Current Doctoral Students

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.


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 the performativity of public assembly and political protest, climate activism and performances of climate change, diasporic identity and contemporary theatre practices in Iran. 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.


Chengyuan "Eva" Huang (MA, PhD student, obtained her MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Washington University of St. Louis, and her BA in Theatre and Mathematics from DePauw University. She is always intrigued by the constructive potentials of theatre and performance. Her current research interests include decolonial methodologies, rehearsal space, intercultural theatre, and community-based theatre/practice.


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. In collaboration with Lenora Lee Dance, UCI Libraries, and Michael (Misha) Kennedy, they are the curator of The Lenora Lee Dance Documentation Project – a digital humanities project that documents the creative process of Within These Walls and Dreams of Flight (2019). This immersive performance highlights the detention and interrogation of Chinese immigrants at the Angel Island Immigration Station during the enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882 – 1943). The project will be published on Artstor in Summer 2021. 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 Arts from Bowling Green State University and a BA in English Language & Literature and Media & Communications from Korea University. Minu studies the performance of memory and survival in postcolonial Korea. Her research explores the Korean mode of survival of national trauma that gains power through emotional and physical coping strategies, as well as through listening and care instead of suffering and mourning. Minu is interested in the invisible, unheard, intangible energies that mark a hole or absence and speak through silence. 


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.

Chee-Hann Wu (MA, PhD candidate, is a Ph.D. candidate in Drama and Theatre at the University of California, Irvine. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a BA in Foreign Language and Literature from National Taiwan University. Her research focuses on puppet’s life, being and its material embodiment and reenactment of memories and trauma that have previously been suppressed. Chee-Hann’s dissertation research uses puppetry as a lens to look at Taiwan’s cultural and sociopolitical environment, colonial past, as well as its path to democracy. She is also drawn to the intersections between practice and theory, as well as performance and activism.


Stephanie Lim (MA, PhD student, studies the use of American Sign Language in musical performances both on stage and on screen and the resulting cultural translations/adaptations that occur. Stephanie recently worked as dramaturg on productions at UC Irvine, Chance Theater, and East West Players. She currently serves as the Disability Studies Assistant Area Chair for Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA), where she also serves in the Michael K. Schoenecke Leadership Institute. Stephanie is a CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) Fellow and teaches undergraduate courses in English and Theatre at CSU Northridge, where she received her BA and MA in English, and at AMDA College of the Performing Arts in LA. Publications appear in Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Everything Sondheim, Studies in Musical Theatre, and Popular Culture Studies Journal, with articles forthcoming in a variety of edited collections on musical theatre topics including gender play in revivals and adaptations, fandom in the digital age, and live television musicals.

Shane Wood (MA, PhD student, Shane Wood holds MAs in English and Theatre, directing and teaching throughout southern California.  Throughout his career, he has striven to balance his academic endeavors as a theatre scholar with his artistic ambitions as an award-winning director, dramaturg, designer, and actor. He believes this continued work in both spheres makes him a better artist and scholar. His scholarly work examines Medieval and Early Modern representations of Women’s grief and trauma as depicted in the writings 14th and 15th century mystics of Italy and England and the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He is active in student advocacy and splits his time between his scholarly endeavors and working to better the quality of life for students across the UC system.  


Amy E. Shine (MA, PhD candidate, has recently been honored with UCI’s Graduate Division Merit Fellowship. Their research examines the intersections of women's text and performance during Restoration England. These embodiments brought to the stage the beginning of female voices in what would become Western popular mass media. Shine approaches the work with MAs in Theatre Arts (SDSU) and in English (La Sierra University), passion for solving mysteries, deep love of libraries and aged texts, willingness to travel to wherever research requires, and their thorough appreciation for the comradery of their peers. Their advocacy work for Arts and Graduate support has taken them to Oakland, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Shine is focusing on completing the Ph.D. and currently serving the AGS Council Representative for CTSA and Treasurer for the UC-systemwide UCGPC. 


Michael Dahan (MFA, PhD student, is a scholar, filmmaker and artist who earned his MFA in Studio Art (UCI). His work interrogates the intersection of psychoanalysis, political economy, post-colonial theory and aesthetic production emerging from Palestine/Israel, specifically on works contending the entwined legacies of descendants of victims and perpetrators of the Nakba, and considers victims/perpetrators in the Palestine-Israel-Lebanon triangle and the broader Palestinian diaspora in Jordan and Syria. His dissertation will be accompanied by a curated exhibition, “The Messiah Triangle”, at the University Art Gallery at UCI (Fall, 2021). His experimental film, Two Points of Failure, was screened at the Rotterdam, Edinburgh, Jihlava, Bucharest, and Melbourne and Tribeca Film Festivals and the MAK Center in Los Angeles.  He was a film executive for a decade before receiving his MFA.