Stanford TAPS Ph.D. Program

Rebecca Chaleff

Jeffrey BihrRebecca is a doctoral student in the department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University, minoring in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She holds a BA in English and Dance from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MA in Gender and Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has performed with Pat Catterson, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Repertory Understudy Group, and Douglas Dunn and Dancers, among others, and currently dances with Gerald Casel Dance and Molissa Fenley and Company. Her academic interests focus on the critical intersection of dance and gender studies, using methods of autoethnography to explore the performative possibilities of the sensient body in space and time. Rebecca has shared her research and performance work at several conferences, including the Critically Kinesthetic Symposium and PSi19 (where she also contributed to the online performance review,, and was a panelist for the Dance Discourse Project #18 at CounterPULSE, San Francisco. She was the 2013 recipient of the Marilyn Yalom Research Fund of the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Sukanya Chakrabarti

Sukanya ChakrabartiSukanya currently a doctoral candidate, received her Master’s degree in English literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She has been involved in various theater productions, in English and other regional languages, staged in Kolkata, where she was born and raised. She performed in Seneca’s Oedipus, and directed Sam Shepard’s Killer’s Head, both staged as a part of Stanford Summer Theater Festival 2011. She also directed Divided Together, staged in Stanford University in March 2012. She performed in various student productions and devised performances in Stanford. In May 2013, she performed in a historical play, Noor: Empress of the Mughals, written and directed by Feisal Alkazi, which premiered in Brava Theater in San Francisco. She recently performed in Yoni ki Baat (March 2014), produced by Rangmanch – the South Asian theater group in Stanford.She has been trained in Indian Classical music and dance since her childhood, and takes special interest in Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, literary works and philosophies. Her interests also lie in Eastern mystical thoughts and religious philosophies. She participated in Performance Studies International (PSi) in 2011 and 2012, both as a scholar and a performer. Her academic areas of research include the spiritual and therapeutic possibilities of theater and performance; religion; rituals; folklore; gender studies; and multiculturalism.

Joy Brooke Fairfield

Diane FrankJoy is a PhD Candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University with prior degrees from Harvard and NYU. She researches contemporary queer, sex-positive & sex-radical cultural production and her dissertation focuses on extra-legal performances of marriage rites. She is also a director and deviser of collaborative performance with a particular interest in queer and intimate modes of theatre training and new work development. 

Angela M. Farr Schiller

Angela M. Farr SchillerAngela received her B.A. in theatre from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she completed her final year of study at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has also studied at the University of Ghana at Legon, Accra and the University degli Studi di Siena, Italy. As a performer, she has appeared onstage with the Emmy Award-winning Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs, the National Dance Company of Ghana, the Tony Award winning Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse. Angela received her Master’s Degree in Africana Studies/Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University. Her academic areas of research include early 20th century African American performance, race, gender, and sensorial studies. She co-wrote and directed an original work, The Knot, which premiered at Stanford in 2011. Angela has also performed and toured with Stanford Summer Theatre’s production of The Wanderings of Odysseus in Athens, Greece and most recently directed Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.  As a scholar she has presented her research on the intersections of tactility, race and performance at various conferences, including Performance Studies International (PSI), and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR). Currently, she is completing her dissertation entitled The Choreography of Jim Crow: Race, Performance, and the Politics of Touch.

Kellen Hoxworth

Kellen HoxworthKellen holds a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He is pursuing a PhD minor in African Studies, and received the African Studies Language Fellowship to study isiZulu in South Africa. His academic interests include critical theory, performance historiography, South African performance, intercultural theatre, and the global traffics of racialized performance. He has shared his work at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR), and Performance Studies international (PSi), where he co-edited and contributed writing to the PSi19 performance blog ( He is also an actor and a director who emphasizes corporeality in theatrical performance; he recently directed Maria Irene Fornés’s Mud.

So-Rim Lee

So-Rim LeeSo-Rim received her B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, M.A. in English Literature from Seoul National University, and M.A. in Text and Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She wrote her master’s theses on Allen Ginsberg’s performance poetics in "Howl" and the potentiality of theatrical mise-en-scene in the photographs of Angus McBean and Diane Arbus. So-Rim’s research areas include the avant-garde experimental theater, the performative gallery space, and transcultural translation and adaptation. Her research incorporates the praxis of film and digital photography, drawing and devised performance.

