Theater Faculty

Jill Dolan

Jill Dolan headshot


Jill Dolan is the Dean of the College at Princeton University, where she also serves as the Annan Professor in English and Professor of Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts. She directed Princeton’s Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies from 2009-2015 and became Dean in July 2015.

She began teaching at Princeton in 2008, arriving from the University of Texas at Austin, where she held the Zachary T. Scott Family Chair in Drama and headed the Department of Theatre and Dance’s MA/MFA/PhD program in performance as a public practice from 1999-2008.

Dolan received the 2011 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for her blog, “The Feminist Spectator.” In 2013, Palgrave Macmillan published her book, The Feminist Spectator in Action:  Feminist Criticism on Stage and Screen, which collects 20 of her blog posts and includes 10 new essays, as well as an extended introduction and a “how to” section that discusses the nuts and bolts of writing feminist cultural criticism.

She received the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Scholarship in the Field of Theatre Studies from the American Society for Theatre Research. In 2011, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women and Theatre Program. Dolan was inaugurated into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 2009. In 2016, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dolan received the 2011 Outstanding Teaching Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She was inducted into the University of Texas at Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers in fall 2006, after receiving a College of Fine Arts teaching award earlier in her UT career.  During her six years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, from 1988-1994, she received the William Kiekhofer Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dolan’s most recent book is Wendy Wasserstein (2017), a critical engagement with the late playwrights’ significant work. Her other books include Theatre & Sexuality (2010); Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre (2005); Geographies of Learning: Theory and Practice, Activism and Performance (2001); Presence and Desire: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, Performance (1993); and The Feminist Spectator as Critic (1991), which has been translated into Korean and was reissued in an anniversary edition with a new introduction in 2012.

Dolan edited A Menopausal Gentleman:  The Solo Performances of Peggy Shaw (2011), which won the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Drama. She is the co-editor with Holly Hughes and Carmelita Tropicana of Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the WOW Café (2015), which was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in the Best Anthology category.

Dolan is a past president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and a past president of the Women and Theatre Program, also of ATHE. She is the former Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she taught in and chaired the PhD Program in Theatre from 1994-1999.

Dolan holds a PhD in performance studies from New York University.  Her research interests include theatre and drama; performance studies; women’s and feminist studies; LGBTQ studies; and American studies.


“A new sightline at the theater: Dolan and Wolf bring fresh view of performance studies” | Princeton University News, February 26, 2009

Jill Dolan Receives Distinguished Scholar Award for Theater Research | DISCOVERY: Research at Princeton

“Performing Desire” | The Drama Review (TDR) Winter 2014 Issue

Princeton Portraits: “Making mistakes is part of being human” | Princeton Portraits

Class snapshot: ‘Introduction to American Popular Culture’ led by Jill Dolan” | Princeton University News, June 14, 2021

Dolan’s The Feminist Spectator as Critic included among “14 Books Essential for Theater Students” | Playbill, September 10, 2022


ASTR 2013 Distinguished Scholar


Read Jill Dolan’s remarks from the November 9, 2013 American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) conference in Dallas, where she was honored with the Distinguished Scholar Award for “Outstanding achievement in scholarship in the field of theatre studies”


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