How did contemporary casting practices come into being? How did actors become freelancers? Do you know the sordid history of the headshot? How has casting changed in the internet era? Why do casting controversies figure so prominently in discussions about race, gender and sexuality in contemporary theatre? Drawing upon his ongoing research for his book-length study of the topic (Casting, A History), performance historian and Associate Professor of Theater Brian Herrera will invite questions from those assembled to guide a lively interactive discussion about the history of casting in US popular performance. This conversation aims to press the critical, creative and historical understanding of casting beyond familiar zero-sum measures of good/bad, success/failure or right/wrong so as to cultivate an appreciation of casting as a dynamic repertoire of performance techniques, practices and conventions ripe for experimentation, innovation and revision.
This event is mandatory for all theater program certificate students.
Associate Professor of Theater Brian Herrera
Brian Eugenio Herrera is, by turns, a writer, teacher and scholar — presently based in New Jersey, but forever rooted in New Mexico.
Brian’s work, both academic and creative, examines the history of gender, sexuality, and race within and through U.S. popular performance. Brian holds degrees from Brown University, the University of New Mexico and Yale University, where he earned his PhD in American Studies. Brian’s scholarly work has been awarded fellowship recognition from the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institute, and the John Randolph & Dora Haynes Foundation. He is the author of The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: A Narrative Reportand has been published in many scholarly journals including Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Ecumenica, Comparative Drama and The Gay and Lesbian Review; he also served as Guest Editor for a special section of The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Brian recently completed terms of service on the Executive Committee for the American Society for Theatre Research and on the Steering Committee for the American Theatre Archive Project. He currently serves as Chair of the Executive Committee for Modern Language Association’s Drama Division and as member of the Advisory Committee for the Latino/a Theatre Commons.
Brian’s autobiographical solo show I Was the Voice of Democracy premiered in 2010 in Albuquerque and has subsequently been seen in Taos, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Lawrence (KS), New York City, Chapel Hill, Ithaca, Tempe, Princeton, Beirut, and Abu Dhabi. In 2013, he launched two new storywork shows, Boy Like That and Touch Tones.
From 2007 to 2012, Brian taught undergraduate and graduate courses in World Theatre History and Performance Theory in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Mexico (UNM). At UNM, he was recognized four times by The Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color as an Outstanding Faculty Member and, in 2010, the Weekly Alibi annual reader’s poll named Brian Albuquerque’s “Best Post-Secondary School Professor or Instructor.” In 2014, Brian was named a Donald P. Harrington Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.