H May

H (Heather) MayProfessor of Theatre

Joined faculty in 2013

BA in Theatre from Grinnell College
MA in Drama from Washington University
PhD in Theatre and Drama from Indiana University

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Contact Information

215 Gearan Center for the Performing ArtsPhone (315) 781-3876Personal Homepage

Scholarly Interest

Theatre for Social Change
Minstrelsy in the United States
Female impersonation
19th Century American Popular Culture

Teaching Experience

  • Associate Professor at Auburn University, 2012-2013
  • Assistant Professor at Auburn University, 2007-2012
  • Visiting Lecturer and Associate Instructor at Indiana University, 2000-2007
  • Visiting Professor at Grinnell College, 1998


  • Founder and Artistic Director of Mosaic NY, 2013-Present.
  • Founder and Artistic Director of Auburn University's Mosaic Theatre Company, 2011-2013. 
  • Participant, Dell'Arte International Summer Workshop, 2015.
  • Participant, Directors Lab North, 2015.
  • Joker Level 1 Training, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, 2015.
  • Participant, La MaMa International Symposium for Directors, 2014.
  • Participant, Directors Lab West, 2014


"Changing Shoes for Social Change: Using Theatrical Empathy as a Vehicle for Diversity Training," Scholarship in Action: Communities Leaders and Citizens. Eds. Barbara Baker, Kathleen Hale, and Giovanna Summerfield. Illinois: Common Ground Publishing, LLC 2013: 20-30.

"White Lies and Stony Silence: Reconstruction in the Personal Narrative of America's Most Popular Female Impersonator on the Late Minstrel Stage," A Tyranny of Documents: The Performing Arts Historian as Film Noir Detective. Ed. Stephen Johnson. Spec. issue of Performing Arts Resources 28 (2011): 217-224.


  • Member of Actors' Equity Association
  • Full Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society


As both a scholar and a practitioner of theatre, my work investigates issues of performing the Other, interrogating the ways in which embodied representations challenge and limit our understanding of race and gender. My research on the role of racial and gender impersonation on the late American minstrel stage looks at white representations of black women in an art form that dominated popular culture and cast a shadow so long that American popular entertainment continues to reproduce powerful minstrel stereotypes more than a century later. My creative work draws upon my research into the semiotics of the objectified body onstage in the hopes of challenging the ways in which contemporary audiences view Others as well as themselves. My teaching further reflects my concern and interest in the ways in which invisibility and problematic embodiment onstage limit the ways in which we envision potential offstage, encouraging students to give serious consideration to the power of performance to reflect and/or challenge the dominant narrative.