Assistant Professor of Theater
Office: 103 Hopkins Center
A native of San Antonio, Tejas, Irma Mayorga is a Chicana scholar/artist in theater and an Assistant Professor of Theater at Dartmouth College. She holds a B.A. in Theater from the College of St. Benedict, an M.F.A. in Costume Design (UW-Madison), and a Joint Ph.D. in Drama and the Humanities from Stanford University. From Stanford, she also holds the distinction of attaining the first Ph.D. by a Latina/o in the Drama Department's history. She is also a director, dramaturg, and award-winning playwright.
Throughout her career, she has worked between academic, non-profit, and community-based sectors of the arts as an artist, educator, activist, and arts administrator. As a playwright, her play Cascarones earned the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (student division) and went on to receive an invitation for participation to the prestigious Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference under the artistic leadership of Jim Houghton and with America Ferrera (pre-Ugly Betty) in the lead role. She is the first Chicana playwright to receive invitation to develop and present work at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference.
In 2003, she wrote (with collaborator Virginia Grise) and directed an original solo work, The Panza Monologues, which focuses on the intersections of race, class, gender, obesity, body image, sexuality, and institutionalized racism in Mexican American communities. Austin, Texas' Evelyn Street press published the first edition of the play (now out of print). In 2009, she directed and produced a DVD recording of The Panza Monologues in performance, recorded before a live audience in East Los Angeles. A second, expanded edition of The Panza Monologues was published in January 2014 and presents the performance script in its entirety, as well as a rich supporting cast of dramaturgical and pedagogical materials. These include a history of the play's development, critical materials that expand upon the script's themes and ideas, a short introduction to San Antonio (where the play was developed), playwright autogeographies, and a manifesto on women of color making theater as well as a selection of pedagogical and creative ideas about staging the play. As leading Latina/o theater scholar Dr. Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez notes, the second edition of The Panza Monologues is "the most original and historically documented theater project to this date in Latina/o theatre." (For more information see www.panzamonologues.com.)
Dr. Mayorga is currently the Focus Group Representative for the Association of Theater in Higher Education's Latina/o Focus Group. She has received research fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, Stanford University, Florida State University, Dartmouth College, and also the Williams College's Bolin Dissertation Fellowship. As a scholar, her research explores contemporary theater and performance by U.S. people of color, theater and performance by women, and Chicana and Chicano expressive culture. In 2013, the College of St. Benedict awarded Dr. Mayorga one of fourteen "Presidents' Awards" given to highlight the achievements of alumnae on the occasion of the college's 100th anniversary.
Last Updated: 2/3/14