Q&A with Assistant Professor Rebecca Lingafelter
June 26, 2012
The following Q&A is part of a series created by the college dean’s office to introduce new faculty. Get to know Assistant Professor of Theatre Rebecca Lingafelter, who joins the faculty this fall, in the interview below.
Education: M.F.A. 2005 Columbia University; B.A. 2000 University of California, San Diego
Research and teaching interests: Acting, voice, movement, contemporary performance, modern American drama
What is the focus of your scholarly research?
My research deals mainly with contemporary theater and its significance in the 21st century. I am interested in researching innovations in contemporary performance including new media, devised theatre, and performance practice in a post-dramatic era. Specifically I am interested in the resurgence of the ensemble and the role of the actor in the making of contemporary theater. My research focuses on the ways in which this shift is connected to the theater collectives of the 60s and 70s, and the fundamental principles of America’s regional theater movement.
What most excites you about joining the LC community?
I am thrilled to be joining such a prestigious group of colleagues and very much look forward to teaching the passionate and inquisitive L&C student body. I am most excited about having the chance to teach and make work in a liberal arts setting. As an artist I am constantly inspired by research outside of my field that has a direct impact on the theatrical arts. Innovations in neuroscience, psychology, physics, history, philosophy, and literature, not to mention the other arts, all serve to influence and shape the way I make and see theatre in the 21st century. I know that having the chance to teach and make work in an environment where these diverse fields of studies are in conversation will have a deep impact both on my work as an artist and my work as a teacher.
What kind of hobbies or special activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I am a performer as well as an educator and look forward to performing with Third Rail Repertory this fall as well as with my own theatre company, Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, in the spring. Other activities include yoga, going to see music with my husband who is a musician and sound designer, going to farmers markets and cooking long meals with said husband, and continuing to get to know Portland and greater Oregon as our adopted home.
What were your childhood goals/aspirations?
Childhood career goals included becoming a veterinarian, a painter, a chemist, a zoologist, a physicist, a violinist, a teacher, and a pediatrician. I was an only child with a very active imagination and had parents with patience enough to have a garage full of discarded obsessions. When I was 13, I starred in my junior high school’s production of a murder mystery play. I played Gloria Swansong. It was the beginning of the end. From then on, I knew I wanted to work in the theatre.
What are you listening to in your car right now?
Four Tet, Jay-Z, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Arcade Fire, Bill Callahan. (Caveat: my husband and I share the car—half the music is his.)
What was your favorite childhood story?
My favorite story when I was a child was called Miss Rumphius, The Lupine Lady, about a woman who traveled the world and planted flowers.