My research interests include performance studies, critical communication pedagogy, and performance for social change. What I enjoy doing most is exploring questions of race, class, and gender through performance. My research appears in Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Topics, Communication Education, and Women and Violence.
As a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa I teach a variety of courses in the area of Performance Studies: Performance and Social Change, Group Performance: Scripting and Directing, the Performance and Rhetoric of Social Protest; Performance of Literature; and graduate seminars in Performance Studies and Critical Communication Pedagogy.
Currently, I am the Artistic Director of UNI Interpreters Theatre and the founding director of SAVE (Students Against a Violent Environment) Forum Actors. My work with SAVE was originally part of a major grant to combat gender violence on campus, awarded to the UNI Women's Studies program by the Department of Justice, and has now been institutionalized at UNI. I also direct productions for UNI Interpreters Theatre. My directorial work includes stage adaptations of novels (Extra-Curricular: A Novel of Rape on Campus by Anne Hasselbrack), investigations of popular cultural phenomenon (Barbie Undone); hybrid works such as my ethnography of romance readers (The Rainbow Season: Romancing the Romance); and plays centered on social issues ("Execution of Justice" by Emily Mann). In my classes, I emphasize experiential learning, creative performance work, critical thinking, collaborative problem solving, community building, and social justice action. In 2009 I was honored to receive the College of Humanities and Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award. In my free time I play with my dog Zorro, read, garden, and lavish my four nieces and one nephew with attention.