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Master of Philosophy 2009

Amanda McRaven

I discovered Angie Farrow while researching community-based theatre in New Zealand. I had an MFA in Theater Directing and was looking to pursue social justice theatre. I won a Fulbright Grant to study with Angie and my Fulbright work became the basis for my MPhil degree.

Rich and expansive! While at Massey I encountered some of the world’s best humans. Old Main Building was always bubbling with energy and hearts eager to go on creative journeys. In addition to English and Media Studies, I also took courses in Communication and Cultural Studies: fascinating pursuits with top-notch faculty.

While completing my MPhil research I was honoured to be a tutor for Creative Processes, Making Plays for Theatre, and Community-based Theatre. Still today, when I do my lecture on Myth I am transported back to the drama lab, students strewn across giant pillows, all that delicious light pouring in through big lovely windows, as the mysteries of craft are revealed. Also while there, I was asked by Te Papa to facilitate a project with the refugee community in Palmerston North. We created music, film, and poetry performance pieces for The Mixing Room exhibit.

I am now a professor of Performance Studies at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles and the Artistic Director of Fugitive Kind – a theatre ensemble dedicated to rigorous physical storytelling.

My plans for the future are to keep pursuing liveness in teaching and in art-making, to continue to advocate for theatre as a vital, life-affirming human enterprise, and to escape LA for the mountains.