Associate Professor , AP/HUAS
Office: JO 4.634
Areas of Specialization: Movement Theatre, solo performance, playwriting, directing, Spoken Word, Performative scholarship, social construction/new historicism, and Hip-Hop Popular culture.
Education: PhD, Directing and Theory and Criticism, Stanford University, 2002
MA, Drama, Stanford University, 2001
MFA, Acting and Movement Theatre, The Ohio State University, 1997
BFA, Theatre, Adelphi University, New York, 1994
Venus Opal Reese is an award winning solo performer, playwright, director, choreographer and poet. She has performed nationally and internationally for over 17 years. Her latest solo performance work, Split Ends, a piece about Black women and hair, was featured on the cover of the Palo Alto Weekly, showcased at the Black Repertory Theatre in Rhode Island and ran off-Broadway at La MaMa ETC. Split Ends was nominated for a 2007 AUDELCO Award. Dr. Reese was recently featured on ABC News and in Glamour Magazine and Diversity Inc., as an expert on race, beauty, and culture. Her performance with the Hip-Hop theatre play, Will Power's The Seven, was featured in the American Theatre Magazine and won 3 Critic Choice Awards.
Dr. Reese has presented and performed internationally at the Sorbonne, Paris, France under the auspices of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute at Harvard University, La MaMa Umbria International, Spoleto, Italy, and Universita di Padova, Padova, Italy. Nationally she has performed and directed with such establishments as Cultural Odyssey, AfroSolo, the LA Women's Festival, and the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, NYC. Locally, she has performed performance poetry works with Word Space and performed excerpts of previous works with Laughing Tongues at Undermain Theatre.
As a scholar, Dr. Reese research re-imagines Africa, the Middle Passage, Antebellum Slavery, minstrelsy and Popular culture through the stories we tell. She offers and designs course in Spoken Word, Elements of Arts and Performance, Theatre, Movement Theatre, African Dance, American Character, Acting, Performativity, Cultural Studies, Womanism/Feminism, Queer Theory, Literary Theory, and Critical Race Theory. She consults and trains in the area of race, beauty, and culture by combining her performance background with her academic training.
Dr. Reese's scholarly performative writing has been published in the Women and Performance journal, the Journal for Global Transformation, and in the book, Recharting the Black Atlantic: Modern Cultures, Local Communities, Global Connections.