Preface to “Performance Apophatics”–to perform is to not know

With no small amount of trepidation I recently submitted the whole manuscript of my book, Performance Studies and Negative Epistemology: Performance Apophatics, to my publisher, and it’s currently being peer reviewed. I am anxious to move on to the next steps, especially through feedback. I offer here the preface to the book. I hope it’sContinue reading “Preface to “Performance Apophatics”–to perform is to not know”

“The Last Empress” 20th Anniversary Performance

Last night I attended the 20th anniversary performance of director Yun Ho Jin’s first smash hit musical, The Last Empress, at the Opera Theatre at the Seoul Arts Center. Technically speaking, it’s a fantastic visual smorgasbord, and the theatre geek in me internally squealed with glee watching the rotating raked circular stage (two concentric platformsContinue reading ““The Last Empress” 20th Anniversary Performance”

“Democracy and Apophasis: Longing for a Just Community”–abstract for IFTR 2015

On July 6 begins the 2015 conference for the International Federation for Theatre Research. It’s the first time I’ve been able to attend, and this year it is in Hyderabad, India. The theme is “Performance and Democracy”. I will be representing the Performance and Religion Working Group, and the abstract of my paper (which IContinue reading ““Democracy and Apophasis: Longing for a Just Community”–abstract for IFTR 2015″

What I hope you learned in “Understanding Drama”

I’ll be teaching “Understanding Drama”, a survey course for undergraduates in the English Department at my university, for the second time this coming semester. It’s been almost two years since I taught it the first time. Looking back through my folders I found this: a letter I composed for my students toward the end ofContinue reading “What I hope you learned in “Understanding Drama””

Can God be Cute?

Here’s an abstract of a project I’m working on: Can God Be Cute? Precious Moments Figurines and Cuteness as the Darkness of the Divine A retro-futuristic re-reading of Rudolph Otto’s 1917 theological tract The Idea of the Holy may shed light on religious practices that consume commodity culture kitsch as acts of devotion. According toContinue reading “Can God be Cute?”

To Belong Without Belonging: Musical Woyzeck and the Question of Global Genre

What follows is my abstract for the paper I will present with the “Crossing Borders–Theatre and Cultural Encounters” conference at the University of Helsinki on May 7, 2015: To Belong Without Belonging: Musical Woyzeck and the Question of Global Genre How do non-western theatre artists challenge the western cultural hegemony of globalized genres such asContinue reading “To Belong Without Belonging: Musical Woyzeck and the Question of Global Genre”

Teaching deconstruction using drama and improv games

This semester was the second time I attempted to teach Suzan-Lori Park’s The America Play to Korean students completing English majors in a rigorous program with an international faculty. We began reading the text just after the news about the supreme court decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown brokeContinue reading “Teaching deconstruction using drama and improv games”

On the intercultural encounter and the death of Micheal Brown

Not too long ago, having had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia to see Angkor Vat, I booked tickets one night for Smile of Angkor, a theatrical production being performed throughout the week at the Siem Reap Exhibition Center. Smile of Angkor is a fast-paced 70-minute music and dance extravaganza, epic in technique and scale,Continue reading “On the intercultural encounter and the death of Micheal Brown”

Woyzeck…the Musical! (With zombies. Yes, zombies)

At first I thought that Yun Ho-Jin, the so-called “godfather” of the Korean musical, didn’t know where to stylistically–musically or dramaturgically–place his newest creation, Woyzeck. Based on Büchner’s fragmented and unfinished script, this musical is a grab-bag of visual references to iconic images from the likes of Chicago and Metropolis, and sounds like a mixed-CDContinue reading “Woyzeck…the Musical! (With zombies. Yes, zombies)”

Teaching “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in Korea, part 2

When I asked my students about blackface performance in Korea, I got a wide range of responses. I’d been hoping for something of a cohesive discussion, but that didn’t happen, owing, I think, to the fact that some students spoke up who lacked the same level of intercultural sensitivity as other students. And if I’veContinue reading “Teaching “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in Korea, part 2″