Dr. Valerie M. Joyce is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department who teaches Musical Theatre, Theatre for Social Change, and Script Analysis. She has presented her research on Musical Theatre, African American women, and Early American Theatre at national and international conferences, with work appearing in JADT, Complutense Journal of English Studies, Theatre History Studies, Pennsylvania History Journal and a forthcoming chapter in The Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers.
Although her research interests cut across race, genre, and historical period, the continuous themes in Joyce’s work center on the cultural constructs of gender and the theatre’s role in shaping American womanhood. Her current project examines embodied performance and African American women before Emancipation through a play she wrote and directed, I Will Speak for Myself, which mixes performance texts and primary historical artifacts to illuminate the lives of African American women from the Colonial period through the Civil War. She is now preparing a book manuscript that recuperates these lost women and explores production practice as theatre research. She discusses this work in her 2015 TED talk available at the TEDxVU site https://youtu.be/7MeLyk6y8ME.
Dr. Joyce is a board member of ATDS and an active member of the Music/Theatre Dance and Women and Theatre focus groups of ATHE. She is currently the chair of the ASTR nominations committee and a VITAL Faculty Associate. She also directs, choreographs, and designs costumes with recent credits that include The Threepenny Opera, Light in the Piazza, Cabaret, and Bat Boy. She is currently rehearsing Translations and designing costumes for the world premiere of A Persistent Memory in New York City. She received her PhD in Theatre History and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland and her M.A in Theatre from Villanova University.