Theater and Performance Studies


Home > Faculty > Farhang Pernoon

Farhang Pernoon


Farhang Pernoon is a lecturer in the Department of Theater at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he teaches the class “Play Reading and Analysis.”

He was born in Iran in 1975. In 2013, he earned a Ph.D. in Theater and performance studies from the Department of Theater and Critical Studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. His dissertation, “Performing Persianicity,” focused on diasporic masculinities in the United States. In 2007, Pernoon earned his master of arts degree from San Diego State University, where he produced the thesis “The Performance of Technique/ Performing Other(s),” a PAR-based analysis of two performance texts. He received his bachelor of arts degree in theater from San Francisco State University in 1997 and a California Lifetime Teaching Credential in English from CSUN that same year. He is the recipient of the 2013 Koppleson Fund Award, the 2012 Executive Board Award, and the 2010 Aaron Curtis Award from UCLA. Performance awards include a KPBS Outstanding Male Performance Award (2004); two Backstage West “Best of” Critics List awards (2003/2004) for performances as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency and Lord Edgar/Jane in The Mystery of Irma Vep; a 2003 San Diego Playbill Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Gross Indecency), a 2003 Marion Ross Scholarship/Award, and a 1996 Jules Irving Award for Performance.

Pernoon’s current interests include treatments of speed/ acceleration/space; ongoing examinations of Iranian diaspora; and masculinized performances within U.S. prisons.


Home > Faculty > Michelle Liu Carriger

Michelle Liu Carriger

Assistant Professor

Michelle Liu Carriger Michelle Liu Carriger specializes in the historiography of theater, performance and everyday life. Formerly a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, her current research concentrates on clothing and performance of self in everyday 19th century life in Britain and Japan, as well as how clothing and fashion can themselves serve as historiographical methods for maintaining bodily links to the past. She attends especially to the ways in which notions of theatricality in clothing and fashion simultaneously articulate and mystify the discourses of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and modernity in their work upon bodies. Professor Carriger’s first article excerpted from this work, “The Unnatural History and Petticoat Mystery of Boulton and Park: A Victorian Sex Scandal and the Theatre Defense,” won the 2012 TDR (The Drama Review) Graduate Student Essay Contest Award and appears in the December 2013 issue of TDR.

As a long-time practitioner of the Japanese Way of Tea (“tea ceremony”), including a yearlong Midorikai fellowship at the Urasenke Gakuen Professional College of Chado, Professor Carriger is at work on a second project on tea as a contemporary practice of historical embodiment and cultural performance. Performance work includes dramaturgy and directing at Brown University and the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as devised performances and short films with collaborators Molly Flynn and Elise Morrison under the moniker Cabaret Murderess.

Professor Carriger received her master of arts degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and completed her Ph.D. in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies from Brown University.


Home > Faculty > Miwon Kwon

Miwon Kwon


Miwon KwonMiwon Kwon is a professor of contemporary art and chair of the Department of Art History. Trained in architecture, she holds a M.A. in photography, and has extensive curatorial experience from her tenure at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the early 1990s. She received her Ph.D. in architectural history and theory from Princeton University in 1998, the same year in which she joined the faculty at UCLA to teach contemporary art history (post-1945).

Kwon’s research and writings have engaged several disciplines including contemporary art, architecture, public art and urban studies. She was a founding co-editor and publisher of Documents, a journal of art, culture, and criticism (1992-2004), and serves on the advisory board of October magazine. She is the author of One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (MIT Press, 2002), as well as lengthy essays on the work of many contemporary artists, including Francis Alÿs, Michael Asher, Cai Guo-Qiang, Jimmie Durham, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Barbara Kruger, Christian Marclay, Ana Mendieta, Josiah McElheny, Christian Philipp Müller, Gabriel Orozco, Jorge Pardo, Richard Serra, James Turrel and Do Ho Suh, among others.

She co-organized a major historical exhibition in 2012 entitled “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974,” with Philipp Kaiser, which was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and traveled to Haus der Kunst in Münich, Germany, that same year. The College Art Association gave the exhibition catalogue of the same title (published by Prestel) the 2013 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for the most distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published in the English language under the auspices of a museum, library or collection.


Home > Faculty > Sean Metzger

Sean Metzger

Professor; Vice Chair, Undergraduate Studies

Sean MetxgerSean Metzger works at the intersections of Asian American, Caribbean, Chinese, film, performance and sexuality studies. His first book, Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race, was published by Indiana University Press in 2014. From yellow-face performance in the 19th century to Jackie Chan in the 21st century, Chinese Looks examines articles of clothing and modes of adornment as a window on how American views of China have changed in the past 150 years. The text provides a cultural history of three iconic objects in theatrical and cinematic performance: the queue, or man’s hair braid; the woman’s suit known as the qipao; and the Mao suit. Each object emerges at a pivotal moment in U.S.-China relations, indexing shifts in the balance of power between the two nations. Metzger shows how aesthetics, gender, politics, economics and race are interwoven and argues that close examination of particular forms of dress can help us think anew about gender and modernity. Metzger has also co-edited three collections of essays: Embodying Asian/American Sexualities with Gina Masequesmay (Lexington, 2009); Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures with Olivia Khoo (Intellect, 2009); Race, Space, Place: The Making and Unmaking of Freedoms in the Atlantic World with Michaeline Crichlow (a special issue of Cultural Dynamics, Nov. 2009). A fourth volume of essays entitled Islands, Images, Imaginaries co-edited with Francisco J. Hernández Adrián and Michaeline Crichlow, was published as a special issue of the journal Third Text in 2014.

Metzger is currently a Framing the Global fellow with Indiana University and Indiana University Press for which he is working on a second book, tentatively called The Chinese Atlantic. This study examines site specific performances and on-location shooting in the Caribbean and beyond where Chinese investments, fiscal and cultural, help us shift understandings of local and national cultures.

Prior to his arrival at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Metzger was assistant professor of English, theater studies, and Asian & Middle Eastern studies at Duke University. He was awarded the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair in North American Society and Culture at Concordia University (Montreal) and has also been adjunct faculty at Antioch University, Loyola Marymount University and the USC School of Dramatic Arts. In addition to his academic work, he spent three years in social services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and as an independent consultant to school districts and other non-profit institutions. He continues consulting work on an ad-hoc basis.

A closeted actor and director, Metzger occasionally creeps on or behind stage.

  • Contact

  • Office: 3352 Macgowan
  • Phone: 310-205-0429


Home > Faculty > David Gorshein

David Gorshein


DavidGorsheinDavid Gorshein holds a Ph.D. in theater and performance studies from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and a B.A. in communication (with high honors) from the University of Michigan. At UCLA TFT, Gorshein has developed performance theory and history classes, online and on-campus. He has received teaching awards including the UCLA Library’s Affordable Course Materials Initiative. Since 2012, he has served as a representative for UCLA Admissions.

In addition to teaching at UCLA TFT, Gorshein is also a faculty member in Theatre Arts at California State University, Long Beach. He previously taught at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood.

Gorshein’s research focuses on the intersections of identity and popular culture. His writing appears in peer-reviewed anthologies and journals including Theatre Journal and The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. His research has earned awards from the Mellon Foundation and from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Gorshein has also blogged for The Huffington Post.

With his husband, costume designer Scott Cronick, Gorshein was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in 2012, for the first same-sex wedding aired on late-night TV, officiated by Conan O’Brien.


Home > Faculty > Sue-Ellen Case

Sue-Ellen Case

Professor Emerita and Distinguished Research Professor

Sue-Ellen CaseA past editor of Theatre Journal, Distinguished Professor Sue-Ellen Case has published widely in the fields of German theater, feminism and theater, performance theory and lesbian critical theory. She has published more than 40 articles in journals such as Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Differences and Theatre Research International, as well as in many anthologies of critical works.

Her books include Feminism and Theatre (1994; revised 2008 and translated into Korean, Turkish and Arabic), The Domain-Matrix: Performing Lesbian at the End of Print Culture (1997), Performing Science and the Virtual (2006) and Feminist and Queer Performance (2009).

Case has edited several anthologies of critical works and play texts, including Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre (1990), The Divided Home/Land: Contemporary German Women’s Plays (1992), Split Britches: Lesbian Practice/Feminist Performance (1996) and several others.

With Philip Brett and Susan Leigh Foster she edited a book series for Indiana University Press entitled Unnatural Acts: Theorizing the Performative, which has published six titles.

She has been granted the Lifetime Achievement Award by both the American Society for Theatre Research and the Association for Theater in Higher Education. Case has served as a senior Fulbright scholar at the National University of Singapore, the Eugene Lang Professor for Social Change at Swarthmore College, and in residence at Stockholm University and the University of Warwick.

She attended the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific; received a B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University in an experimental program of uniting the Humanities; and a Ph.D. in Dramatic Arts from UC Berkeley.


Home > Faculty > Hanay L. Geiogamah

Hanay L. Geiogamah


About Hanay GeiogamahHanay Geiogamah is a playwright, director and historian. He is the artistic director for the American Indian Dance Theater and the Native American Theater Ensemble. He is also the managing editor for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

His plays Body Indian, Foghorn, 49, Coon Cons Coyote and Land Sale have been performed throughout the United States and Europe.


Home > Faculty > Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei

Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei


Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is a specialist in Japanese theatre and intercultural performance, as well as a playwright and director. Her book Unspeakable Acts: The Avant-Garde Theatre of Terayama Shuji and Postwar Japan (University of Hawaii, 2005) analyzes the complex work of playwright/director/filmmaker Terayama in cultural/historical context, and includes translations of his plays and theory. She is co-author with Phillip Zarrilli, Bruce McConachie and Gary Jay Williams of Theatre Histories: An Introduction (Routledge, second edition 2010).

Articles on Japanese performance, intercultural theater and fusion theater as well as book and play reviews appear in Asian Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, Contemporary Theatre Review, The Drama Review, Modern Drama, and in various books and encyclopedias. Her translations from Japanese appear in Asian Theatre Journal and Half a Century of Japanese Theatre. She has presented more than 100 papers at conferences throughout the world. Her 15 original plays include the award-winning Medea: A Noh Cycle Based on the Greek Myth, the kabuki-flamenco Blood Wine, Blood Wedding, the kyogen-commedia dell’arte The Impostor and A Wilderness of Monkeys (a revenge-comedy “sequel” to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice).

With Israeli director Zvika Serper, Sorgenfrei is co-adapter of the acclaimed Japanese-Israeli fusion play The Dybbuk/Between Two Worlds. Her plays and translations have been performed in America, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, India, Israel and Japan and broadcast on PBS, NHK and the BBC. She has directed nearly 40 stage productions in the United States, Japan and India. Sorgenfrei is an associate editor of Asian Theatre Journal and of Theatre Journal, contributing editor to Theatre Research International, and the editor of the Newsletter of the Association for Asian Performance. She is a member of the Advisory Group for the Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research at Royal Holloway (University of London), and is a research fellow at the International Research Institute in Interweaving Performance Cultures at Berlin’s Free University.

Sorgenfrei received her B.A. in theater from Pomona College, and both her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She began teaching at UCLA in 1980.