Chris WoodworthProfessor of TheatreChair, Theatre
Joined faculty in 2013
Ph.D. in Theatre and Graduate Certificate Women’s Studies, Bowling Green State University, 2005
M.A. in Theatre and Drama, Indiana University, 2001
B.A. (summa cum laude) in Speech & Theatre, English Literature, St. Lawrence University, 1999
As a scholar I focus on feminist theatre historiography and have pursued an active research program that has enabled me to publish and present my scholarship in a wide array of forums. Recently, the focus of my research has been the intersection of first-wave feminisms (suffrage, reproductive politics, labor issues) and performance. I have written a great deal on the actress, radical suffragette, and birth control crusader, Kitty Marion. My scholarship has often operated in tandem with my production work, especially in regards to plays that address matters of social justice and history. I believe that pedagogy, practice, and scholarship are equally integral components of my role as a theatre artist, scholar, and educator. I am currently at work on a local theatre history project, exploring the history of The Smith Opera House in preparation for its 125th anniversary in October 2019. Working with HWS Students Gretty Hollister and Austin Jennings, we have created weekly blogs documenting the history of the theatre.
- Associate Professor of Theatre. Hobatr and William Smith Colleges. 2017-present.
- Assistant Professor of Theatre. Hobart and William Smith Colleges. 2013-2017.
- Assistant Professor of Theatre History / Dramaturgy. UNC—Greensboro. 2008—2013.
- Cross-Appointed Program Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies Program. UNC—Greensboro, 2010-2013.
- Assistant Professor of Performing Arts—Theatre. Lock Haven University, 2006—2008.
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Performing Arts—Theatre. Lock Haven University, 2005-2006.
- Graduate Teaching Assistant. Department of Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University, 2001-2004.
- Graduate Teaching Assistant. Department of Theatre and Drama, Indiana University, Spring 2001.
In addition to my more traditional modes of theatre history scholarship, I engage in embodied performance practice through previous and current training in an array of styles:
- Aerial Arts, including Silks, Lyra, Static Trapeze, Hammock (current and ongoing training with Roc City Circus and previous training with Aerial Arts of Rochester)
- Viewpoints (previous training with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Tina Landau at LaMaMa Umbria International Directors Symposium, and PUSH Physical Theatre)
- Suzuki (previous training with SITI Company)
- Physical Theatre (previous training with PUSH Physical Theatre)
- THTR 130 Acting I
- THTR 220: Theatre History I
- THTR 320: Theatre History II
- THTR 300: American Drama
- THTR 308: American Experimental Theatres
- THTR 309: Feminist Theatre
- THTR 310: African American Theatre
- THTR 424: Writing About Performance
- THTR 340: Advanced Acting Styles--Physical Theatre Devising
- THTR 100: Page to Stage
- THTR 278: Introduction to Dramatic Literature
- THTR 900: Theatre Production (see directing credits for specific titles)
Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor . Co-edited with Elizabeth Osborne. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015.
- “‘Equal Rights by all means!’: Beatrice Forbes-Robertson’s 1910 Suffrage Matinee and the Onstage Junction of US and UK Franchise Movements;” Theatre History Studies. Volume 37 (2018): 209-224.
- “Setting Their Sites on Satire: The Algonquin Roundtable’s Non-Theatrical Spaces of Creative Genesis;” Theatre Symposium. Volume 24, 2016: 76-87 .
- “Luggage, Lodgings, and Landladies: The Practicalities for Actresses on the British Provincial Circuits in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries.” Theatre Symposium. Volume 22, 2014. Forthcoming.
- “The Company She Kept: The Radical Activism of Actress Kitty Marion from Piccadilly Circus to Times Square.” Theatre History Studies. Volume 32, 2012: 80-92.
- “When Audiences Attack: The Manhandling of Actress and Activist Kitty Marion”; Theatre Symposium. Volume 20, 2012: 109-121.
- “Summon up the blood”: The Stylized (or Sticky) Stuff of Violence in Three Plays by Sarah Kane” Theatre Symposium—The Props the Thing: Stage Properties Reconsidered, University of Alabama Press, 2010.
- “Cleaning House: Working Class Women and Suffrage Drama.” Theatre Annual, 59 (2006),19-38.
- “Boys in Dresses: The Sexualization of Renaissance Child Actors” Text and Presentation, 24 (April 2003): 49-57.
