» 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 in 2012, Dr. Buckner held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Buckner’s research focuses on the intersections and representations of identity, as well as materialism and affect 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 (Routledge, forthcoming May 2016), the first scholarly collection dedicated to the playwright’s work. This anthology examines Nottage’s dramatic treatment of themes such as history, the African diaspora, and identity, and includes interviews with the playwright and her 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. These female family performance troupes served as a representative touchstone for 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 is the Vice President of Awards on the Governing Council of ATHE (2015-2017), 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 (2014-2016), and as the Co-Chair of the MATC Articles-in-Progress Sessions and Book-Proposal Workshop (2014-2016). She also serves as a production respondent for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, Region VIII. On campus, she has been a featured speaker in the Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Lecture Series, Chapman Homecoming Faculty Lecture Series, TED Talks, and 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, and Shakespeare Orange County, and has served on the Center Stage Theatre’s New Play Festival selection committee. Her current professional dramaturgical collaborations are at The Chance Theater, where she is the dramaturg for the 2016 On The Radar: New Works Series, as well as on various productions in the mainstage season (Maple and Vine, 2014; A Bright New Boise, 2015; Seminar 2016).

At Chapman, Dr. Buckner is the faculty advisor for first year students in the Department of Theatre, and teaches theatre history and historiography, dramaturgy, dramatic theory and criticism, and the B.A. Senior Seminar course. She is also a University Honors Program faculty member, where she teaches special topics courses. 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, internships, Senior Seminar thesis projects, and Honors Program capstone projects. Additionally, she mentors students’ independent research/creative projects funded by Undergraduate Student Scholarly/Creative Grants and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships administered by the Chapman University Office of Undergraduate Research. In relation to production, she advises all student dramaturgs in the Department of Theatre’s mainstage season, where student dramaturgs support productions and provide audience engagement opportunities by creating research blogs for the production team, lobby displays, program notes, and facilitating pre- and post-show discussions between artists and audiences.

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.