Angrette McCloskey

Angrette McCloskeyAngrette holds a BFA in Set Design, and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU-Tisch. Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Angrette has worked as a freelance set designer for theatre and film in NYC for the past seven years. Her credits include off-Broadway and regional plays, as well assistant credits on Broadway, and the Metropolitan Opera, and English National Opera. While in New York she also spent five years teaching stagecraft to high school students. Angrette's academic research is invested in the belief that the physical spaces we inhabit have profound effects on our beings. Her work is an exploration of space's ability to nurture an affective relationship between itself and its inhabitant, particularly through the construction process.

Audrey Moyce

Angrette McCloskeyAudrey received her Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. She has worked in technical production for dance and theater in downtown Manhattan, trained with SITI Company and studied with Anne Bogart, and indulges in theorizing about ways art can improve the world. Her research interests include narratives of modernity; minimalism and postmodern dance; and the history of feminism in performance. She enjoys directing, playwriting, and will perform onstage when irresistible opportunities arise.

Vivek V. Narayan

Angrette McCloskeyVivek is a theatre director and playwright, whose current research is on caste, capital and performance in India during the era of economic liberalization. He is artistic director of Theatre Counteract ( and alumnus of Royal Holloway, University of London, where he completed MA Theatre Direction on a Charles Wallace Award. Directorial credits include Ends and Beginnings (2007-08), based on Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, Girish Karnad’s The Fire and the Rain (2004), as well as the new plays An Arrangements of Shoes (2011) by Abhishek Majumdar, A Flame in Hero's Tower by Andy Dickinson (2009) and Pestilences (2012), a multilingual production inspired by Albert Camus's The Plague. In 2010, he wrote Walking to the Sun for the Mumbai-based Theatre Arpana, directed by Sunil Shanbag at the Tagore Utsav in Kolkata.  

Rebecca Ormiston

Rebecca OrmistonRebecca holds a B.A. in Theatre and English from Florida Gulf Coast University, and an M.A. in Theatre Studies from Florida State University. Before attending FSU, Becky recently completed an internship in Literary Management at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. Her research interests include critical theory and the avant-garde, and the intersection between postmodernism, race, and sexuality in feminist performance. Becky is also interested in exploring methods of devised performance, and has worked with several groups in the Southwest Florida area on new work concerning coalition building among women of color, and their allies.

Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa

Rebecca OrmistonGigi is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary performance artist, writer, and psychogeographer.  She holds a B.A. from Brown University in an independent concentration entitled “Hybridity and Performance” and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Her master’s thesis focused on issues of memory, embodiment, and the politics of space in relation to public art and memorials in the aftermath of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983). Her work in performance and video has been presented nationally and internationally. From 2002 to 2008, she directed her own arts organization (a)eromestiza, dedicated to presenting cutting edge video and performance by queer artists of color.  Her writing has been published in Performance Research, Social Justice Journal, shellac,, Antithesis Journal: Sex 2000 and anthologies such as Postcolonial and Queer Theories: Intersections and Essays and Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory / Theorizing the Filipina American Experience. She has received awards from Core77, Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the San Francisco Art Commission, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, and the National Association for Latino Art and Culture, among others. More info:

Jessi Piggott

Rebecca OrmistonJessi received an M.A. in Theater Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin where she studied as a DAAD scholarship holder. Her thesis explored monstrous strategies of Shakespearean adaptation in the work of German playwright Heiner Müller. Originally from Canada, Jessi completed her B.A. in the drama honors program at the University of Alberta with a focus on critical theory, solo and clown performance, and directing. Current research interests include embodiments of monstrosity in contemporary performance, postdramatic theater, and intersections of politics and performance.

Myrton Wesley Running Wolf

Myrton RunningwolfMyrton is a Blackfeet Indian from Browning, Montana. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. His research focuses on the placement of racial minorities in American theater production and   how these communities work with the classic western theater canon. Specifically, Myrton is interested in the marginalization and overt romantic depictions of Native Americans in mainstream media, the cultural politics of accessibility to feature film, broadcast television, and theater, critical race theory, and religious studies. Broadly, he is interested in the transition period from 1870–1920 when the myth of Native America ceased to be anthropologic in nature and shifted to Third World politics. His professional experience includes being a Production Management Associate for Disney ABC Television Studios where he worked on ground-breaking television series LOST, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, and Criminal Minds. He was also a creative producer for The CW television network and NBC affiliate stations where he worked on several media campaigns. As a professional performer, he’s appeared in numerous stage productions in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles as well as in feature films and network television productions. As a creative writer/director, his award winning work has played across the nation. Myrton received a tuition scholarship to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and received Masters degrees from the University of Southern California (film production) and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (performance studies).

