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Academic Research

Faculty Research

Christy Stanlake
Professor, English Department

A proponent of theatrical praxis, Christy Stanlake works as a scholar and practitioner in the area of Theatre for Social Change; the majority of her publications concern Native American and First Nations Theatre.  She is the author of Native American Drama:  A Critical Perspective (Cambridge UP, 2009).  The book analyzes points of connection between general theatrical discourses of space, language, and motion and Native epistemologies of land, orality, and transformation in order to offer culturally appropriate methodologies for reading, teaching, and viewing Native Theatre as well as to demonstrate Native Theatre’s potential for challenging and extending theoretical practices across the whole of theatre studies.  Her second book, Critical Companion to Native American and First Nations Theatre: Indigenous Spaces will be published by Bloomsbury Methuen in 2019.  In this book, Stanlake joins Drs. Jaye Darby and Courtney Elkin Mohler, two other leading scholars in the field of Native Theatre, to create a socio-historical, dramaturgical survey of Native American and First Nations Theatre from the turn of the twentieth century through the present.  As a theatre director, Stanlake has applied theories of Native Theatre and performance to several shows, including the national, equity production of JudyLee Oliva’s Te Ata, which toured to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in DC; and a USNA Masqueraders’ production of Lynn Riggs's Green Grow the Lilacs that also toured to NMAI.  Stanlake has served as the Masqueraders’ Director since 2002 and has applied practices from Theatre for Social Change to several directing projects, including the creation and annual staging of the Gender Matters’ production, for which Midshipmen write and perform a series of disparate monologues concerning coming of age at USNA.  Additionally, Stanlake helped found and continues to mentor the Native American Heritage Club, which provides a network for Native Midshipmen, educates the Brigade about Native American diversity and the legacy of Native military service, and engages with local Native communities.

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