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I am an award-winning theatre scholar, artist, and teacher.

I am an adjunct professor of theatre at the University of Central Florida and the Director of Theatre and Drama at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, Florida.

I hold a Ph.D. in Theatre  History, Theory, and Literature from Indiana University. 

 

This site provides a glimpse into my work in the theatre, at Liberty, and in the field of Theatre and Performance Studies.

"On the Stage, but not of the Stage: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s The Christian Slave and the Advent of

Evangelical Theatre in Antebellum America.” Ecumenica: Performance and Religion, 13.2, 2020,

pp. 179-209.

PUBLISHED

"The Search for a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow: Performing Utopia with Non-Human Bodies in the Hall of Presidents" in Performance and the Disney Theme Park Experiences: The Tourist as Actor. (Palgrave Macmillan 2019).

Elected Focus Group Representative (2021-2024) of the Religion and Theatre Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

PUBLISHED

ELECTED

Recent Highlights

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Meet Joseph

I am a theatre scholar-artist-teacher with a Ph.D. in Theatre History, Theory, and Literature from Indiana University. I lead the Theatre and Drama program at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, Florida. I defended my dissertation, "The Good News on Stage: Evangelicalism and Theatre Practice in Antebellum America" on May 6, 2020. I have taught at the graduate, undergraduate, and high school levels and currently serve as an adjunct professor of theatre at the University of Central Florida and the Director of Theatre at Liberty High School.

 

My dissertation and ongoing book project argues that American Christianity developed as a result of the theatre’s existence by appropriating tactics of theatricality in order for its message to find relevancy in society. Famed revivalist preacher Charles Grandison Finney, for example, looked to the actor for ways to manipulate of the spectators’ senses. Additionally, author Harriet Beecher Stowe—who opposed the many melodramatic adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin—wrote a dramatic reading of her famous novel, casting a free black woman to play the roles. The play gave Stowe’s words a new authenticity as spectators witnessed a black body perform the trauma of slavery. While many historians assert that nineteenth-century evangelicals embraced antitheatricality, “The Good News on Stage” reveals the complicated nature between Christianity and the theatre. Intervening in the fields of Theatre and Religious Studies, this project offers to the field a new understanding of evangelicalism, as well as the influence of theatre on antebellum society and beyond. 

 

I hold a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. My scholarship has been published in refereed journals and edited collections, includingThe Harold Pinter Review, Ecumenica, Theatre History Studies, and Southern Theatre. I am a proud servant-leader in my field and institution, having served in elected roles at the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). At Indiana University, I served as Graduate Teaching Ambassador and Graduate Representative on the Search Committee for the Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to my scholarship, I have worked professionally as a dramaturg and have directed several times at the university level. I am the proud recipient of ASTR's 2016 Thomas Marshall Graduate Student Award and SETC's 2016 Thomas Porterfield Graduate Student Award. Originally from Long Island, NY, I currently call Orlando, FL, home.