Embracing the notion of the scholar-artist, my research focuses on the intersections of theatrical performance and issues of language, race, class, gender, culture and national identity. My areas of research and teaching include: multilingual performance, translation studies, African American theater, theater of Cape Verde (West Africa), creole and mixed race performance, theater for social change, musical theater, new play development, world theater history, and directing. I seek to center antiracist, decolonizing, and reparative strategies in all areas of my work.
My monograph, Crioulo Performance: Remapping Creole and Mixed Race Theatre, will be published by Vanderbilt Press in the series “Performing Latin American and Caribbean Identities.” I redirect the traditional centering of Creole Studies in the Caribbean back across the Atlantic to the African archipelago of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), recognized by many historians as the first creole society and early center of the transatlantic slave trade. By analyzing staged performances, dramaturgical strategies and cultural traditions, I construct a Crioulo performance theory that expands ways to conceptualize global creole or mixed race identities. This book is the first critical study in English solely dedicated to Cape Verdean theater.
Applied Theatre and Racial Justice: Radical Imaginings for Just Communities will be published by Routledge as part of the “Applied Theatre in Context” series. This book will document, amplify, and share lessons from practitioners and scholars who use performance (e.g. theatre, dance, spoken word, ritual, performance art) to create models of collective solidarity, transformative justice, and liberation. The scholarly, pedagogical and collaborative spirit of the book is rooted in the practice of call and response to amplify the multiplicity of voices, needs, and agency to define conditions of justice by, for, and about Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, people of color, and/or people of the global majority communities. I am thrilled to co-edit this volume with Lisa L. Biggs (Brown University).
My chapter, “Setting a Global Table with Multilingual Theater,” was recently published in CASTING A MOVEMENT, edited by Claire Syler and Daniel Banks. The chapter is based on my direction of the multilingual premiere of The Orphan Sea by Caridad Svich. I suggest that the choice to direct a multilingual play is an invitation to engage in cross-cultural projects that celebrate different cultures, religions, identities, and perspectives. Our rehearsals and performances were sites to experiment with translation theory, multilingual performance strategies, and audience reception. I am honored to be part of this exciting collection from Routledge.
I have published in English and Portuguese and wrote the first major review of Cape Verde’s annual International Mindelact Theatre Festival which was featured in Theatre Journal. Recent articles include “Enacting Political Theory and Reclaiming Roots for Crioulo Performance” in the Journal of Cape Verdean Studies and the essay “Black Theater and White Walls: Performing in and with a Museum,” in Accelerate: Access and Inclusion at the Tang Teaching Museum. “Crioulo Shakespeareano and the Creolizing of King Lear” appears in African Theatre 12: Shakespeare in & out of Africa. My co-translation (with Christina S. McMahon) of Alone Onstage (Sozinha no Palco) is featured in the journal Moving Worlds. It is the first English-language publication of a play by Mário Lúcio Sousa, Cape Verde’s former Culture of Minister and celebrated playwright/musician.
I hold a Ph.D. from Tufts University and M.A. from Emerson College and I regularly present at national and international conferences. Current leadership roles include serving as Vice-President/President elect for the Black Theatre Association, member of the Governing Council of ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education), and board member of The Orchard Project, a preeminent artistic development laboratory and accelerator for new works. I am a member of the Association for Theater in Higher Education (ATHE), Black Theatre Network (BTN), American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) and International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).
*The photograph above features productions that premiered at the Mindelact Theatre Festival on the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde Islands.