Current Doctoral Students


An-Ru Chu (MA, MFA, Ph.D. student, holds an MA in Art Market Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY, an MFA in Acting from Taipei National University of the Arts, and a BA in Radio and Television from National Chengchi University. Her current research examines the intersections of performance, East Asian modernities, folklore, and religious studies, with an emphasis on "ghosts and performances" in Taiwan. She is also a journalist, translator, and actor. Her acting credits include Jia-Jen Lin's Treading On Thin Ice (2022), Jen Liu's Pink Slime Caesar Shift: Electropore (2021), Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio's Bucchetino (2011-2015), and Craig Quintero's Amnesia (2011). 
Diana Fathi (MFA, MA, Ph.D. student, is a multidisciplinary theater artist hailing from Iran, currently dividing her time between California and New York. Diana completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Tehran Art University and holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University. Her research interests include women’s studies, the performance of death, the Weimar Republic, and Bertolt Brecht. As a director, Diana has helmed numerous productions including Romeo and Juliet at Two River Theater, Thirteen at Odyssey Theater, and Third Person Singular at Columbia University. Her work emphasizes identity, body, and feminism, challenging societal norms and promoting inclusivity through her artistic vision.




Tianding He (MA, Ph.D. student, is a scholar, multidisciplinary artist, and arts leader, originally from China. She holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Studies from New York University and a second MA from Hunter College in Theatre. As an experimental theatre director and dramaturg, Tianding works bi-coastally in the US and internationally. She is the founding artistic director of B·O·N·D International Virtual Performance Festival, an inclusive platform for global artists to share their experiences and ideas with unprivileged audiences. Tianding is also an arts leader of NYFA’s Incubator for Arts & Culture Leaders of Color. Her research focuses on theatre with technology, non-human performance, affect theories, and the methodology of practice as research. Tianding is a firm believer in the transformative power of art and its intersection with academia. She continuously endeavors to expand her artistic and scholarly horizons, pushing the boundaries of both spheres to craft innovative and thought-provoking works. 
Emily Parise (MA, PhD student, holds an MA in Drama and Performance from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BA in English from Seton Hall University. Her research interests are early modern theater and literature, with an emphasis on the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her work examines themes of metatheatre, performance and performativity, politics, and popular culture in early modern English theater. Other interests include: early modern working women, representations of madness, and Shakespeare's history plays.



Carly Amber Shaw (MA, PhD student, holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and a BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her current research interests include twentieth-century and contemporary American Drama. She is also interested in the construction of identity and memories of marginalized groups, narratological approaches to drama and the impact of narrative structures on readers and audiences.
Chengyuan “Eva” Huang (MA, Ph.D. student, obtained her MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Washington University of St. Louis, and her BA in Theatre and Math from DePauw University. She is always intrigued by what theatre is capable of beyond the playhouse. Her current research explores performance and aesthetics, medicine and healthcare, and embodied knowledge. She is also interested in community-based practices and decolonial methodologies. Eva presented at an AAAS panel this April. 




Talin Abadian (MA, PhD student, holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre Studies from the University of California, Northridge, and has an MA from Tehran University of Arts in Drama.  Her research centers around performance theory and its capacity in meeting environmental discourses. As a senior pedagogical fellow, she also works on strategies to implement decolonial and anti-racist theatre pedagogies. As a playwright and an avid translator, she has published on theatre in Iranian newspapers and journals. She has also published translations of plays, a playwrighting textbook, and a collection of essays in Iran.
Qianru Li (MA, PhD student, With graduate emphases in Asian American Studies, and Global and International Studies, Qianru practices, documents, and studies contemporary Asian American performance. Their transdisciplinary research examines the formation of Chinese American identities in relation to epidemics, war, police violence, and intergenerational care. Their dissertation is accompanied by A Shot In The Dark (2023), a multi-media show exploring the relationship between Asian Americans and African Americans, and Who Will Look After Me? (2022), a documentary on immigrant elderly care. Moreover, they were the project leader of “Count Us In 2020,” a series of documentary films commissioned by the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) that features interviews with eleven Asian American community leaders on the 2020 U.S. Census.



Minu Park (MA, PhD student, holds an MA in Theatre and Film from Bowling Green State University and a BA in English Literature and Media/Communications from Korea University. Minu is a scholar, writer, and translator, and currently serves as the graduate student representative of Association for Asian Performance. Minu explores decoloniality in performance through a Global Asias perspective and engages with the trauma, affect, gender, and ethnic studies. Minu’s doctoral thesis examines Korean aesthetics of survival in various performative forms, ranging from Korean shamanism and contemporary dance to collective activism and food performativity. Their article has appeared in Performance, Religion and Spirituality, and forthcoming publications include an article in Performance Matters and a chapter in Decolonizing Dramaturgy by Routledge. 


Deni (Denise) Li (MFA, PhD student,  Deni (she/they) holds an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. Deni is interested in approaching altered or expanded states of consciousness as discursive sites of alterity and alternative forms of knowledge production, by situating performance at the intersection of psychedelic (and more broadly, consciousness) studies, and queer, feminist, and trans* epistemologies. These areas of inquiry include psychedelic culture (as quotidian performance) and spirituality, intersections between psychedelia and digital media, as well as performance art and writing that involves practices of cultivating perception and intuition, re-visioning reality, and psycho-spiritual healing, that might be included in a “psychedelic” archive. Deni is also interested in issues of neurodiversity, embodied mind theories, extrasensory perception, mask work, practice as research, and intersections between performance-making, writing, and theory/scholarship.