbacks, and opportunities to create bonds with UT Austin and greater Austin performance community. A detailed itinerary follows. All events, with the exception of the performance of In the Heights and the April 12 dinner, are free to attendees.

Register today to save your seat! A limited number of rush tickets will be available for each event at the venue. Reserved seats may be released five minutes prior to the event. We encourage you to arrive early.

For more information, please contact email or call (512) 471-5793.

Schedule of Events:


10:00-10:45 a.m. — Opening Ceremony
Keynote address by Dr. Tiffany Ana López, Professor in the Department of Theatre at University of California Riverside
Location: B. Iden Payne Theatre

11:00-11:45 a.m. — The Peculiar History of Latina/o Casting in U.S. Popular Performance
A talk about the long history of how Latina/o actors and Latina/o characters have been cast in U.S. popular performance led by Dr. Brian Herrera, Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University
Location: B. Iden Payne Theatre

12:00-12:45 p.m. — Lunch and Dialogue
A reflection on the prior talks through facilitated questions. Pizza provided.
Location: Winship Atrium

1:00-2:45 p.m. — AND THE EARTH DID NOT DEVOUR HIM: A New Play Reading
A staged reading of a new play by Dr. Tiffany Ana López, directed and performed by a collaboration of University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas-Pan American students.
Location: Lab Theatre

3:00-3:45 p.m. — Teatro Vivo, ALTA Teatro, Aztlan Dance Company, and Texans United for Families
A panel discussion with local Latin@ theatre, dance, and performance artists. Artists will discuss their organizations’ work, history, experiences, and goals for the future.
Location: Lab Theatre

4:00-4:45 p.m. — Workshops with Local Performance Companies
Participate in a hands-on workshop with an Austin-based performance company. Choose from a workshop by Teatro Vivo, ALTA Teatro, Aztlan Dance Company, or artists from Texans United for Families.
Location: Winship Classrooms. Seating is limited. Reservations are encouraged.

5:00-5:45 p.m. — Workshops with Local Performance Companies
Participate in a hands-on workshop with an Austin-based performance company. Choose from a workshop by Teatro Vivo, ALTA Teatro, Aztlan Dance Company, or artists from Texans United for Families.
Location: Winship Classrooms. Seating is limited. Reservations are encouraged.

6:00-7:30 p.m. — Dish ‘n Dish
Sign-up with a facilitator to walk to a local eatery and discuss various topics from the day’s discussion with Latin@ theatre and performance over dinner. Attendees will pay for their own meal.

8:00-10:30 p.m. — IN THE HEIGHTS
The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents In the Heights directed by Jerry Ruiz, guest artist from New York City. A short conversation with the production dramaturgs will follow the performance.

Visit Texas Performing Arts for tickets. Attendees will purchase their own tickets.
Location: B. Iden Payne Theatre


10:00-10:45 a.m. — Contemporary Latin@ Theatre in the United States
A panel discussion with US-based Latin@ theatre practitioners, scholars, and educators that focuses on their experiences with contemporary Latin@ performance.
Location: Winship Atrium

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. — Comida & Dialogue
An open dialogue with guest artists, students, and faculty members about identity, cultural representation, and casting in Latin@ theatre and Latin@s in US theatre as a whole. This includes a discussion around Latin@s in higher education. Breakfast provided.
Location: Winship Atrium

12:15-1:00 p.m. — BETWEEN BROTHER AND SISTER: A New Play Reading
A new play reading of Between Brother and Sister, written by Brian Oglesby, M.F.A. playwriting candidate from the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin.
Location: Lab Theatre

1:15-2:00 p.m. — Remarks, Reflections y Recuerdos
Closing remarks by Dr. Brian Herrera.
Location: Winship Atrium

2:00-3:00 p.m. — Snacks & Dialogue
A dialogue that synthesizes the lessons and experiences from this symposium to create future action. Snacks provided.
Location: Winship Atrium

Program Area: Performance as Public Practice

  • Rebecca Rossen completed a draft of her manuscript, Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance, and sent all 400 pages of it to her publisher, Oxford University Press.
  • She was awarded a SRA grant to revise the manuscript over the summer, and looks forward to entering the final phase of the publishing process in the fall!
  • In addition, she delivered a paper at The Congress on Research in Dance and will speak at Performance Studies International this summer.

