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Jacob Gallagher-Ross

jacobgrJacob Gallagher-Ross
Assistant Professor
Contributing editor, Theater magazine: http://theater.dukejournals.org
Email: jacob.gallagher.ross@utoronto.ca
Office: UTM Deerfield Hall Rm. 1057
Office hours: by appointment.




DFA, 2013; MFA, 2009; Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Yale University School of Drama

Hon. BA, 2003; Drama, University of Toronto.


Research interests

Contemporary Theater and Performance; American Drama, Theater and Performance; Avant-Garde and Modernist Drama and Theater; Performance and Media; Digital Performance; Acting Theory; Dramaturgy; Theater History; Media Studies; Performance Criticism.


Awards and Honors

The American Theatre and Drama Society’s 2016 Vera Mowry Roberts Award for Research and Publication (recognizing the year’s best essay published in a journal or edited collection).

American Society for Theater Research Collaborative Research Grant (2016)

University at Buffalo Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowship (2016-2017; declined)

Techne Institute Research Grant 2015 (University at Buffalo)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship

Mellon Summer School for Theater and Performance Research 2011(Harvard University)

The John W. Gassner Memorial Prize for Criticism, 2007 and 2009 (Yale University)





Re-Enchanting the World: American Theaters of the Everyday [Under advance contract with Northwestern University Press]

My book uncovers a submerged but vital current in American theatrical history, one that runs from the pioneering modernist experiments of the 1920s to today’s leading-edge contemporary performance: the theater of the everyday. Rejecting both the cosseting strictures of realism, and the shock tactics of the European avant-gardes, the American theater of the everyday sought a third path, balancing innovative form with democratic availability. Eschewing conventional definitions of dramatic action, these artists focused attention on smaller but no less profound dramas of perception, consciousness and day-to-day affective life. To them, the least important day—with its discarded words, fleeting sights, castoff gestures, and forgettable objects— is more than important enough. By deliberately choosing such mundane subject matter, they dedicate their theater to transforming spectators’ conceptions of what constitutes importance, both on and offstage.


Edited Volumes

Guest co-editor, “Digital Feelings,” Theater 46.2 Summer 2016 [Special issue of Theater magazine on theater, affect, and new media]

Guest co-editor, “Digital Dramaturgies,” Theater 42.2 Summer 2012 [Special issue of Theater magazine on theater and new media]


Articles and Essays


“Digital Feelings” Theater 46.2 Summer 2016 [Editors’ introduction to special issue of Theater on “Digital Feelings”]

“Mediating the Method,” Theatre Survey 56.3, September 2015, pp. 291-313. (Winner of the American Theatre and Drama Society’s 2016 Vera Mowry Roberts Award for Research and Publication recognizing the year’s best essay published in a journal or edited collection.)

“City of No Illusions” PAJ: Performing Arts Journal  110 May 2015, pp. 52-57.

“Islands in the Stream: Object Theater at the Whitney,” Theater 44.3 Fall 2014, pp. 74-85.

“Robert Blacker Looks at the Past and Future of American Dramaturgy” In The Routledge Companion To Dramaturgy ed. Magda Romanska, Routledge: 2014, pgs. 19-24.

“This Is Your Life: Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s The Life And Times, One Episode In” PAJ: Performing Arts Journal 102 (2012), pp 63-70.

“Future Shock” [Editors’ introduction] Theater 42.2, Summer 2012, pp. 1-2.

“Maxwell’s Ghosts: The New York City Players’ Ads.” PAJ: Performing Arts Journal 98 (2011), pp. 44–50.

“Image Eaters: Big Art Group Brings the Noise.” TDR: The Drama Review 54:4 (T208)

Winter 2010, pp 54-80.

“Babes In The Woods: Big Art Group’s SOS.” Theater 40.2 Summer 2010, pp 33–39.

“Obama Dramas.” Theater 39.3, Fall 2009, pp. 156-171.

“Post-Dramatic Stress Syndrome: Dood Paard’s medEia.” TDR: The Drama Review 53:1 (T201) Spring 2009, pp. 129-135.

