Publications

This page includes key quotes from some of my publications and reviews. You can find a complete list of current and forthcoming publications by visiting my Vitae. Please also reach out via the Contact page if you would like to access PDFs of my peer-reviewed work.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“[The] notion that performativity pertains to that which becomes real through action, whether aided by institutional framing or repeated to the point of naturalization, has already been eroded by a linguistic migration that sees the term refer to anything of or pertaining to performance. At issue is to what degree performativity should denote a braid that binds doing and becoming. Accusations of performative activism imply that this braid is absent, even nonexistent. In looking at the Premier League’s newfound affinity for taking a knee, there is temptation to find proof of one case or another.”

Playing On, Playing Along: Soccer’s Performative Activism in the Time of COVID-19.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 35, no. 2 (2021): 135-139.

“If the drama of South Africa is to remain a deep well for American theatre to draw from, my hope is that The Fall will be one of many plays to reframe the resulting conversation toward contemporary concerns. For the theatre of the “Rainbow Nation” can speak to the American “Melting Pot,” even if the ongoing struggle toward equity has always belied these national mythologies. In fact, pushing against these mythologies is one of The Fall’s most valuable contributions. By depicting young students of color engaged in a contemporary project of resistance, The Fall explicitly interrogates the social ailments that persist after Apartheid, echoing the nation’s proud heritage in protest theatre while troubling, at the same time, the faulty legacy of racial harmony espoused in both the Republic of South Africa and the United States of America.”

Between the Rainbow Nation and the Melting Pot: Troubling Reconciliation with The Fall.” Comparative Drama 55, no. 1 (2021): 59-82.

“Embedded in, and yet defiant of, the scenario of transnational combat that is a football match in the World Cup arena, the double-headed eagle was a public strike in a hotly contested battle between two ethnic groups grappling for the rights to territory and history. The whole affair generated coverage from all major outlets reporting on the World Cup and prompted numerous inquiries into the meaning of the gesture and the complex, interweaving narratives it symbolizes, demonstrating the power of a gesture to restore and transmit history. Yet it also illustrates the tenuousness of the anti-political barriers erected by FIFA and other such governing bodies, broadly defined and enforced to prevent ‘provocation.’”

The World Cup’s Double-Headed Eagle: Gestures and Scenarios in the Football Arena.” Theatre Research International 45, no. 1 (2020): 55-71.

Press Reviews and Features

Where Theater J’s rendition excels is in staging the intimacy foregrounded in the title. While the Edlavitch’s small stage cramps a few of the production’s tableaus, Hernandez’s expertise in composition, aided by intimacy coordinator Cliff Williams III, shines through. Esther’s forbidden touch of Mr. Marx’s black coat is staged with enough emphasis to be clear but not melodramatic. When Esther’s relationship with Mrs. Van Buren crumbles under the weight of segregation and Mrs. Van Buren’s privileged obliviousness, it is a pained silence that sustains, not histrionics. The bed remains the centerpiece throughout, harboring Esther and Mayme as they conspire to woo George, then blocking Esther from her husband as the edges of their marriage begin to fray.

Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel is Crafted with Care at Theater J,” DC Theatre Arts, October 25, 2022.

These new productions come at a time when [Emmett] Till’s case is garnering fresh press . . . For [Director Talvin] Wilks, these developments might make the case seem newly relevant, but it’s all part of a much larger arc. “There’s always been a call on Emmett Till when we’ve traveled through the elements of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown,” he reminds us. “Emmett and Mamie Till are of our legacy.” As for what the new developments mean for the production, Wilks understands it might bring people to the theater, but insists it doesn’t impact how they think about the work.

The Till Trilogy Does Not Glorify Emmett Till’s Death but Celebrates His Life, History, and Community,” Washington City Paper, September 29, 2022.

Ultimately, Chemical Exile’s gift is in its thoughtful, self-reflexive world-building. At its best, Synthesis fulfills that brief by asking us to, as Velouria says, “look again,” whether at the beautiful, inventive rooms designed by Nadir Bey, Sarah Beth Hall, and Grace Trudeau; the ties that bind a family, despite its existential dysfunctions; or the city that inspired it all, which earned a fittingly spectacular salute at the show’s climax. Thankfully, I got to look at Chemical Exile again the following day when I paid a belated visit to Everett’s headquarters, an evocative installation in the windows of an Old Town rowhouse. Though I saw it out of sequence, evidence of Everett’s religious yearning felt like an assurance that the quest for truth—and Rorschach’s latest magic act—lives on. 

Tripping through the Multiverse with Chemical Exile: Synthesis,” Washington City Paper, July 15, 2022.

Journal Reviews

“Ultimately, while the most provocative entries engage the complex interplay of similarity and difference inherent in staging sports, all of them earn merit for validating sports plays, and sports themselves, as rich, multivalent sites of inquiry. Scholars and educators will do well to take up the book’s invitation to examine the work of performance, in all its iterations, as revealed through the pseudo-meta-theatricality of the sports play. Any such endeavour should count this text as foundational, whatever field, sub-field, or sub-sub-field becomes of it.”

Sports Plays. Edited by Eero Laine and Broderick Chow. Abingdon: Routledge, 2021.” Theatre Research International 47, no. 2 (2022): 211–12.

“Ultimately, while PTC fought the good fight by trying to simulate the play’s ideal communal grounds, its portrayal of the girls’ social dynamics actually gained from losing that fight. These Wolves, each one individually boxed into a cavernous arena that always appears empty behind them, seemed all the more isolated in this digital landscape, including from each other. Each fraught exchange and plea for recognition was made more pointed by the obvious illusion of co-presence and the suggestion that each of them could very well be shouting into the void.”

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe.” Theatre Journal 73, no. 2 (2021): 249-251.