Articles in Refereed Collections:
- “Audience Appetites: Food, Class, and Consumption in New York City’s Theatres” [co-authored with Amy Hughes] in Food and Theatre on the World Stage, Edited by Dorothy Chansky and Ann Folino White. London and New York: Routledge. 2015. 253-269.
- “Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Situating Extratheatrical Employment in the Performance Archive.” in Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor. Edited by Elizabeth A. Osborne and Christine Woodworth. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015: 65-77.
- “The Work of Play in Performance.” [co-authored with Elizabeth A. Osborne] in Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor. Edited by Elizabeth A. Osborne and Christine Woodworth. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. 1-20.
- “’Playing missionary in Harlem?’: Race, Public Policy, and Birth Control Crusaders in the Harlem Renaissance.” Public Theatres and Theatre Publics, edited by Robert Shimko and Sara Freeman. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2012: 196-206.
- “Back-Alleys to Basements: Narratives of Class and (Il)legal Abortion on the American Stage” in “To Have or Have Not”: New Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modernist Theatre, Edited by James Fisher. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Publishers, Inc., 2011: 184-194.
- “Suzan-Lori Parks and the Traumas of Childhood” Suzan-Lori Parks: Essays on the Plays and Other Works, Edited by Philip C. Kolin. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Publishers, Inc., 2010.
- “The Abject of My Affection: The Erotics of Stepmotherhood in Sarah Kane’s Phaedra’s Love and the Wooster Group’s To You, The Birdie (Phèdre).” in Essays and Scripts on How Mothers Are Portrayed in the Theater: A Neglected Frontier of Feminist Scholarship. Eds. Beth Osnes and Anna Andes. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2010.
- “Holding Open the Door: Alice Childress at the Threshold of American Theatre.” Program note. Trouble in Mind, by Alice Childress. Dir. Preston Lane. The Pyrle Theatre Theatre, Triad Stage, Greensboro, NC, 2-23 Sept, 2012.
- “Ibsen and the ‘Woman Problem.’” Program note. A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen. Dir. Preston Lane. The Pyrle Theatre Theatre, Triad Stage, Greensboro, NC, 6 Oct--16 Nov, 2011.
- “Evoking a Region: Playwright, Songwriter Draw Record Audiences with Series of Appalachian-Inspired Musicals.” Southern Theatre 52: 4, Fall 2011: 16-18.
Public Facing Scholarship (see C.V. for specifics):
- Wednesdays @1:00 lectures at Syracuse Stage
- Geneva Historical Society Lectures
- History Tours of The Smith Opera House
- Ghost Light Tours video series
Directing Experience (selected):
- Constellations. Bartlett Theater, Durham, NC, March 2019.
- Art v. Activism: A Domestic Dispute; 24 Hour Capital Region / Berkshires Theatre Project (WAM Theatre)
- Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (staged reading); Paper Lantern Theatre in association with the Tectonic Theater Project, Greensboro, NC November 2011.
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Theatre 232 (collaborative summer theatre festival between Triad Stage and UNCG Theatre), Greensboro, NC; Summer 2011.
- Almost, Maine; Millbrook Playhouse, Mill Hall, PA. June-July 2007.
College and University Directing:
- Love/Sick. Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. October 2018
- 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. February 2018
- She Kills Monsters. Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. October 2017
- Good Kids. Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. October 2015.
- Radium Girls; Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. April 2014.
- Polaroid Stories; UNCG Theatre, Greensboro, NC, October 2012.
- In the Blood; UNCG Theatre; Greensboro, NC, April 2012.
- The Laramie Project; University Players and Department of Performing Arts, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA. November 2007.
- Machinal; University Players and Department of Performing Arts, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA., November 2006.
- Nickel and Dimed; University Players and Department of Performing Arts, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA., March 2006.
- Vinegar Tom; Bowling Green State University, Spring 2003.
- Tissue; St. Lawrence University, 1998.
- American Voices; St. Lawrence University, 1997, 1998 (part of first year orientation program).
- And Baby Makes Seven; Headless Sullivan Theatre, Geneva, NY. January-February 2014.
- The Guys (staged reading); Studio B at the Broach (to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and to raise funds for the Greensboro Children’s Museum Fire and Police Exhibit renovation), Greensboro, NC September 2011.
- Jane: Abortion and the Underground; UNCG VOX (in association with the UNCG Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Inc.), Greensboro, NC, October 2009.
- Jane: Abortion and the Underground; Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio; Bowling Green, OH, November 2004.
