Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Speech Communication

First Advisor

Pineau, Elyse

Second Advisor

Gingrich Philbrook, Craig


Performance festivals have a unique, significant, but largely undocumented history in the discipline of Performance Studies. Despite the vital role they serve in invigorating, sustaining and renewing interest in this field, little formal research has been devoted to studying the history, structure and function of these events. This project is designed to mark the history and evolution of performance festivals, their ritual structure and significance for the discipline, and their role in the lives of participants. I focus on two current festivals, the Petit Jean Performance Festival and the Patti Pace Performance Festival, as sites of disciplinary conviction. Through a hybrid methodology of ethnographic description, in-depth interviews, and autoethnographic reflection, I attempt to both document and bring to life the experience of festival attendees. In particular, I focus on how festivals provide opportunities for genealogical connections, embodied mentoring, and upholding performance practice as praxis. My goal in this research is to advocate for performance festivals as sites of disciplinary conviction and growth.




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