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Journal of American Drama & Theatre





Editorial Introduction

Benjamin Gillespie and Bess Rowen


Published on 

June 6, 2024

We are honored and delighted to be the incoming co-editors of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre. We have a long connection to the journal through our mutual alma mater at The Graduate Center, CUNY where the journal is housed at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and supported by the work of students in the PhD Program in Theatre and Performance. We would like to thank James F. Wilson and Naomi Stubbs for more than a decade of stewardship of the journal and for their editorial guidance and labor to keep the journal positioned at the forefront of issues facing American theatre. We will do our utmost to not only continue, but also build upon their legacy and those that came before them. The journal’s association with the American Theatre & Drama Society is also significant as we are both active members of the society and strongly believe in its mission. We are also grateful to the anonymous peer reviewers who make scholarly publication possible. 

The field of drama, theatre, and performance in the Americas continues to expand in scope, form, style, representation, and content. We are deeply invested in continuing to support work that covers the entirety of the Americas while exploring intersectional issues of identity and history within this vast geographic area and ensuring diversity in both authorship and subjects covered in the journal. We welcome articles with a primary basis in history and/or theory that explore issues of identity across race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and age. 

JADT's publication schedule consists of two issues per year: one general issue co-edited by us, and another special themed issue curated by a guest editor. We will continue with this model moving forward. We accept articles on a continuous basis and encourage authors to reach out to us with ideas for articles in advance. All full-length articles go through the traditional peer review process. We remain committed to keeping the journal open access and digitized through the generous work of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center directed by Frank Hentschker. In addition to submitting articles, we hope you will support the journal by reading it as we welcome feedback from all sources. 

This issue features the first collection of articles, interviews, and reviews that have fallen entirely under our purview. We begin with Valerie Joyce’s analysis of Rags, a short-lived Broadway musical meant to be a successor to Fiddler on the Roof. By looking at the way choreography tells the story of immigrants, assimilation, and acculturation, Joyce makes a case for the importance of choreography in the process of creating audience empathy for immigrant characters, which is clearly an important topic to this day. Next, we move to Danielle Rosvally’s exploration of TikTok as an important digital archive of performance, particularly of performances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosvally likens the proposed bans and restrictions of TikTok to theatre fires and other major losses of archival information in the pre-digital age, deftly weaving this digital performance archive together with more traditional brick and mortar theaters of the past and present. The following article, by Thomas Arthur, chronicles Jamaican actor Sidney Hibbert’s life in terms of his post-colonial experiences performing in a variety of different national contexts. This microhistory both highlights and contextualizes Hibbert’s extraordinary abilities among the transitional period of history his life spanned. Our final article is a roundtable conversation between Jim Nicola, Tanya Elder, and Daniel Diego Pardo about the archival materials left by noted theatre critic, translator, and historian Michael Feingold who died in 2022. Nicola, Elder, and Pardo discuss and work through a small sliver of the material left in boxes after Feingold’s death. In doing so, they peer into Feingold’s legacy and uncover often-overlooked pieces of queer history he engaged in, the backstory of downtown theatre, and the founding of yale/theatre which later became Theater magazine.

The issue also features four book reviews that mark the end of Maya Roth’s tenure as our book review editor. We thank her for her years of service and careful curation of the book review section. We are also delighted to feature our first collection of performance reviews in this issue. Performance reviews will continue to be a feature of the journal going forward, and we are happy that this section will continue to support our mission of spotlighting performance throughout the Americas.

We hope our readers enjoy all of the excellent contributions in this issue and we welcome submissions of articles, interviews, book reviews, and performance reviews. Reach out to us at


About The Authors

Benjamin Gillespie (PhD) is Doctoral Lecturer in Communication, Gender Studies, and Theatre at Baruch College, City University of New York. His essays and reviews have been published in Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, Performance Research, Canadian Theatre Review, and a wide range of scholarly anthologies. He is currently editing two volumes: Split Britches: Fifty Years On and Late Stage: Theatrical Perspectives on Age and Aging, both to be published by the University of Michigan Press. He is Co-Editor of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre.

Bess Rowen (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University. She is also affiliate faculty for both Gender & Women's Studies and Irish Studies. She is a member of Actors' Equity and an intimacy choreographer. Her first book, The Lines Between the Lines: How Stage Directions Affect Embodiment (2021) focuses on affective stage directions. Her next book project looks at the theatrical archetype of the “mean teenage girl.” Other recent work can be found in Milestones in Staging Contemporary Genders & SexualitiesTheatre Survey, and The Eugene O'Neill Review, among other publications. She also serves as the LGBTQ+ Focus Group Representative at ATHE and as the Co-Editor of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre.

JADT publishes thoughtful and innovative work by leading scholars on theatre, drama, and performance in the Americas – past and present. Provocative articles provide valuable insight and information on the heritage of American theatre, as well as its continuing contribution to world literature and the performing arts. Founded in 1989 and previously edited by Professors Vera Mowry Roberts, Jane Bowers, and David Savran, this widely acclaimed peer reviewed journal is now edited by Dr. Benjamin Gillespie and Dr. Bess Rowen.

Journal of American Drama and Theatre is a publication of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.

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