Learn more about Rebecca Rossen.

Erica Nagel (MFA 2008) has been named the Director of Education and Engagement at McCarter Theatre Center. She also serves as a Lecturer at Princeton University.

She has worked previously on the artistic staffs of Geva Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Premiere Stages, and as a freelance developmental dramaturg at theatres including Salvage Vanguard, HotCity Theatre, New Century Theatre, and the New Harmony Project.

Dr. Ramón Rivera-Servera’s (PhD 2003) book Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics received the Latin American Studies Association’s award for Best Book in Latino Studies and the Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBT Studies.

Based on his doctoral dissertation, Performing Queer Latinidad highlights the critical role that performance played in the development of Latina/o queer public culture in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Dr. Rivera-Servera is an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Department of Performance Studies.


Program Area: Performance as Public Practice

  • Dr. Paul Bonin-Rodriguez’s book, Performing Policy: How Politics and Cultural Programs Redefined U.S. Artists for the Twenty-First Century, is under contract with Palgrave MacMillan. It will be the first title of Palgrave’s renewed focus on arts and culture policy. 

  • His chapter, “HOMES at the ends of the WORLD: Repertoires of Access and Agency Out of New WORLD Theater (1979-2009)”, was accepted to volume for An Unimagined Space Beyond New WORLD Theater.

  • "Two Sides of a Cultivated Fringe: Austin’s New Works Theater Community and UT’s Cohen New Works Festival," an article that appears in text and video versions, is currently under revision for PUBLIC, a peer-reviewed, multimedia journal focusing on the influence of the arts, humanities, and design in public life. 

  • Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez also recently performed a new work, Return (Enter): How Much of that is You?, a work reintroducing the six “Johnny” shows that kept him on the road for more than fifteen years, at Berkshire Community College (BCC) for the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition and the BCC Diversity Forum. Return (Enter) will be part of the introduction of a book that will happen in the future. A revised version of the performance presentation will be repeated at IFTR this summer in Barcelona.

  • In May, Dr. Bonin-Rodriguez appeared at the Ford Foundation as a featured speaker for “VALUING ARTISTS|SEEDING INNOVATION: Celebrating Ten Years of Leveraging Investments in Creativity.” 

  • He also published an article last year in the premiere issue of Artivate: a Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts (peer-reviewed).

Read more about Dr. Paul Bonin-Rodriguez on our website!

Scholars, scholars, scholars everywhere!

Our UT graduates and faculty were well represented at the American Society for Theatre Research Conference this fall.

Pictured (L-R): Christin Essin (PhD 2006), Kelly Howe (PhD 2010), Charlotte Canning (faculty), Chase Bringardner (PhD 2007), Susanne Shawyer (PhD 2008), Stephen Low (MA 2011) and Rebecca Hewett (PhD 2010).

Also in attendance at this year’s conference: Jaclyn Pryor (PhD 2011), Jessica Del Vecchio (MA 2008), Ramon Rivera-Servera (PhD 2003), Angela Ahlgren (PhD 2011), Jane Barnette (PhD 2003), Beliza Torres Narvaez (PhD candidate), Jenny Kokai (PhD 2008), Meg Savilonis (PhD 2004) and Patrick McKelvey (BA 2008).

When was the last time you read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter? High school? College? What do you remember? What questions did/do you have about the novel?

Please join us for a special afternoon salon in anticipation of the UT Department of Theatre and Dance’s world premiere of The Scarlet Letter by Sarah Saltwick.

WHAT: A Conversation Featuring Dr. Martin Kevorkian, Hawthorne Scholar and Associate Professor of English at UT, and the Cast and Crew of Sarah Saltwick’s The Scarlet Letter. Facilitated by production dramaturg Amy Guenther

WHEN: Friday, November 2, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Winship Drama Building, Room 1.134, 300 East 23rd St., Austin, Texas 78712

This event is free and open to the public.

More Info:

On November 16, 2012, the UT Department of Theatre and Dance presents the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter. Written by M.F.A. playwright candidate Sarah Saltwick and directed by M.F.A. directing candidate Steven Wilson, the production marks the culmination of a year of research, writing, workshops, rehearsals and hundreds of conversations around the question, “Yes, but what did Hawthorne mean? What is the world of this play?”

