Faculty & Staff Profiles

Ashley E Lucas

Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama and LS&A Residential College

Ashley Lucas is associate professor of theatre & drama and director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan. She is a fellow of the Ford Foundation, the UNC Faculty Engaged Scholars Program, and UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities.

Lucas’s research and teaching interests include U.S. Latina/o theatre, prison-related theatre, theatre for social change, and related topics in acting, playwriting, and comparative ethnic studies. Lucas is also the author of an ethnographic play about the families of prisoners titled Doin’ Time: Through the Visiting Glass, which she has performed as a one-woman show throughout the U.S. and in Ireland and Canada.  Her book manuscript, We All Looking at Walls: Ethnographic Theatre in Prison Contexts, is currently under review at University of Michigan Press.

Lucas was recently invited to be the lead writer for the Methuen Critical Companion on Prison Theatre, which will analyze performances from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Her scholarly publications include articles in the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, the Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Latin American Theater Review, American Music, and Revista de Literatura Contemporanea de México.  Together with sociologist Jodie Lawston, Lucas guest-edited a special issue of the National Women’s Studies Association Journal on the topic of “Women and Criminal Justice: Policing, Prosecution, and Incarceration” (Summer 2008). Lucas and Lawston also collaborated on an edited volume titled Razor Wire Women: Prisoners, Activists, Scholars, and Artists (SUNY Press 2011) and write a blog by the same title. Lucas also works with the University of Michigan’s Brazil Initiative – an exchange program with the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – taking theatre students to Rio each summer.


BA (theater studies and English), Yale University
PhD (ethnic studies and theatre & drama), University of California – San Diego.

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