Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jesse Njus

Second Advisor

Karen Kopryanski

Third Advisor

Wes Seals


Educators in academic theatre programs, whether queer or non-queer, trans or cisgender, may not intentionally consider queerness in their pedagogical practices. What follows is an examination of current issues in academia that can affect queer students negatively and disproportionately. Anecdotal evidence is provided to demonstrate different issues that may be present in the classroom experiences of queer students. The Stanislavski system is critiqued through a contemporary, queer lens to locate possible shortcomings in the acting technique when it is applied by queer performers. Queer alternatives to the Stanislavski system are vetted and offered to queer students who might seek something beyond Stanislavski with a special emphasis on camp as queer parody. Perceptions of queer theatre are challenged both from an art market perspective and a high art/low art perspective. The final chapter proposes ways in which educators can reframe how they think about the work of queer students in the performance classroom. It also extends a few suggestions on pedagogical practices that can be adapted for the queer students in any performance classroom.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission