» Dr. Jocelyn L. Buckner
Assistant Professor

College of Performing Arts; Department of Theatre
Dr. Jocelyn L. Buckner
Theatre Studies
Office Location:
Moulton Hall 211
Converse College, Bachelor of Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University, Master of Fine Arts
University of Kansas, Ph.D.
Video Profile

Jocelyn L. Buckner holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from the University of Kansas, an M.F.A. in Theatre Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a B.A. in Theatre and Economics from Converse College. Prior to joining the Chapman Department of Theatre, Dr. Buckner held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. She has previously taught at Florida State University, the University of Kansas, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Buckner’s research focuses on the intersections and representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality in theatre and popular entertainments, particularly in the U.S., from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. She is the editor of A Critical Companion to Lynn Nottage, the first scholarly collection dedicated to the playwright’s work (Routledge, forthcoming). This anthology examines Nottage’s dramatic treatment of themes such as history, the African diaspora, and identity, and includes interviews with the playwright and frequent collaborators, as well as a special section devoted to Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Ruined. Dr. Buckner is also developing a monograph in which she identifies and examines the sister act phenomenon in U.S. popular entertainment at the turn of the last century. Sister acts served as a representative touchstone of American society’s increasing acceptance of and complicated relationship to female subjectivity in public, political, and artistic spheres. Additionally, Dr. Buckner has published peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, and performance reviews in African American Review, American Studies Journal, Ecumenica Journal, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Popular Entertainment Studies, Theatre History Studies, Theatre Journal, and Theatre Survey.

Dr. Buckner is an active member of several professional organizations and regularly presents her research at conferences including the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Comparative Drama Conference (CDC), Performance Studies international (Psi), and the Mid America Theatre Conference (MATC). She has served ASTR as a member of the Nominating Committee (2012-2014) and the Gerald Kahan Essay Award Committee (2015-2017), and serves as the ATDS Conference Planner at ATHE (2015-2016) and as the Co-Chair of the MATC Articles-in-Progress Sessions and Book-Proposal Workshop (2015-2016). She also serves as a production respondent for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Region VIII. At Chapman, Dr. Buckner serves as co-editor of the College of Performing Arts’ scholarly/creative journal, and is the faculty advisor for first year students in the Department of Theatre Arts. She has been a featured speaker in the Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Lecture Series, Chapman Homecoming Faculty Lecture Series, TED Talks, and the 2014 Interstices: An Exploration in Creativity Workshop.

In addition to her scholarly research and publications, Dr. Buckner is a dramaturg and has collaborated with theatres including Pitt Repertory Theatre, Chance Theater, and Shakespeare Orange County. She also serves on the Center Stage Theatre’s New Play Festival selection committee, where she works with independent playwrights on the development of new works. With fellow Chapman Theatre Professor Jonathan Pope Evans, Dr. Buckner received a 2013-14 Chapman Faculty Scholarly/Creative Grant in support of the collaborative research and development of a devised performance project which explores the personal letters, memoirs, and lesser known works of playwright Tennessee Williams.

At Chapman, Dr. Buckner teaches theatre history and historiography, dramaturgy, dramatic theory and criticism, and the B.A. Senior Seminar course, as well as special topics courses in the University Honors Program curriculum. As a mentor, she draws on her experiences as a director, scholar, arts administrator, and dramaturg to guide the application and integration of students’ research and creative work on productions, independent scholarly/creative projects, internships, Senior Seminar thesis projects, and Honors Program capstone projects. She also advises all student dramaturgs in the Department’s main stage production season.

To learn more about her research and teaching, please view her faculty research video profile above.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Book Review, Suzan-Lori Parks: Essays on the Plays and Other Works edited by Philip C. Kolin, African American Review 45.4 (Winter 2012, published Winter 2013): 669-671.
Dramaturg, Maple and Vine, Director: Mark Ramont, Chance Theater, Anaheim, CA, 2014
Dramaturg, Devising Williams. Director: Jonathan Pope Evans, in development.
Performance Review, The Tallest Tree in the Forest (world premiere), La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla CA. Theatre Journal 66.2 (May 2014): 272-274.
Book Review, Second Skin: Josephine Baker & the Modern Surface by Anne Anlin Cheng. Theatre Survey 54.2 (May 2013): 317-320.
Book Review, A Dangerous Woman: the Life, Loves, and Scandals of Adah Isaacs Menken, 1835-1868, America’s Original Superstar by Michael and Barbara Foster, Theatre Survey 54.2 (May 2013): 317-320.
“’Spectacular Opacities’: The Hyers Sisters’ Performances of Respectability and Resistance,” African American Review 45.3 (Fall 2012 – published Fall 2013): 309-323.
Performance Review, The Best Man, Schoenfeld Theatre, New York. Ecumenica Journal 64.3 (Fall 2012): 105-106.
“Diggin’ the Material: Ideological State Apparatuses, ‘Capitalizm’, and Identity in Suzan-Lori Parks’s Red Letter Plays,” Journal of American Drama and Theatre 23.2 (Spring 2011): 31-50.
“The Angel and the Imp: The Duncan Sisters’ Performances of Race and Gender” Popular Entertainment Studies, 2.2 (Sept. 2011): 55-72.
Performance Review, Harriet Jacobs, Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Theatre Journal 63.3 (October 2011): 460-462.