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Faculty & Staff Profiles

E.J. Westlake

Professor of Theatre Studies


E.J. Westlake is a professor of Theatre and professor of English at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Our Land is Made of Courage and Glory: Nationalist Performance in Nicaragua and GuatemalaWorld Theatre: The Basics, and co-editor of Political Performances: Theory and Practice. She is working on a book-length study and new translation of El Güegüence, the national dance drama of Nicaragua, due out on Southern Illinois University Press in 2020. Westlake’s articles have appeared in Theatre AnnualLatin American Theatre ReviewTDR, and Youth Theatre Journal, on everything from theatre history pedagogy to the performance of the self on Facebook.

Chapters have appeared in numerous books, most notably in Theatre, Performance, and Change, also Theatre Historiography: Critical Questions, and the Oxford Handbook on Dance and Theatre. Westlake is currently the co-editor of Theatre Journal and Treasurer of the American Society of Theatre Research. Westlake was a Fulbright grantee for the 2011-12 year and has twice received the American Society for Theatre Research Fellowship.

Dr. Westlake has taught performance theory, theatre history, dramatic literature, playwriting, directing, acting, devising, theatre pedagogy, world theatre, and cultural anthropology. She is affiliated with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program, the American Culture program, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and the Center for World Performance Studies.

Before coming to academia, Westlake cofounded and managed Stark Raving Theatre in Portland, Oregon. She worked in Portland as a director and playwright and won the Oregon Book Award in 1992 for her play A.E.: The Disappearance and Death of Amelia Earhart. She continues to write and adapt plays, including plays for young performers.

Westlake enjoys attending parades, festivals, memorials, baseball games, and other performative events. She has also finished several marathons, orienteering races, and triathlons.

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