“Dancing to the Cosmic Murmur: John Cage, Richard Foreman, and Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s No Dice.” TheatreForum 34, Winter 2009, pp. 92-98.

“Ghost Map: The East Village Fragments.” Theater 38.1, Winter 2008, pp. 142-147.

“Ibsen the Oracle.” Theater 37:3, Fall 2007, pp. 73-85.

“Ibsen Our Contemporary: Contemporary Directors on the Playwright’s Centenary.” [interviews] Theater 37.3, Fall 2007, 87-115.


Reviews and Occasional Pieces in Journals


“Nice Work If You Can Get It” Miranda 11, 2015.

“Restive Spirits” Contemporary Theatre Review 25.2 Spring 2015, pp. 270-272.

“Living Up To The Song.” Theater 42.3 Fall 2012, pg 3.

“Act Locally.” Theater 41.1 Winter 2011, pp. 1-3.

“Wikiturgy.” Theater 38.3, Fall 2008, pp. 2-3.

“Their Piece of the Pie,” Theater 38.1, Winter 2008, pp. 2-3.

“Inside Outside: New Off-Site Work at Summerworks 2005.” Canadian Theatre Review 126 Spring 2006, pp. 122-124.


Theater Criticism

* Regular contributor to the Village Voice’s theater section from 2009-2016, with over 120 published reviews: http://www.villagevoice.com/authors/jacob-gallagher-ross-7132121


Invited Talks

“Democratic Sounds: Noise, the Uncanny Everyday and American Mediaturgy,” Vrije Universiteit Brussel, March 2016.

“Mediating the Method: Lee Strasberg, Marlon Brando, and the Sound of Authenticity,” Humanities Institute, University at Buffalo, March 2016.

“Mediating the Method: Lee Strasberg, Marlon Brando, and the Sound of Authenticity,” Interdisciplinary Performance Studies Working Group, Yale University, December 2015.

“The Future of Performance,” Special Effects Festival of Contemporary Performance, The Wild Project Gallery, New York City, January 2015.

“Mediating the Method: Lee Strasberg and the Sound of Authenticity,” Rethinking Realist Acting Symposium,

Fordham University, September, 2014.

Respondent, “Embedded criticism: a new way forward, or criticism-as-PR,” The Changing Face of Theatre

Criticism in the Digital Age, Colloquium, Brock University, February, 2014.


Conference Presentations

“Object Lessons: Stuart Sherman’s Postdramatic Theater of Things,” American Society for Theater Research, Portland, November 2015.

Co-convener, “Technology Performs: New Media On and Off Stage” working group, American Society for

Theater Research, Baltimore, November 2014.

“Brightness Is Seeing In A New Way: Thornton Wilder, John Dewey, Experience, and the Roots of the

American Avant-Garde,” American Comparative Literature Association, New York City, March, 2014.

“Alone, Together: Lee Strasberg’s Mediated Intimacies,” American Comparative Literature

Association, Toronto, April, 2013.

“The Noise of Authenticity: John Cage, The Method, and The Future of Acting” Future of Cage:

Credo Conference, University of Toronto, October, 2012

“The Digital Dramaturgy Debate” Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Waterloo, May 2012

“Virtuosos of the Everyday: Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s The Life And Times” American Society

for Theater Research, Montreal, November 2011.

“Encountering Absent Bodies: Richard Maxwell’s Ads” American Society for Theater

Research, Seattle, November, 2010.

“Staging Counter-Publics: Big Art Group’s SOS and Radiohole’s Anger/Nation” Performance Studies

International 16, Toronto, June 2010.


Production Dramaturgy

Cymbeline, directed by Antoni Cimolino, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 2012 [Dramaturg]

The Matchmaker, directed by Chris Abraham, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 2012 [Co-Dramaturg]

Henry V, directed by Des McAnuff, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 2012 [Assistant Dramaturg]

Twelfth Night, directed by Des McAnuff, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 2011 [Dramaturg]

The Tempest, directed by Des McAnuff, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 2010 [Assistant Dramaturg]





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