PhD, University of Texas at Austin
MA, Louisiana State University
BA, Lees-McRae College
Tessa Carr earned her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in communication studies with an emphasis in performance studies and a portfolio in women’s and gender studies. She holds a master’s degree in theatre history and criticism from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s degree in theatre and history from Lees-McRae College. Before teaching at Auburn, she taught for eleven years at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, where she also served as the chair of the Division of Creative and Fine Arts. Carr was awarded the highest honor given to a faculty member, The Edgar Tufts Award for Faculty Excellence, before leaving Lees-McRae College in 2013.
At Auburn, Carr teaches directing, introduction to theatre for majors, introduction to theatre for non-majors, and dramatic history and literature courses. She directs productions for Auburn University Theatre and she also serves as the co-director of Mosaic Theatre Company — a company sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts that is committed to creating original work fostering conversations about issues of diversity. Mosaic Theatre Company performs original work dealing with issues of diversity and social justice numerous times each semester at a variety of campus and community venues. The largest project to date has been the creation of an original script compiled and adapted from oral history interviews from community members and students who lived through the integration of Tuskegee High School and the groundbreaking case of Lee v. Macon County. The work has been revised and expanded into a full-length theatrical production.
Her research focuses on devised performance in practice and theory, autobiographical performance, feminist performance strategies, and performance as pedagogy. She enjoys creating print scholarship as well as performance as scholarly inquiry. Her latest autoethnographic performance art work, Hauntings: Marking Flesh, Time, Memory, is an original work co-written and performed with Deanna Shoemaker. This work has been featured at California State Northridge, the Patti Pace Performance Festival at Southern Illinois University, The National Communication Association Conference, and Villanova University. The full script is published in Text and Performance Quarterly.
Carr has served on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Southern Theatre Magazine, and as a reviewer for Text and Performance Quarterly and Women’s Studies in Communication. She has published articles in Southern Theatre Magazine and Text and Performance Quarterly and presented her work at numerous national and regional conferences. Her current print endeavors examine the work of Mosaic Theatre Company and the possibilities for performance as civic engagement and dialogue.
autobiographical performance, feminist performance strategies