Bethany Hughes is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University. Her dissertation is on Native American representation in American theatre and the performance of federal Indian law. Her research interests are influenced by her background in which she trained as a musical theatre performer, worked as a Development Associate in not-for-profit theatre, and is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She is interested in the business of theatre, the genre of musical theatre, and how aesthetic and legal performances of Native American identity shapes the Native American experience. While at Northwestern she has put her producing skills to work by co-founding an academic colloquium dedicated to Native American Studies and convening a symposium on contemporary Native American art. Called "Creating Nations" the symposium brought together nearly a dozen Native American artists/activists/educators from theatre, film, visual art, music, and literature to discuss historical trauma, sovereignty, and nation building.
NewCritcriticism & analysis
Off the Rails , which was produced at OSF in October, shows how Native plays can include depictions or descriptions of Native history as an element of lived experience, not as the entirety of the play’s purpose.