- Gypsy (Co-Director: Jessica Weaver); Geneva Theatre Guild, Geneva, NY, Summer 2002.
- Haiku for Point of View: An Evening of One-Acts; Geneva Theatre Guild, Geneva, NY, Summer 2001.
Youth Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences Directing:
- Treasure Island (an original adaptation by Dominic Orlando); Bristol Valley Theater, Naples, NY; Summer 2010.
- Revenge (an original devised piece created by the Apprentice Program); Bristol Valley Theater, Naples, NY; July 2010.
- Marmalade Gumdrops (Co-Director: Emily McAdoo); Nancy Curvin Playground Players, Geneva, NY, Summer 2004.
- The Pushcart War; Geneva Youth Theatre, Geneva, NY, Summer 1999.
- Patchwork (Co-Director: Jessica Weaver); Nancy Curvin Playground Players, Geneva, NY, Summer 1999.
- Heads and Tales (Co-Director: Jessica Weaver); Nancy Curvin Playground Players, Geneva, NY, Summer 1998.
- Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (Full Member-2015)
- PUSH Physical Theatre Summer Intensive (2016, 2017)
- SITI Summer Theater Workshop (2014)
- Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab (2013)
- Directors Lab North (2015)
- NEH Summer Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance
- Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University
- MATC (Mid-America Theatre Conference) [Currently President]
- American Theatre and Drama Society
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education
- Southeastern Theatre Conference
- Theatre Communications Group
“What is the possibility of theatre?” Jewel Walker asks this question in his essay “On Stage Movement” in Master Teachers of Theatre. This question continues to inspire me as a teacher, artist, and scholar as I strive to create work that is innovative, meaningful, and compelling. My primary teaching includes courses in theatre history and dramatic literature. While these courses are demanding in terms of their reading load and research components, I also include assignments designed to activate and apply theatre history in a creative manner. Through collaborative performance and design, students inhabit theatre history and find connections not always evident on the page. Additionally, through the medium of performance, questions of identity, historiography, and activism are explored in a corporeal manner. I have taken on a number of roles in the theatre, both onstage and off but as an artist I consider myself first and foremost a director. My experience has been that theatre artistry, pedagogy, and scholarship can be woven together in such a way that each enriches the others. My directing experience ranges from University and Community-Based Theatre to Theatre for Young People and Professional Theatre.
Professional Service (selected):
- President, Mid-America Theatre Conference; March 2018-present (previously served as President-Elect, Conference Planner, Associate Conference Planner, Theatre History Symposium Co-Chair)
- Book Review Editor, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, July 2015-December 2017.
- Reader for the following journals: Theatre Topics, Theatre History Studies, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre/Practice
HWS Service (selected):
- Member, Committee on Tenure and Promotion, Fall 2020-present.
- Member, Committee on Conference, Fall 2019-present.
- Member, Sexual Violence Task Force, Spring 2014-present.
- Member, Sexual Violence Response and Evaluation Team (renamed Title IX Coordinating Committee in Fall 2016), January 2015-December 2018.
- Fulbright Faculty Interviewer
- Member, Honors Committee for Margaret "Gretty" Hollister (Chris Hatch, Advisor), April 2020
- Member, Honors Committee for Yemileth Cedeno (Michelle Martin-Baron, Advisor), April 2020
- Member, Honors Committee for William Conard-Malley (Matt Crowe, Advisor), April 2017
- Member, Honors Committee for Kristin Ressel (Brien Ashdown, Advisor), April 2016
- Reader for Literature Review for MAT Program—Shannon Savard, “Let Me Queer This Up for You—LGBTQ-inclusive Curriculum and Pedagogy in Secondary Schools” (Mary Kelly, Advisor), April 2016
- Organizer and Facilitator of Frame/Works, Fall 2013-present
Community Service in Geneva, NY:
- Board Member, Smith Center for the Arts / Smith Opera House, Fall 2014-Fall 2019.
- Certified Volunteer Advocate, Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes (Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline), Fall 2014-Spring 2020. (Safe Harbors Volunteer of the Year for 2015).
- Creator and Producer of Finger Lakes Photo/Plays (ongoing)
- Board Member, Geneva Theatre Guild, Fall 2013- Fall 2015.
- Director and Co-Writer of All-America City Presentation, helping to secure Geneva’s designation as All-America City, Denver, CO—June 2015. http://www.visitgenevany.com/articles/geneva-wins-all-america-city-award
Inside The Smith Opera House