Jaclyn Pryor

Wolf Humanities Center Regional Fellow

20202021 Forum on Choice

Jaclyn Pryor

Assistant Professor of Integrative Arts, The Pennsylvania State University, Abington College

Jaclyn I. Pryor (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Penn State, Abington. They received their PhD in Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin with an emphasis in Performance as Public Practice and Graduate Certificates in Cultural Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. They work as an artist and scholar of contemporary performance, and their research focuses on physical theatre techniques, queer/transgender cultural production, and the politics of time. Their first book, Time Slips: Queer Temporalities, Contemporary Performance, and the Hole of History, examines the capacity of performance to rewrite histories of racial and sexual violence, as well as to reveal queer futures not determined by past harm. They are currently working on an edited collection about transgender aesthetics with filmmaker Jules Rosskam and a 24-Hour devised adaptation of Euripides' Medea. More at jaclynisaacpryor.com.

"My Heart All Dagger": Theatre, Tragedy, Choice


“ ‘My Heart All Dagger’: Theatre, Tragedy, Choice” examines the complex ways in which “choice” and “fate” function within both the diegetic time of tragedy and the non-diegetic time of the theatrical event. This project takes as its starting point the notion that temporality, or a sense of how time passes, functions uniquely in the time-based medium of live performance, in general, and tragedy, in particular; and the related contention that the selfsame questions of fate and free will, chance and choice, central to the dramatic structure of the tragic plot parallel those within the dramatic structure of the theatrical event itself. It is for this reason, I argue, that tragedy has a heightened capacity to bring forth change to the social order, fictional and real.