Assistant Professor in Theater
Areas of Expertise: Theater, acting, directing, performance
- The Necessity of Theater in a Liberal Arts Education: Building and developing creative processes, teamwork, and empathy, using dramatic literature as our fertile field.
- Theatrical Destabilization: Professor Slusar questions the place of the theatrical. Where does theater live? Where does theater take place? We are in a room together: we gather to watch, to perform, and to share an experience of theater. But at the same time, much mainstream, regional and commercial theater attempts to subvert that structure by saying that we are not where we appear to be (in a theater in Philadelphia in 2018, for example), but instead we are in a living room in a small college town in New England in 1962. We agree to destabilize our actual sense of location for the purpose of the story, therefore stabilizing the theatrical location of the text. This is an investigation of how place and location tells/informs story.
- Theater in Translation: The thrilling experience of watching theater in a language you do not speak.
About Catharine Slusar
Professor Slusar teaches many different kinds of acting courses, with a focus on the performer and theater creator. She also directs students for the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Bi-College Theater Program, and has an ongoing relationship with EM Stanton, a Philadelphia K-8 school where she teaches and directs Shakespeare, often accompanied by students from the Bi-Co. Her research blurs the divide between theory and practice, looking to understand the power of the embodied mind through performance. Her interests include examining how performance practice provides a transformation of our notion of self -- socially, politically, and personally. As a director, she likes to play with extreme physicality and often works in several languages.
As an actor, Professor Slusar has performed across the country, as well as in Norway and Russia. She is well known to Philadelphia audiences through her work at Theater Exile, FringeArts, the Arden Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre, The Lantern, People’s Light and Theater Company, and Act II Playhouse. She is a recipient of several awards for her acting, including The F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist and Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater. Recent favorite roles include Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Prospero in The Tempest. She has taught acting at Rowan University, University of the Arts, Özel Bilgi Lisesi in Istanbul, Turkey, and at her alma mater, Yale University.
Professor Slusar also coaches actors for auditions.