BY: LEIGH FONDAKOWSKI
DIRECTED BY: CAITLIN KANE
CORNELL UNIVERSITY, FLEX THEATRE
APRIL 26 - MAY 4, 2019
I am an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Dramatic Criticism at Kent State University's School of Theatre and Dance. My first book project, Staging Uncertainty: Lessons from Research-Based Performance for the Post-Truth Era, argues that research-based performances and the methods used to create them model approaches to collective meaning-making that can be used to contest and expand public understandings of how knowledge is made and who has the authority to make it. I contend that these methods have taken on renewed significance in an era of political polarization that threatens our capacity to engage in the types of civic imagination that allow us to envision and work toward more just and equitable futures.
As a freelance director, dramaturg, and producer, my work focuses on developing new works of queer and feminist performance. My current projects include dramaturging Joshua Groffman and Sarah Heady's community-based opera, Halcyon, which investigates what happens when a place that matters to us comes to ruin through the story of the life and death of a women's college, dramaturging and intimacy directing Jeff Augustin's Corktown at Kent State, and developing a new play about the collective of feminists who founded On Our Backs, a women-run and lesbian-centered erotic magazine. My work has been seen at About Face Theatre, American Theater Company, Civic Ensemble, the Drama League, Know Theatre, New Georges, and Vital Opera, among others.
My research and creative practice have been supported by multiple grants and fellowships, including a New York Public Humanities Fellowship and a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. My scholarly writing has appeared in Theatre Topics and The Scholar as Human: Enacting the Liberal Arts in Public.
I hold a Ph.D. in Performing and Media Arts and an MA in Theater Arts from Cornell University, with minors in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Directing. I also hold an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and a BA in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati.