Higgins edits book on performance theory
Jeanmarie Higgins, associate professor of theatre, is the editor of Teaching Critical Performance Theory in Today’s Theatre Classroom, Studio and Communities, published in June by Routledge.
The book addresses how emerging artists and scholars use theory, which theories should be taught, and how theory pedagogies shape and respond to the evolving needs of the academy, the field of performance theory and the community. The book is divided into four sections covering course design, classroom teaching, the studio space and applied theatre contexts. Higgins’ collection authors explore themes surrounding situated learning, dramaturgy and technology, disability and inclusivity, feminist approaches, race and performance, ethics, and critical theory in theatre history. Among other case studies: Stacy Wolf and Emma Watkins outline strategies for a feminist pedagogy of teaching musical theatre history; Isaiah Wooden argues for the centrality of African American dramatic literature in general education courses; and Jen Plants models a “people first” approach to community outreach through her Hunger Here project at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
A new works dramaturg in dance and theatre, Higgins publishes widely on the intersection of theory and practice, including essays about her studio work with dance trio AGA Collaborative, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and the Martha Graham Dance Company. Her scholarly research addresses domestic space in contemporary drama and performance in the works of such artists as Diana Szeinblum, Wallace Shawn, Simon Stephens and Pat Graney.
At Penn State, Higgins teaches graduate theatre seminars in dramaturgy and pedagogy, undergraduate theatre courses in dramaturgy and devising, and general education courses in performance studies.