I am an intersectional feminist who is dedicated to equality of all kinds – whether among sexes, races, ethnicities, sexualities, or classes. As I wrote in an article on HowlRound, I believe that, “due to the intersection of gender with other aspects of identity, equality among the genders cannot be achieved without also addressing racial, class-based, and other forms of inequality. To that end, my feminism seeks to dismantle not just sex and gender binaries but also the uber-binary of normative (male, straight, cis, white, Judeo-Christian, upper-class, abled, etc.) vs. other: “Feminist theater, then, according to my definition of feminism, is theatre that provides an alternative not just to the male gaze, but also to the normative gaze by intervening in cultural assumptions about identity, dismantling binaries, and creating equality.”

Achieving this is a matter not just of the content of the material on which I choose to work but also of the way in which I teach and collaborate, which encourages and aids students in contributing their own ideas to the process, thus incorporating a variety of different perspectives. This methodology changes students’ thinking about the nature of leadership, which can have profound effects on their futures. From the same piece, “For theatre to intervene in cultural assumptions about identity, the process must intervene in assumptions about who can lead and what kind of processes are considered leading. For theatre to dismantle binaries, the process must dismantle the binary of authority/follower. And for theatre to create equality, the process must empower all artists to take action—aka be subjects—in their own areas.”

Additionally, I teach the arts, but I use the scientific method. Whether I am asking students to interpret or to create, I ask them to pose an inquiry, investigate it, gather and analyze data, and reevaluate their hypotheses. Whether in a class or a production, this means asking students to come up with their own ideas, try those ideas, and then decide whether to keep going in that direction or try something else. Though it can be frightening for students who are used to classes that are mostly test preparation, learning to think critically requires enabling students to face their fear of failure and try their own ideas.

A student who has completed a theater course or done a show with me will leave with not only a specific set of artistic skills that can be used to approach a production in the future, but also practice at in-depth analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving. In all of my classes, we practice writing because it teaches students to articulate their ideas in a clear and persuasive manner. In addition, reading as much as possible, writing responses to that reading, and staging responses in the form of works of art increases student exposure to the larger field and it’s connection to other disciplines.