Dani Snyder-Young

Dani Snyder-Young, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts/History and Theory

Ph.D.& M.A., New York University, B.A. Wesleyan University

Dani Snyder-Young teaches courses in theatre history, dramatic literature, dramatic theory, directing, playwrighting, and dramaturgy.  Prior to joining the IWU faculty in the Fall of 2008, Dr. Snyder-Young taught at Pace University and New York University. 

Dr. Snyder-Young is a working director, dramaturg, and critic in Chicago. Her professional theatre work focuses primarily on political theatre, community based performance, new play development, and adaptations of classical texts.  Recent projects include directing  The War Zone is my Bed  with Halcyon Theatre and  Nickel and Dimed  with TangleKnot Theatre, and dramaturging  First Class  with Urban Theatre Company.  She is a company member of Halcyon Theatre.

Her devised work with young people has been performed in New York at the Public Theatre and the HERE Arts Center; she has been an artistic associate of Boston TheatreWorks and a founding member of New York City's Present Tense Theater Project.  Dr. Snyder has worked regionally with the Barrington Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, New Repertory Theater, Boston Playwright's Theater, Coyote Theater, Gloucester Stage, Hangar Theatre, Other Side Productions, Playwrights' Platform, Peabody House Theatre Cooperative, Shadowboxing Theatre Collaborative, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as internationally with Misery Loves Company of Prague, Czech Republic.  She is a member of Actor's Equity Association.

Dr. Snyder-Young is the author of Theatre of Good Intentions: Challenges and Hopes for Theatre and Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). This book examines the limitations of theatre in creation of social change, opening up a productive discussion of theatre's unique strengths and theatre artists' opportunities to make change in an unjust world.

 Her research interests include applied and educational theatre, performance ethnography, and spectatorship.

 Some of her other recent publications include:

 “Gaps, Silences, and Comfort Zones: Dominant Paradigms in Applied Theatre and Drama Education Discourse”. Co-authored with Matt Omasta. RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 19.1. (In Press, February 2014).

 “Youth Theatre as Cultural Artifact: Social Antagonism in Urban High School Environments”. Youth Theatre Journal 26.2, 173-183. October 2012.

 “Here to Tell Her Story: Analyzing the Autoethnographic Performances of Others”. Qualitative Inquiry 17:9. December 2011.

 “Stop Staring, Start Seeing: Housed Spectatorship of Homeless Performers.” Theatre Research International. 36.2, 163-173. June 2011.

 “Rehearsals for Revolution? Participatory Theatre, Dominant Discourses, Democratic Tensions” RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 16.1. February 2011.

 “Beyond ‘An Aesthetic of Objectivity’: Performance Ethnography, Performance Texts, and Theatricality”Qualitative Inquiry 16:10. October 2010.

 Dr. Snyder-Young also writes popular press theatre criticism as part of HowlRound’s NewCrit initiative. www.howlround.com

 Dr. Snyder-Young served as Vice President of Awards for the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) from 2013-2015.