As Saltwick describes, “This is a new play inspired by an old story.  Plots have been changed, characters added, language re-imagined. Where Hawthorne offered the reader ambiguity, I have offer my own dramatic interpretations.  But at the heart of the play are the same essential struggles between judgement and freedom, desire and sin, the head and the heart. While the play remains in the time period of the novel, these struggles still speak to a contemporary audience that may also feel lost, lonely and judged.”

The nationally acclaimed, ensemble-based theater collective Rude Mechs has been appointed as the resident theater company of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance. The three-year residency provides university students an opportunity to work with members of the Rude Mechs, learning their methodology for devising new plays and managing a professional theater company.  

Since its inception in 1995, Rude Mechs has earned more than 180 local and national awards and nominations. Its touring and off-Broadway productions include I’ve Never Been So Happy;Get Your War OnHow Late it Was, How LateCherrywoodLipstick Traces; and The Method Gun, which was selected for the 34th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Known for its cutting-edge practice, Rude Mechs’ original works break the traditional structure of theater, setting performance as a center for collaboration and community. Its explosive energy, innovative storytelling and collective spirit have placed the group at the center of the nation’s leading theater companies.

“The Rude Mechs are one of America’s hottest, most creative and most outlandish theater companies,” said department chair Brant Pope. “Celebrated in The New York Times and playing to packed houses across the nation, the Rude Mechs, as UT’s resident theater, are now working alongside our students. ‘What starts here changes the world’ is the motto of the university, and this partnership is one of the best expressions of that pledge.”

Rude Mechs’ work has been presented in top national venues including The Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis), The Wexner Center (Columbus, Ohio) and Woolly Mammoth (Washington, D.C.). Connected to an international community of artists, the group has performed in Austria’s SommerSzene, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (winner of the Total Theatre Award for Best New Play by an Ensemble), and the Under the Radar Festival (New York).

Residency activities include student internship opportunities with the Rude Mechs in the areas of development, marketing, arts education, venue management, and production. The company will also serve as a guest responder on Department of Theatre and Dance productions. As a result, students will receive invaluable insight and feedback on their work from company members.

This event is now ‘sold out’. For more information, email

Families are invited to experience “a day in the life” of their theatre or dance student during The University of Texas at Austin’s annual Family Weekend.

Join us in the Winship Atrium, the students’ favorite gathering space, and

  • Meet faculty, teachers and mentors       
  • Attend classes highlighting acting, design, dance and theatre history
  • Walk the same halls as your student and see the department’s theatres and studios
  • Gather at a reception for students and family members

WHEN:   Saturday, October 27 at 10:00AM
WHERE:  Winship Drama Building Atrium, 300 East 23rd St., Austin, Texas 78712
R.S.V.P.: Please email your acceptance to, and include the number of family members attending

Parking is available at the San Jacinto Garage, located at the corner of San Jacinto Boulevard and 24th Street.
See a Department of Theatre and Dance Performance following the reception!

THE CATARACT, by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright and alumna Lisa D’Amour, takes the B. Iden Payne stage at 2:00 p.m. Set in Minneapolis in 1883, this poetic drama explores one week in the lives of Cyrus and Lottie Finch, a stalwart couple who take in two vagabond lovers from the South. The unlikely pairs’ intersection unearths their deep-seated desires – ones which they fight to keep buried.

Discount tickets are available for Family Weekend participants. Additional performance and ticket information will be provided in response to your RSVP for the October 27 events.

Learn more about The Cataract at

Theatre and Dance Celebrates our 2012 Doctoral Graduates!

Pictured (L-R): Dr. Heather Barfield, Dr. Marcus McQuirter, Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Dr. Jaclyn Pryor, Dr. Kristin Leahey, Dr. Bukola Kpotie

Dr. Heather Barfield is the business director and operations manager at Austin Creative Alliance, an arts and creative industries advocacy and services non-profit organization.

Dr. Marcus McQuirter is professor of drama at Austin Community College.

Dr. Jaclyn Pryor is a visiting assistant professor of queer studies and public practice at Hampshire College.

Dr. Kristin Leahey is resident dramaturg at Northlight Theatre.

Dr. Bukola Kpotie is the executive director of the Lagos Museum and Research Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo: Oladotun Ayobade