Published August 10, 2022
Fall is the season of change, and so too for the Department of Theatre and Dance. We are pleased and excited to welcome many new faculty and staff members this semester, as well as to announce the appointment of Eero Laine, PhD as new Department Chair.
Eero Laine is Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His first book Professional Wrestling and the Commercial Stage, engages the often peculiar performance form of professional wrestling to examine issues of labor, class, and the financial and global influence of live, popular entertainment. Eero is a co-editor of Performance and Professional Wrestling (2017), Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism (2020), and Sports Plays (2022). His research has been published in GPS: Global Performance Studies, Performance Research, The Popular Culture Studies Journal, RiDE: Research in Drama Education, Text & Performance Quarterly, Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, TDR: The Drama Review, and Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, among others. He is the editor of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and is one of the co-editors of Lateral, the journal of the Cultural Studies Association. At UB he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in theatre history and theory and has directed Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, Anne Washburn’s 10 Out of 12, and Jaclyn Backhaus’ Men on Boats.
Let’s meet the new members of UB Theatre and Dance (in alphabetical order).
James Beaudry, MFA (he/him) is a new Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Theatre with the department of Theatre and Dance. He has served as Producing Artistic Director for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, on the senior staff of New York Stage and Film as Company Manager for their annual Powerhouse Season of new plays and musicals in various stages of development. Prior to that, James served for eight years as Artistic Director of Timber Lake Playhouse in Illinois.
James has directed, choreographed or produced more than 125 productions. A proud member of SDC, his directing and choreography credits include the world premieres of Mark Twain’s Blues (Off-Broadway) and Jason & Ben (NYMF), as well as choreography for Pride & Prejudice at Long Wharf Theatre, the Chicago premiers of Heathers the Musical (Jeff Award nomination for outstanding direction of a musical), Murder Ballad (Jeff Award nomination for outstanding direction of a musical) & Meet John Doe.
Additional directing and choreography credits include Other Desert Cities, To Master The Art (Theatre of Western Springs), Sweeney Todd, Aspects of Love, The Most Happy Fella and Pump Boys & Dinettes (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre), Lucky Stiff and Triumph of Love (The Music Theatre Company), West Side Story (CUNY 50th Anniversary Production), Anything Goes, Into The Woods, Chicago, Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Children of Eden, Big Fish, Titanic, Evita, Carousel, The Wedding Singer, Hair, Constellations, All Shook Up and Sister Act.
Assistant Professor of Dance Rebecca Chaleff, PhD is a dance scholar, performer, and dramaturg. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside. Rebecca’s research merges critical theory with practice to examine structures of time, feeling, and power. Her current book project, Choreographic Futures: Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of Reperformance, analyzes how reperformance and legacy building projects shape and are shaped by the politics of race and sexuality. In particular, the manuscript engages with the affective attachments of queer and racialized histories to question how choreographic claims to artistic afterlives participate in sociopolitical processes of dispossession.
Rebecca’s writing has appeared in numerous scholarly publications, including Dance Research Journal, TDR/The Drama Review, and The Futures of Dance Studies. As a dancer, she has had the pleasure of performing with GERALDCASELDANCE, Pat Catterson, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Repertory Understudy Group, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, Molissa Fenley and Company, and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, among others. In 2020 and 2021, Rebecca was the Rehearsal Director for the restaging of Molissa Fenley’s State of Darkness at the Joyce Theater, which was which was named “Best Revival of 2020” by The New York Times and received a 2021 Bessie Award for “Outstanding Revival.” She continues to collaborate with Gerald Casel, and recently served as dramaturg for Not About Race Dance, which premiered at CounterPulse in 2021 and has toured nationally.
Assistant Professor of Theatre Kellen Hoxworth, PhD (he/they) is Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. His academic interests focus on the formations of race and coloniality, particularly in the transhistorical performance networks of the global south. His book project, Transoceanic Blackface: Empire, Race, Performance (currently under review with Northwestern University Press), traces the transnational circulations of blackface minstrelsy and related forms of racialized performance from the prerevolutionary circum-Atlantic world through the nineteenth-century Anglophone imperium. His writing has been published in American Quarterly, Contemporary Theatre Review, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Modern Drama, Performance Research, TDR/The Drama Review, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and in several edited volumes. In 2018, his essay "The Many Racial Effigies of Sara Baartman" was selected by the American Society for Theatre Research as the recipient of the Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theatre, drama, and/or performance studies. At UB, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on performance history and theory, including specialized courses on his research specializations.
Administrative Assistant Kristin Mann has her Bachelor of Science in Special and Elementary Education and extensive work experience in education. She has worked at UB since 2018, with her most recent position in the Department of Art. She has an established knowledge of how the University at Buffalo works, and the arts sector of the College of Arts and Sciences. Kristin is responsible for general day-to-day operations, customer service and office management for the department of Theatre and Dance.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theatre Matthew Marco, MM is a conductor, coach, and collaborative pianist, currently serving as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, University at Buffalo. He has held conducting and coaching positions with Nickel City Opera, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, the Hillman Opera Company, and Opera-Lytes.
Mr. Marco has also performed with Amarillo Opera (TX), Civic Morning Musicals (Syracuse, NY), Opera Tampa (FL), the Savannah VOICE Festival (GA), and the National Choral Festival (Carnegie Hall, NY). He enjoys regular performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Master Chorale, and Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as engagements with the Buffalo Chamber Players, Friends of Vienna, and Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Marco studied piano with Anne Kissel and François Germain, and conducting with Paul Ferington and Brian Doyle.
Cellist and Western New York native, Adriana Maria Pera, MM is excited to be a part of the UB community after a near 10-year career in the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY. As the new Academic Advisor for the Departments of Theatre, Dance and Music, Adriana hopes to bring her expertise as a teacher, advisor and curricular designer into her role to better serve the faculty and students. She received a Bachelor of Music from the University at Buffalo, Master of Music from the University of Toronto, studying with Jonathan Golove and Shauna Rolston, respectively. Doctoral studies at the University of Toronto with David Hetherington of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and an Artist Diploma from Purchase College. When she’s not busy guiding the next generation of artists through their college careers, Adriana enjoys an active career as a cellist and amateur aerialist.
Costume Shop Manager and Clinical Assistant Professor Zechariah Saenz, MFA is a costume technician, designer, puppeteer, and drag artist from Jeffersonville, IN. He received his BS from the University of Indianapolis with emphasis on theatre and secondary education. He received his MFA from Michigan State University.
Zech is associated with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival where he placed second in costume design at the national festival in 2021 for Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood. He also placed second regionally with A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage ©1959. He won the inaugural Crafts, Engineering, and Management award for his independent project The Love Talker: a First Year Teaching Experience in addition to several merit awards for props and puppetry.
Being a first generation high school graduate, Zech is passionate about arts advocacy in public schools and the community. His research interests include accessible theatre, TYA, and queer performance art. As a Clinical Professor and Costume Shop Manager, his goal is to create an inviting, body positive space for students and fellow creatives.