Current Students

Juan M. Aldape: MA in International Performance Research from the University of Warwick (UK). As practitioner and researcher, his current work focuses on movement, migration and mapping discourses related to undocumented spaces and choreographic processes. Most recently, he co-founded A PerFarmance Project, site-specific collaborations between farmers and performers researching the concept of food security from rural and urban perspectives. He is an Erasmus Mundus Scholar, a regular contributor to loveDancemore performance journal, and the e-resource convener for the International Federation for Theatre Research’s Performance as Research working group. He holds a BFA in Modern Dance and BA in Anthropology from the University of Utah (USA).

Miyuki Baker: B.A. Studio Arts, Asian Studies, Swarthmore College (2012). Miyuki is a queer artist activist and healer of color who uses zines and performance to make accessible art that brings non-mainstream identities and ideas into maximum visibility. She has been traveling since 2012 documenting the intersections of art and activism in international queer/trans communities ( while making performance art and leading workshops. Her academic interests include researching queer and trans performance artists of color in diaspora communities. Her work has been featured in several magazines such as Hyphen, Broken Pencil and Knik, blogs and radio shows.  Email: Blog:

Miyoko ConleyB.F.A, Theatre, New York University; M.A., Individualized Study (Playwriting and Japanese Popular Culture), New York University. Miyoko researches transnational fan cultures and affective technologies, with a focus on Japanese and South Korean popular culture. More broadly, she writes about the intersections of theatre and popular culture, and examines how media phenomenon impact traditional theatre spaces, as well as theatricality in online spaces. Miyoko is also a playwright and performer, and her work engages with what it means to perform with and in digital technology.

Lashon Daley: B.A. English, University of Miami (2005); M.F.A. Writing, Sarah Lawrence College (2008); M.A. Folklore, University of California, Berkeley (2015).  Lashon is a scholar, a children’s book author, a spoken work poet, and novelist.  Her academic interests include researching storytelling as a performance art as well as critiquing the space in which storytelling occurs in the festival setting.  She was a 2012 UC Berkeley Distinguished Fellow and a 2014 Callaloo Poetry Fellow.  Her work has appeared in Underwater New YorkO, the Oprah Magazine; and Country Roads Magazine.  Her first children’s book, Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, is forthcoming with Pelican Publishing.  Email:

Bélgica L. del Río: B.A. in Dance and English, University of California Riverside. Bélgica explores the body’s oscillating meanings and power across ethnicity and culture. She is especially interested in technology’s intersection with the performance of identity and the politics of representation in cinema, theatre and popular dance. Her recent research interests include digital culture, racialization processes, and the global circulation and appropriation of ethnic dance. She is also concerned with the discursive shift digitality brings to theories of embodied knowledge, identity, and performance. email:

Jess Dorrance  is a writer, curator, and doctoral student. She writes about the intersections between art, performance, and queer, feminist, and anti-racist politics. She is the co-editor, with Antke Engel, of Bossing Images: The Power of Images, Queer Art, and Politics (NGBK, 2012), which grew out of an eponymous series of experimental events. Jess also curates short film programs and organizes workshops in Berlin, Montreal, and elsewhere, most recently the workshop “Visibility and Violence in Late-Capitalist Digital Democracy” (QPIRG Concordia, 2015). She holds an MA in Art History, with an emphasis in Gender and Women’s Studies, from McGill University (2014), as well as a BA in Art History and English Literature from McGill University (2008). Email:

Natalia Duong is a performance artist, choreographer, and scholar, native to the San Francisco Bay Area. Her research focuses on the contagion and reparation performed by bodies affected by the herbicide Agent Orange. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of PAO, a New York based movement collective. She holds a MA in Performance Studies from Tisch School for the Arts at New York University and a BA in Psychology and Dance from Stanford University.

Randi Evans’ work and research explores the intersections of dance studies, cultural studies, curatorial practice, and social and community-based practices. She holds a BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts, MA in cultural studies from the University of Washington, and certificate in curatorial practice in performance from Wesleyan University. In addition to her academic background she has worked in community-based organizations in arts administration and as a teaching artist. Most recently she has been teaching courses on contemporary performance practices to first year students at the University of Washington Bothell.

Julia Havard: B.A. History of Science, minor in Dance, Harvard University. Julia is interested in the embodiment of trauma and the effect of bodily memories on physical movement and gesture. She currently works at a health clinic educating young people in LGBTQ communities about the Affordable Care Act and wants to look more in depth at how barriers to affirming healthcare relate to institutionalized and interpersonal violence. Through her dance practice, she has been exploring reframing of personal and social history.

Martha Herrera-Lasso: MA in Theatre from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and a BA in Playwriting from the National University in Mexico City (UNAM). She has worked as a writer and developer for theatre and television in Mexico and Canada, and is currently the co-director of the New Play Reading Series at UC Berkeley. She is concerned with the practical and theoretical implications of bi and tri-national theater collaborations amongst Mexico, Canada and the United States, read through the politics of linguistic, cultural and aesthetic translation.    

Megan Hoetger,  Designated Emphases: Film Studies and Critical Theory. M.A. Art History, B.F.A. Drawing and Painting, B.A. Art History, California State University, Long Beach. Tracing the infrastructural politics of time-based art’s circulations across times and spaces, Hoetger’s current research examines the global media flows of ‘performance art’ alongside experimental film since the 1960s and 70s, from early alternative distribution and exhibition networks, to contemporary institutional circuits and new media platforms. Working with historical material, her project also reflects (on) the shifting and contended statuses of time, value, and the archive in the history-writing process.

Paige JohnsonPhD Candidate in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Gender and Women’s Studies (UC Berkeley); B.A. Theatre and Cultural Anthropology, Columbia University; Mellon-Mays Fellow; Fulbright Fellow. Paige’s work sits at the convergence of performance studies, queer studies and Southeast Asian Studies. Currently working in Indonesia, Paige brings a cross-disciplinary intelligence as both a scholar and performer to her work with Male-to-Female trans communities known locally as WariaFocusing on a large constellation of  performative practices, Paige explores how “Waria”—as an identity, point of identification, social signifier of difference, and node within transnational queer codes—manifests through various “genres” of performance enacted by Waria-identified subjects, seeking to understand Waria as both subject position and aesthetic demarcation. In addition to her own research Paige has directed a TDPS workshop production of The Maids  and currently co-leads the Color of New Media working group with Professor Gail de Kosnik as well as the Queer Theory in South and Southeast Asia working group with Darren Arquero.

Caleb Luna: B.A., Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin (2015). Caleb is a working class fat, brown, queer, living, writing and dancing in Oakland, California. Their work explores the intersections of fatness, desire, fetishism, white supremacy and colonialism from a queer of color lens. You can find their writing on Black Girl Dangerous, Everyday Feminism and The Body Is Not An Apology.

Caitlin Marshall:  PhD Candidate in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in New Media (UC Berkeley); B.A. Theater Arts, Brown University; graduate M.M.program in voice at Roosevelt University.  Caitlin applies her practice-based and pedagogical knowledge of voice towards the study of what it meant to ‘sound American’ during the nation’s first independent century. Focusing on ‘Othered’ American vernaculars at the intersections of race, disability, gender, and ethnicity, her dissertation, ‘Power in the Tongue’: Crippled Speech & Vocal Culture in Antebellum America, takes seriously the metaphor of voice in American democracy, and works at the confluence of Performance, Sound, and Disability Studies to mobilize speech impairment as a broad material and theoretical category for investigating how American citizenship was established as an exclusionary vocal limit in the antebellum era.  Caitlin also teaches acting at UCB and at the California College of the Arts. When she isn’t teaching or writing her dissertation, she enjoys lending her time to her own artistic practice. Recent and upcoming acting and directing projects include “Dear Love,” a short film, and Kid Simple: a radio play in the flesh. Caitlin has co-led VoxTAP, the Voice Studies Working Group, with Robbie Beahrs since 2009.

Kate Mattingly: B.A. Architecture, Princeton University; M.F.A. Dance, New York University. As a dance critic and evaluator for New York Times, the Village Voice, the N.E.A. and myriad other publications and honorary committees, Mattingly brings a wealth of experience in the analysis of contemporary dance. Her cross-disciplinary approach to movement includes an ongoing interest in architecture, in flash mobs, and in the social effects of new technologies.

Aparna Nambiar: BSc. Life Sciences, National University of Singapore; M.A. Theatre Studies, University of AmsterdamM.A. International Performance Research, University of Warwick. Aparna is an Indian classical dancer and performance studies scholar based in Singapore. Her research thus far has examined the genesis and evolution of minority Indian performance practices in Singapore, and the ongoing negotiations of Singaporean identity that manifest performatively and corporeally. Her interests include diaspora studies, traditional performance practices in contemporary Asia and the interventions of global capital flows on Asian culture. Email:

Christian Nagler is a performer, writer and translator. He has performed with Anna Halprin, Isak Immanuel, Yuko Kaseki and Open Experiments Ensemble. His work has recently been presented at the Berkeley Art Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, Southern Exposure, and the Kadist Foundation. His novel The Capitalist, is forthcoming in 2014. His writing can recently be found in FillipSix Lines of Flight (UC Press), Somatic Engagement (Chainlinks Books) EncyclopediaAufgabe, and Performance Research. He has translated works by the political economist Alberto Masferrer, as well as writings by the contemporary novelist Horacio Castellanos Moya and psychoanalytic theorist Heriberto Yépez. He currently teaches writing and new genres at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Lyndsey Ogle: B.F.A. Acting, Northern Illinois University; M.A. Individualized Studies (Interdisciplinary Curation and Digital Culture), New York University.  Lyndsey is an interdisciplinary artist and curator exploring the intersections of cultural discourse, narrative and technology through performance, public engagement and online content. Her current research interests include socially engaged practice, social networks as performance, interdisciplinary discourse and identity-making within digital culture.

Toshi Pau: B.A. Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, the College of William and Mary  (2014); M.A. East Asian Studies, Duke University (2015). Scholar, actor, and dancer. Toshi’s critical research interests lie in analyses of race, gender, queer, and trauma theory in performance. His current projects focus on Japanese and Korean avant-garde and experimental theater that became heavily political sites of not only social reflection, but production, activism, and change. Complementing his academic pursuits, Toshi is always seeking opportunities to direct, write, act, choreograph, or dance in performance productions, actively engaging with both the recorded archive and embodied experiential repertoire.  Email:

Heather Rastovac is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexualities. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (with a focus on Persian language and literature), with minors in Dance and Anthropology. Heather’s dissertation research extends upon fifteen years as a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director among diasporic Iranian communities in the U.S. Her research examines the artistic works of diasporic Iranian dancers and performance artists in North America and France, investigating racialized economies of Iranian performance in global art markets and among transnational audiences within post-9/11 contexts. She further examines these artists’ works in relation to Euro-American geo/biopolitics and neoliberal discourses on immigration and war. In addition to her dissertation research, Heather also examines transnational reconfigurations of Orientalism in “World Dance” markets and representations of the Middle East and Islam in performance and popular culture. Scholarly interests include: Dance Studies, Performance Studies, Transnational Feminist Theories, Queer Theory, Iranian & Middle Eastern Studies, Postcoloniality, American Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, and Critical Ethnography.

Kimberly Richards: B.A. English and Arts and Science Honours Academy, University of Calgary; M.A. English, University of Calgary. Her research interests include performances in places of war, applied theatre, intercultural and transnational performance, theories of cosmopolitanism, globalization and affect, trauma studies, and global Shakespeare.

Takeo Rivera: Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity B.A., M.A. Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University. Takeo Rivera’s academic work currently focuses on techno-orientalism, erotics, and performance of the Asian American subject. His earlier academic work has focused on youth slam poetry aesthetics and parrhesiastic performance. In addition, Takeo is also an award-winning playwright and published spoken word poet whose plays have been staged in New York City, Los Angeles, and the SF Bay Area.

Tonika Sealy Thompson is a PhD student in Performance Studies who is concerned with Caribbean cultural and political thought, multilingual/hemispheric Black diaspora studies, Gender Womens and Sexuality studies and Afro Asian connections She grew up in Barbados and has been living and working globally as a curator, festival director and cultural consultant on projects in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific regions. She has served as artistic coordinator of the Africa Caribbean and Pacific Arts Festival, and is the founder of the Fish and Dragon Festival a platform for creative exchange between the Caribbean and China.

Karin Shankar: B.A. International Studies and Spanish, Minor: Theater and Dance, Colby College; M.P.A., Cornell University. A vocalist and actor, her research interests include Marxism(s), feminist aesthetics, postcoloniality, performance and visual cultures in South Asia and Latin America, social movements.

Stephanie A. Sherman: Vassar College, B.A. in Hispanic Studies; Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, M.F.A. in Dance; Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Ecuador, Dance. Stephanie is interested in studying the intersections of politics, social activism, ritual, street performance and theater through modern dance in Latin America. She is also a dance-theater choreographer and a published bilingual poet.

Joshua Williams: A.B. Comparative Literature, with Certificates in African Studies and Creative Writing, Princeton University (2007); M.A. Comparative Literature, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2009). Joshua is a writer, director, translator and teacher originally from Massachusetts. His dissertation research concerns questions of race, animality and political violence in East Africa during the late colonial and early postcolonial periods. More broadly, his interests include African and postcolonial theatre and film, theatre and/as history, theatre for social justice, human-animal studies, the history of science, biopolitics, translation and critical theory. In addition to his PhD, he is working towards a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory.