research & conferences

Shame & hegemonic masculinity

Using theatre to break the cycle

One inquiry I have pursued centers on the role of shame in reinforcing structures of hegemonic masculinity, particularly among adolescent boys. Pulling from scholars such as bell hooks, Peggy Orenstein, and Brené Brown, I outlined a theory for a hegemonic masculinity shame cycle, pictured here. I have also considered how we can use theatre as a method of interrupting this cycle by fostering connection, rehearsing alternative performances, and encouraging shame regulation. Please contact me for more information or portions of my papers. 

IFTR New Scholar's forum

Distance & Connection: Using Onwueme & Brecht

In July 2021, I will be presenting my paper titled "Distance and Connection: Using the Alienation Effect and Onwueme's 'The Drama of Commitment' as a Lens for Compassion-Oriented Theatre" at IFTR's New Scholar's Forum. This paper centered on the work of these two scholars and how we might combine their contributions with research in psychology to consider strategies for directors in moving people beyond empathetic feeling into compassionate action. I refer to this as moving individuals "all the way up the compassion staircase," which is pictured here. 

theatre and Empathy & compassion

undergraduate thesis

While a student at Texas Christian University, I had the opportunity to complete an undergraduate thesis titled "Understanding Theatre's Potential for Fostering Empathy and Compassion" under supervising professor Alan Shorter. Professor Lydia Mackay and Dr. Sarah Hill also served on my committee. This paper explores the existing literature on empathy, compassion, storytelling, and their relationship to theatre. It includes a psychological study of how viewing theatre impacts empathetic attitudes among audience members (a study I had the opportunity to present at the Society for Personality & Social Psychology Conference in February 2020, pictured to the right). The paper dives into an analysis of the overlaps between Stanislavski's techniques/ideas and the development of compassion, and it finishes with a proposed curriculum for a compassion workshop using the techniques of Stanislavski and a variety of other theatre practitioners. Feel free to contact me to ask for a copy of the paper.