I have recently finished my PhD in Theatre and Dance at the University of California San Diego.
There are countless wonderful people who have made this journey possible and I will take a moment to name them here. It is a long list so if you just want to see the photos (courtesy of David Baillot), stop here!
I would like to thank the scholars, artists, mentors, and friends I have met on this journey that started in Montreal and led me to San Diego via Vancouver, Boston, and Toronto. I owe to Christine Heitzmann and to our students in Boston my rekindled love for theatre’s power to speak. In Toronto, Antje Budde ignited my interest in theory, and inspired me to become a scholar.
I have had the utmost privilege of working with outstanding committee members in San Diego, Irvine, and Montreal. Emily Roxworthy has been an inspiring mentor, and her generosity and intellectual rigor have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition and in shaping who I am as an academic. Thank you to Patrick Anderson, Ross Frank, Ketu Katrak, and Frank Wilderson for taking me under their respective wings and for teaching life-altering seminars. Finally, thank you to Simon Harel who kindly came on board my dissertation committee despite the distance.
I want to thank the wonderful professors and staff at UCSD for their outstanding and caring professionalism. My colleagues in the department have played a large part in bringing this project to life, and I thank in particular Matt Chapman, Jason Dorwart, Janet Hayatshahi, Sonia Fernandez, Raimondo Genna, Lily Kelting, Melissa Minnifee, Sam Mitchell, Naysan Mojgani, Jade Power Sotomayor, and Heather Ramey.
Erin Hurley, Yumi Pak, Pierrot Ross-Tremblay, and Selamawit Terrefe have all helped me find my way out of what seemed like insurmountable writing impasses: I have learned so much from their guidance and generosity. Thank you also to Mélanie Carrier, Olivier Higgins, José Mailhot, Alexi Marchel, Ghislain Picard, and to Eddy Malenfant, Philippe McKenzie, Anne-Marie St-Onge André, Évelyne St-Onge, and Fernande St-Onge for the hospitality and conversations in Mani-Utenam.
Thank you to my family in Montréal for their love and encouragement: my father André, my two brothers Yan and Mathieu and their respective families, my sister Pascale Boyer and her family, and my aunt Marie-Thérèse, and the entire Proulx clan. Thank you also to Lorraine Barner and the Barner family, to Ivano Caponigro, Daniel Kane, Nancy Baird, and David Baillot.
I am truly blessed to have David Barner in my life and I am grateful for the supportive and loving space we give each other to pursue our dreams. The incessant questions and avid curiosity of our daughter Anouk who was born as I began this PhD, have been a source of inspiration for me these last 5 years, and I owe her the courage to question even what is uncomfortable.
My mother Nicole Proulx passed away as I was starting my PhD. She was a luminous soul, a wonderful parent and friend, and a profoundly just being. She is present in my work.