Ryan Tacata

Ryan TacataRyan is a performance maker and Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. He holds a BFA (2007) in Performance from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied briefly at the Experimental Performance Institute at New College of California with an emphasis in Queer activism. His recent performance work includes Anal Foreclosure (Mama Calizo's Voice Factory, SF) and Home in Five Parts (Performance Art Institute, SF). His dissertation examines Bay Area performance art and the production of alternative art spaces in the 1970's. His larger research interests include: performance and conceptual art, the aesthetic of the pathetic, support structures, automobiles in the avant-garde, the alternative art space movement, architecture and performance, critical spatial history and practice, art and counterculture, and theories of everyday life. His current performance project, Between the Night Builds, explores photos of workers sleeping, taken by the FSA photography program (1935-1944), through movement, hand tools, day dreams, and Patti Smith's The Woolgatherers. He was recently awarded the Diane Middlebrook Graduate Teaching Prize (2013) from the Program in Feminist Studies.

Raegan Truax-O'Gorman

Raegan Truax-O'GormanRaegan works broadly across the disciplines of performance, dance, gender studies, art history and visual culture.  Her primary research is focused toward developing a nuanced understanding of durational and time-based performance, with a specific investment in queer and feminist performance art.

Artistically, Raegan is a durational performance artist and her research reflects her embodied knowledge of time-based work.  Her second year production at Stanford, if this gets messy, concluded with a consecutive twenty-eight hour performance. Her work has been presented at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZKU) in Berlin, The Northern California Performance Platform, Stanford’s Department of Art and Architecture, and Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City. She is also collaborator to Carlos Motta’s international art project “We Who Feel Differently” and the WWFD symposium at the New Museum in New York City.

Raegan holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Colorado College; an MA in Humanities and Social Thought with a concentration in Gender Politics from John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Program at NYU; and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. She was the recipient of The Leigh George Odom Memorial Award for Distinguished Master’s Student from NYU’s Department of Performance Studies in 2011, The Shannon McGee Prize in Women Studies in 2002, and the Ann Rice Memorial Award in 2001.

Giulia Vittori

Giulia VittoriGiulia is a fifth year PhD student in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. Her approach to theatre history and performance theory is interdisciplinarity and combines theory and personal embodied practice. Giulia's academic research presently focuses on the relationship between visual arts and the act of performing in postdramatic performances. Her work as a practitioner includes practice-based research, site specific, and devised theatre, as well as solo performances. Before entering the PhD program at Stanford, she attended the Watermill Summer Program directed by Robert Wilson in 2007 (NY). In the same year, she graduated with a master dissertation on Robert Wilson from the department of Theater and Performing Arts at Ca' Foscari University in Venice, Italy, where she was also an actor and a vocal trainer for a devised theatre group called ItinerisTeatro..

Isaiah Matthew Wooden

Virginia PrestonIsaiah is a director-dramaturg and Ph.D. Candidate in TAPS with creative and research interests in popular culture and contemporary black theater and performance. His critical writing has appeared or is forthcoming in academic journals such as Callaloo, PAJ, Southern Studies, Theatre Journal, and Yale’s Theater and on popular sites including The Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and NewBlackMan (in Exile), among others. Isaiah’s dissertation project, “The Afterwards of Blackness: Race, Time, and Contemporary Performance,” analyzes the aesthetic strategies and practices that contemporary black cultural producers deploy to critique concepts of normative or “modern” temporality. Isaiah’s research has been supported by the Denning Family Fellowship for the Arts, the Ric Weiland Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities, and the Diversifying Education, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship at Stanford. An active theater practitioner, Isaiah’s recent directing credits include: Wit by Margaret Edson; A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry; Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine by Lynn Nottage; The Gospel at Colonus by Lee Breuer and Bob Telson; Bulrusher by Eisa Davis; No Child… by Nilaja Sun; Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl; and, Beyond My Circle, the multidisciplinary performance project that he co-directed and co-devised with collaborators from Stanford and Makerere Universities and presented at the National Theatre, Kampala. A recipient of the 2014-2015 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Isaiah is currently a Guest Artist and Lecturer in Theater and Performance Studies at his alma mater, Georgetown University, where he recently directed Insurrection: Holding History by Robert O’Hara and will direct In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney in fall 2014.