Student Stories


Autumn 2014

Ph.D. student Jill Summerville successfully defended her dissertation and passed her oral defense. Her dissertation, “The Presence of the Gimp: A Study of the Effects of Body Aware Casting,” is groundbreaking work that grapples with how wheelchairs are read onstage, and what it means when the person seated within them is (or is not), as she provocatively calls it, “gimpy.” Jennifer Schlueter served as Jill’s dissertation advisor and members of her oral defense committee were: Beth Kattelman (Theatre and TRI), Joy Reilly (Theatre) and Jennifer Mitzen (Political Science).

Ph.D. student Chelsea Phillips successfully defended her dissertation and completed revisions on her manuscript entitled “‘Carrying All Before Her:’ Pregnancy and Performance on the British Stage in the Long Eighteenth Century, 1689-1807”:, a rigorous, pioneering work happily acknowledged by her dissertation committee:  Lesley Ferris, advisor, Jennifer Schlueter, David Brewer (English) and Stratos Constantinidis.

M.A. student Max Glenn successfully defended his MA thesis entitled “Baby’s First Steps: A Microhistory of The Chicago Neo-Futurists.” Max’s thesis examines the first four years of the renowned theatre company’s existence, which encompass the creation of their long-running late-night show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, as well as their acquisition of their current performance space, the Neo-Futurarium. He also had a workshop staging of his full-length play, Queens of the Ring, at Available Light Theatre’s Next Stage new play festival in January.

Ph.D. student Francesca Spedalieri spearheaded the Emma Dante Project for The Ohio State University that brought Emma Dante’s company to The Ohio State University in September in conjunction with a symposium and exhibition on Dante’s work. Francesca’s article about the project was published in Theatre Forum magazine.

Spring 2015

Ph.D. student Dries Vandorpe succesfully defended his dissertation, “The Archaeology Of Liveness.” The members of his dissertation committee were: Stratos E. Constantinidis (Chair), Joseph Brandesky and Ana Puga.

M.F.A. Design student Shane Cinal successfully defended his thesis, “The Design of Scenery and the Art of Scenic Transition for a Production of City of Angels.” His committee members were Adviser and Chair Dan Gray, A. Scott Parry and Mary Tarantino.

Ph.D. student Francesca Spedalieri was one of ten winners of Ohio State’s Graduate Associate Teaching Award. The award is the university’s highest recognition of exceptional teaching provided by graduate students at Ohio State. Francesca is a founding member of the International Network of Italian Theatre (

M.F.A. Acting students Melonie and Sifiso Mazibuko’s play !ke e: /xarra //ke A New African Folk Tale was selected for production as part of the 2015 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Natalie Cagle successfully defended her thesis, “Costume Design and Production for City of Angels by Larry Gelbart, Music by Cy Coleman and Lyrics by David Zippel.”  Her committee members were Advisor and Chair Kristine Kearney, Janet Parrott and A. Scott Parry.

Ph.D. student Esmaeil Najar Daronkolae received a 2014 International Award for Visual/Performing Arts from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ph.D. student Josh Patterson passed his Candidacy Exam. The examiners were Christopher Knoester (specialty), Beth Kattelman (literature), Jennifer Schlueter (history) and Stratos Constantinidis (theory).

Summer 2015

BA student Cece Bellomy was a Young Ambassador to the Dramatists Guild of America and attended their National Conference in San Diego. Her trip was supported by a grant from the Division of Arts and Humanities and Department of Theatre.

BA student Daniel Shtivelberg had a summer internship with Steppenwolf Theatre Company.