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Michael Lueger

Michael Lueger is an adjunct professor at Emerson College and Northeastern University, where he teaches theatre history. His blog “Abstract and Brief” features images and essays on theatre history. His work has appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed publications, such as the recent Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater, and on WBUR’s Cognoscenti page. Follow him on Twitter with the handle @theaterhistory. 

Imagining a New Federal Theatre Project with Corinna Schulenberg and Dr. Elizabeth A. Osborne
Podcast

Imagining a New Federal Theatre Project with Corinna Schulenberg and Dr. Elizabeth A. Osborne

24 November 2021

As a part of the New Deal, the Federal Theatre Project of the 1930s funded theatre in the United States at an unprecedented level, providing paid work for trained theatremakers and low-cost performances to audiences all around the country. Corinna Schulenberg and Dr. Elizabeth A. Osborne discuss the history of the Federal Theatre Project and its potential to act as a model for a New Federal Theatre Project formed in conjunction with racial justice, climate justice, and Land Back movements.

Going Beyond Shakespeare
Podcast

Going Beyond Shakespeare

with Rob Crighton

17 November 2021

Shakespeare looms large over both the American and British theatre scenes. But his outsize influence means that we’ve long neglected a dizzying array of fascinating and brilliant theatre written by other early modern England dramatists. Robert Crighton and the Beyond Shakespeare Company are working to remedy this, and Robert joins us for this episode to discuss how they’re trying to expand our awareness of the theatre of this era.

A Theatre for the Oppressed? Dr. Amy Richlin on Slavery and Plautus
Podcast

A Theatre for the Oppressed? Dr. Amy Richlin on Slavery and Plautus

10 November 2021

The ancient Roman comedies of Plautus have inspired playwrights from Shakespeare to Sondheim. But they've also been seen as grim reminders of the oftentimes horrifying world of ancient Rome, where violence and slavery were commonplace. Dr. Amy Richlin joins Mike Lueger to talk about her book Slave Theater in the Roman Republic, which explores how Plautus's plays gave voice to enslaved persons during this era.

A portrait of Tana Wojczuk.
Lady Romeo: Learning About Nineteenth-Century Actress Charlotte Cushman with Tana Wojczuk
Podcast

Lady Romeo: Learning About Nineteenth-Century Actress Charlotte Cushman with Tana Wojczuk

3 November 2021

In the nineteenth century, Charlotte Cushman became United States’ first celebrity actress. Tana Wojczuk, who has written a new biography of Cushman, joins the Mike Lueger to talk about the actress’s remarkable life both on stage and off.

Introducing the University of Pittsburgh's August Wilson Archive
Podcast

Introducing the University of Pittsburgh's August Wilson Archive

With Dr. Sandra Shannon and Bill Daw

27 October 2021

As the University of Pittsburgh prepares to make August Wilson’s archive publicly accessible, Dr. Sandra G. Shannon and William Daw join Mike Leuger to discuss Wilson’s flourishing legacy.

Learning about Kunqu
Podcast

Learning about Kunqu

with Dr. Dongshin Chan

20 October 2021

Dongshin Chan introduces us to the world of kunqu, the traditional Chinese theatrical form that gave rise to masterpieces of world theatre in the 16th and 17th centuries.


 

Passing Into History
Essay

Passing Into History

Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones on Pageants and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

13 October 2021

In this week’s Theatre History Podcast, Dr. Megan Sanborn Jones discusses the history of Mormons in theatre and the pageant tradition in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through her deep research on these pageants, Dr. Jones explores the unique fusion of faith, history, and performance in Mormon pageantry.

Reappraising the Legacy of Ernie McClintock with Dr. Ibby Cizmar
Podcast

Reappraising the Legacy of Ernie McClintock with Dr. Ibby Cizmar

6 October 2021

Dr. Ibby Cizmar joins the Theatre History Podcast to share her research on Ernie McClintock, who worked to develop a system of training and performance that could serve the specific needs of African American actors in the mid-twentieth century. A significant influence in the Black Arts Movement, McClintock’s methods continue to influence institutions and theatremakers today.

Learning About the History—and Future—of Stand-up Comedy
Podcast

Learning About the History—and Future—of Stand-up Comedy

With Rachel Blackburn

29 September 2021

Michael Lueger is joined by director, performer, and educator Dr. Rachel Blackburn to discuss diversity and intersectionality within the stand-up comedy world and how comics are engaging with social issues and movements.

outside of a stone building
Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 2
Podcast

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 2

Theatre History Podcast #72

20 December 2018

We welcome back Stories from the Eastern West for Part 2 of their exploration of the life and work of Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski.

Black and white image of three people standing on their heads
Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 1
Podcast

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 1

Theatre History Podcast #71

6 December 2018

The Theatre History Podcast is proud to partner with Stories from the Eastern West to present the first of a two-part episode on the life and work of revolutionary theatre director Jerzy Grotowski.

Title page of a restoration-era edition of Macbeth
Restoring An Alternate Version of Shakespeare’s Works
Podcast

Restoring An Alternate Version of Shakespeare’s Works

Theatre History Podcast #70

8 November 2018

The Restoration was an era of theatrical innovation and rebirth in England. It also saw a number of strikingly radical revisions of William Shakespeare's original plays. Dr. Amanda Eubanks Winkler joins us to talk about her work with the Performing Restoration Shakespeare project, which is studying these adaptations and helping to revive them for the stage.

