Bess Rowen, PhD

Dramatic Vision and Form


Bess Rowen, PhD recently completed her PhD in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her work focuses on what she terms "affective stage directions," which are stage directions written in ways that engage the physical and emotional responses of future theatre makers. While at CUNY, she was the recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Public Humanities as well as a Graduate Center Dissertation Fellowship. She is an Equity Membership Candidate and has studied acting at Michael Howard Studios, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, and The Gaiety School of Acting in Ireland. She recently co-directed a production of Eugene O'Neill's Marco Millions with Target Margin Theater, and has also stage managed and even done a little playwriting. Her article “Undigested Reading: Rethinking Stage Directions Through Affect” can be found in the September 2018 volume of Theatre Journal, which was also covered in Episode 27 of "On TAP: A Theatre & Performance Studies Podcast." Other articles can be found in the Eugene O'Neill Review, the Tennessee Williams Annual Review, and Emerging Theatre Research. Her avid interests include stage directions, Gender & Sexuality theory, female playwrights, Irish theatre, and theatrical riots.