7 p.m. - John Patrick Theatre, Kleist Center for Art & Drama
Dr. Macelle Mahala of the University of the Pacific will analyze how protests that have taken place as part of the Black Lives Matter movement use performance as a means of communication.

Lecture: Theatre as Protest, Protest as Theatre

November 20, 2017

7 p.m.Photo of Macelle Mahala

John Patrick Theatre, Kleist Center for Art & Drama

Theatre as Protest, Protest as Theatre: African American Theatre Contributions to the Black Lives Matter Movement


Dr. Macelle Mahala of the University of the Pacific analyzes how protests that have taken place as part of the Black Lives Matter movement use performance as a means of communicating both dissent and the humanity of the victims of police violence.

She additionally examines how black theatre companies use similar performance techniques to support the movement, oftentimes participating in less direct but equally impactful ways such as through the creation of original plays and the sponsoring of community forums.

Mahala is associate professor of theatre arts at the University of the Pacific. She writes about the intersection of theatre, race and social justice. She is the author of "Penumbra: The Premier Stage for African American Drama" (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), which received an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship in African American Theatre Studies.

Her writing has been published in Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre, and Performance; Theatre Journal; Theatre Topics; Women & Performance; and XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics. As a theatre artist she has worked with Artists in Storefronts, The Illusion Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, New World Theatre, The New York Mills Cultural Arts Center, Penumbra Theatre Company, Pillsbury House Theatre, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, The Soap Factory, and Works/Plays.

Mahala received her doctorate and master's degree from the University of Minnesota and her bachelor's degree from Macalester College.