Les Wade

Les Wade


J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-2293

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Les Wade joined the Department of Theatre in the fall of 2011 after teaching many years at Louisiana State University, where he served as the head of doctoral studies in theatre and co-director of the LSU in London program.

A doctoral graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Wade has presented his scholarly work at national and international conferences and has published essays in numerous journals, including Theatre Studies, Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatral Annuaire, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Symposium, and Western European Stages. His book,Sam Shepard and the American Theatre was published by Greenwood Press. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including The Cambridge Companion to Sam ShepardThe Blackwell Reader in American DramaThe Cambridge Companion to David HareDrama and the Postmodern, and Violence Performed. He has served on the editorial board of Theatre History Studies and the American Theatre Series of Southern Illinois University Press. He has also held leadership positions in the American Society for Theatre Research, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the MidAmerica Theatre Conference.

Also a playwright, Wade has been the recipient of numerous awards—from the American College Theatre Festival, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Los Angeles Arts Council, and the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center. He has twice directed the grant-project “Native Voices and Visions,” a script-writing competition for Louisiana playwrights. His play The purple Bird and the coler Tree was presented by the Atlanta Horizon Theatre Company in its New Plays for the Next Century Festival. It subsequently received staging by the LSU Department of Theatre. His play Raw Vision was chosen as winner of the Kitchen Dog Theatre’s 2006 New Play Festival and was given a production in Dallas (where it was nominated by the Dallas Theatre League for best new play and best production of the 2005-06 season). In 2006 Wade was also awarded the Louisiana Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in Theatre. The writing of Wade’s most recent play, Shelter of Last Resort: Gonzo’s Blue Dream, was supported by a Louisiana Board of Regents ATLAS grant (Louisiana Artists and Scholar’s Program). The script will be included in a new play festival in the spring of 2012 at LSU’s Swine Palace Theatre.

Contemporary American and British Theatre
Critical Theory and Performance
Postmodern Ethics and Religion
Playwriting and New Script Development
New Orleans Culture and Performance

Dramatic Criticism
Script Analysis
Development of the Drama
Drama Lecture (H)

Ph.D., Dramatic Art, University of California-Santa Barbara
M.F.A., Playwriting, University of Georgia
M.A., English, Duke University
B.A., English and Philosophy, Tulane University

Recent Publications

“The London Theatre Goes Digital: Divergent Responses to the New Media,” forthcoming inTheatre Symposium, 2011.

Druids and Theological Politics:  Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem at the Royal Court,” in Public Theatres and Theatre Publics, ed. by Robert Shimko and Sara Freeman. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (forthcoming).

“Sublime Trauma: the Violence of Ethical Encounter,” in Violence Performed, ed. by
Patrick Anderson and Jisha Menon. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2009 (15-30).

“Postmodern Ethics in the Plays of Mark Ravenhill,” in Drama and the Postmodern: Assessing the Limits of Metatheatre. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2008. (283-305).

“Hare’s Trilogy at the National: Private Moralities and the Common Good,” in The Cambridge Companion to David Hare, ed. by Richard Boon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007 (64-78). 

Recent Conference Presentations

American Society for Theatre Research, “Money in a Tobacco Warehouse: London’s Shunt Theatre and the Economics of Experimentation,” Montreal, CDA; November, 2011.

International Conference of Religion and Spirituality in Society, “God at the National: Irreligious Religion in Drew Pautz’s Love the Sinner,” Chicago, IL; February, 2011.

Southeastern Theatre Conference History Symposium, “The London Theatre Goes Digital,” Atlanta, GA; April, 2010.

MidAmerica Theatre Conference, “Druids and Theological Politics: Jez Butterworth’sJerusalem at the Royal Court,” Cleveland, OH; March, 2010.

Popular Culture/American Culture Association. “Post-Human Ethics in Martin Crimp’sAttempts on Her Life,” New Orleans, LA; April, 2009.

MidAmerica Theatre Conference, “Class Identity in New British Drama: Martin Crimp’s Post-human Response,” Chicago, IL; March, 2009.