I am a performer, writer, interdisciplinary theorist, and scholar who investigates the political, economic, and historical conditions that shape cultural production. I also seek to understand how performance and cultural production shape, shift, reify, and perhaps disrupt cultural and political continuity, if only for a moment of theatrical performance bliss. My first monograph, Black Dragon: Afro Asian Performance and the Martial Arts Imagination, was published by The Ohio State University Press and explores Black and Asian cultural production through martial arts within a variety of performance modalities such as everyday practice, film and media, music, theater, and dance. My writing has also appeared in Theatre Topics, The Drama Review, The National Review of Black Politics, Journal of Asian American Studies, and The Postcolonialist. I have contributed to the edited volumes Sports Plays and Classics In and Out of the Academy: Classical Pedagogy in the Twenty-First Century.
I have written and produced dramatic work for the stage in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles that includes staged readings, fully produced plays, curated discussions, solo performances, and most recently appeared in What Beautiful Space Tomorrow as part of the William Kentridge exhibit In Praise of Shadows at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. I am cultivating a practice-as-research collective platform called Black Arts and Black Publics. For this project, I have presented working papers at conferences on my research about the Robey Theater Company as well as artist activist Funmilola Fagbamila, both of whom I have brought to UC Irvine for research and pedagogical purposes. As such, in Fall 2021 I produced a week-long residency with Fagbamila in residence who also provided a public performance of The Intersection: Woke Black Folk at the UCI Little Theater.
Currently, I am developing dramatic literary works called ‘critical race theater’ as well as a scripted drama based on my book Black Dragon about the conjunction between martial arts and Black liberation movement. Contemporaneously, I am also developing a research project on the director and dramaturg Lloyd Richards and collaborating with scholars to develop Afro Asian Cultural Studies.
As a member of the doctoral faculty in the Department of Drama at the University of California Irvine in the School of the Arts I also support as a core faculty member in the Department of African American Studies and teach cross-listed courses between School of the Arts and the School of Humanities. I rehearse and perform movement disciplines such as aikido, judo, shito-ryu karate, and cardio weight training and incorporate these movement practices into my writing, creative work, and pedagogy.
I hold a PhD in Theater Studies from UC Santa Barbara, an MFA in Drama from the New School University, and a BA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.