Old print depicting a marriage
Tracing the Origins of the Freak Show with Dr. Matt DiCintio
Podcast

Tracing the Origins of the Freak Show with Dr. Matt DiCintio

Theatre History Podcast #69

22 October 2018

In this week's Theatre History Podcast, Matt DiCintio on the origins of the freak show and its lasting influence on our perceptions of disability, race, and physical difference. 

Illustration of a woman in a brightly colored dress
Learning About Mary Ann Yates with Dr. Elaine McGirr
Podcast

Learning About Mary Ann Yates with Dr. Elaine McGirr

Theatre History Podcast #68

8 October 2018

Why is Mary Ann Yates the greatest actress you've never heard of? Dr. Elaine McGirr introduces us to this eighteenth-century star and recounts her fascinating career.

Draswing of a man tied to railroad tracks.
Dr. Derek Miller on the History of Performance and Copyright
Podcast

Dr. Derek Miller on the History of Performance and Copyright

Theatre History Podcast #67

24 September 2018

In this week's Theatre History Podcast, Dr. Derek Miller joins us to talk about the origins and development of theatrical copyright.

a drawing
Dr. Sara B.T. Thiel on Pregnancy on the Stage in Early Modern English Drama
Podcast

Dr. Sara B.T. Thiel on Pregnancy on the Stage in Early Modern English Drama

Theatre History Podcast #66

4 September 2018

How do you depict pregnancy when you're working with an all-male cast? Dr. Sara BT Thiel joins us to discuss this and other issues connected to pregnancy on the Stuart stage.

a drawing of a building on fire
Playing Around with Nineteenth-Century Theatre in Dr. Robert Davis’s Broadway: 1849
Podcast

Playing Around with Nineteenth-Century Theatre in Dr. Robert Davis’s Broadway: 1849

Theatre History Podcast #65

25 July 2018

Could you make it as the manager of a New York City theatre in the 1840s? That's the question that Dr. Robert Davis's game and app Broadway:1849 poses to players. Robert joins us to talk about the rough-and-tumble world of New York's antebellum theatre.

actors onstage
Learning About Modern Indonesian Theatre with Dr. Cobina Gillitt
Podcast

Learning About Modern Indonesian Theatre with Dr. Cobina Gillitt

Theatre History Podcast #64

10 July 2018

Dr. Cobina Gillitt joins the Theatre History Podcast to introduce us to the work of Putu Wijaya and his Teater Mandiri and to explain how modern Indonesian theatre has developed amid the turmoil of its recent history.

an ampitheatre
After the Big Top: Carlos Alexis Cruz on the Evolution of Modern Circus
Podcast

After the Big Top: Carlos Alexis Cruz on the Evolution of Modern Circus

Theatre History Podcast #63

27 June 2018

How has the circus changed from its earliest origins to today? CarlosAlexis Cruz joins us to explain how acrobatics and storytelling have come to replace the big top and the three-ring circus.

Theatre and Civil Rights: Dr. Julie Burrell on the Importance of A Medal for Willie
Podcast

Theatre and Civil Rights: Dr. Julie Burrell on the Importance of A Medal for Willie

Theatre History Podcast #62

5 June 2018

How did Black theatre connect with the Civil Rights Movement? Dr. Julie Burrell of Cleveland State University joins the Theatre History Podcast to talk about William B. Branch's one-act play A Medal for Willie and the underappreciated radicalism of theatre in the 1950s.

actors and a puppet onstage
Chantal Bilodeau on “Breaking Up with Aristotle” and Finding New Ways to Tell Stories Onstage
Podcast

Chantal Bilodeau on “Breaking Up with Aristotle” and Finding New Ways to Tell Stories Onstage

Theatre History Podcast #61

7 May 2018

Playwright Chantal Bilodeau joins us to discuss her essay "Why I'm Breaking Up with Aristotle," and how we need to explore new forms of storytelling in order to create theatre that engages with issues like climate change.

Lost Worlds and “Pansexual Extravaganzas”
Podcast

Lost Worlds and “Pansexual Extravaganzas”

Rediscovering Weimar Operetta with Dr. Kevin Clarke

17 April 2018

Dr. Kevin Clarke of the Operetta Research Center introduces us to Weimar-era operetta, which pushed artistic and social boundaries and is finally enjoying an artistic and scholarly reappraisal after decades of neglect.

Taking Shakespeare’s Measure in the Twenty-First Century
Podcast

Taking Shakespeare’s Measure in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. Nora Williams and Measure (Still) for Measure

3 April 2018

Dr. Nora Williams joins us to talk about Measure (Still) for Measure, a devised theatre project in the US that revises Shakespeare's infamous "problem play" in order to engage with issues such as sexual consent.

Theatre History Podcast #58
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #58

What We Think About When We Think About Casting: Dr. Amy Cook’s Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting

6 March 2018

Dr. Amy Cook of Stony Brook University joins us to discuss her new book, Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting.

Theatre History Podcast #57
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #57

Dr. Claudia Orenstein on the Evolving Art of Tolpavakoothu

20 February 2018

Dr. Claudia Orenstein of Hunter College introduces us to the art of tolpavakoothu, a shadow puppet tradition from Kerala, in southern India.