Dr. Natalie Alvarez

Department of Dramatic Arts

Dr. Natalie Alvarez

Associate Professor
Theatre Praxis

BA (English Literature), Simon Fraser University
MA (Dramatic Literature), University of British Columbia
PhD (Theatre Studies), Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto

on parental leave
Office: MW 312
Telephone: 905.688.5550905.688.5550 ext. 4496
Email: nalvarez

Natalie is a performance theorist and performance studies researcher with specializations in contemporary theatre and performance in the Americas, Latina/o Canadian performance, performance and human rights, and performativity in simulations and reenactment culture. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Graduate Program in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University and serves on the editorial boards of Theatre Survey, the journal of the American Society of Theatre Research, and Canadian Theatre Review (for which she served as Views and Reviews co-editor with Jenn Stephenson from 2009-2014).  
Her current monograph, Stages of Difference: Immersive Simulations and the Politics of Knowing (under contract with the University of Michigan Press’ Theatre: Theory/Text/Performance series edited by David Krasner and Rebecca Schneider), examines the ways in which immersive simulations in military training and dark tourism contexts rehearse, habituate, and potentially de-habituate ideas of cultural difference within the geopolitical frameworks of the War on Terror. In 2010, she received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant that allowed her to conduct field research at military bases and dark tourism sites in Mexico, the US, Canada, and the UK in preparation for the monograph. Her other current book project is an edited collection with Keren Zaiontz titled Sustainable Tools for Precarious Subjects: Performance Actions and Human Rights in the Americas (under review with Palgrave Macmillan). She is the editor of the first two books on Latina/o performance in Canada: Latina/o Canadian Theatre and Performance (winner of the 2014 Patrick O’Neil Award by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research) and Fronteras Vivienties: Eight Latina/o Canadian Plays, both with Playwrights Canada Press.


She serves on the board of Toronto’s Aluna Theatre with whom she co-organized the 2012 and 2014 SSHRC-funded panamerican ROUTES|RUTAS panamericanas international multi-arts festival on human rights. She has also worked as an actor and director in theatre, and a storywriter and storyeditor for film and television.
Recent Distinctions
2014 Patrick O’ Neil Award for best edited collection, awarded by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research
2013 Richard Plant Prize for the best essay published in English, awarded by the Canadian Association for Theatre Research
Selected Recent Publications
Ed. Latina/o Canadian Theatre and Performance. Gen. Ed. Ric Knowles. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2013.
Ed. Fronteras Vivientes/Living Borders: An Anthology of Latin-Canadian Plays. Gen. Ed. Ric Knowles. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2013.
“Foul Play: Soccer’s ‘Infamous Thespians’ and the Cultural Politics of Simulation.” Forthcoming in TDR.
“Latina Performance North and Transnational Acciones Against Femicide in the Americas.” (Re)Positioning the Latina/o Americas: Theatrical Histories and Cartographies of Power. Eds. Jimmy Noriega and Analola Santana. (Forthcoming with Southern Illinois University Press).
“Presumptive Intimacies and the Politics of Touch: ‘Strategic Culture’ in Simulations of War.” Performance Studies in Canada. Eds. Laura Levin and Marlis Schweitzer. (Forthcoming with McGill-Queens University Press).
“Reading the Material Body: Bringing a Genetic Phenomenology to Performance Theory.” The Thing Itself: Performance Phenomenology. Eds. Stuart Grant, Jodie McNeilly and Matt Wagner. Co-authored with Rajiv Kaushik. (Forthcoming).
“Affect Management and Militarism in Alberta’s Mock Afghan Villages: Training the ‘Strategic Corporal.’” Theatres of Affect. Ed. Erin Hurley. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2014.
“On the Theatrical Life of Pauses: Richard Maxwell’s Neutral Hero.” Performance Research 83.3 (2013).

“Transcultural Dramaturgies: Latina Theatre’s Third Wave.” Contemporary Women Playwrights. Eds. Leslie Ferris and Penny Farfan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

“Realisms of Redress: Alameda Theatre and the Formation of a Latina/o-Canadian Theatre and Politics.” New Canadian Realisms. Eds. Roberta Barker and Kim Solga. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2012.
“Bodies (Un)Seen: the Early Modern Anatomical Theatre and the Danse Macabre of ‘Theatrical Looking.’” Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts 12.2 (Oct. 2012).
“Performance as Pathology: the Case of Munchausen’s Syndrome and Performative Illness” Theatre Journal 63.2 (May 2011).
Fronteras Imaginarias: Theorizing Fronterizidad in the Simulated Illegal Border Crossings of El Alberto, Mexico.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Spring 2011).
“Minstrels in the Classroom: Teaching, Race, and Blackface.” Canadian Theatre Review 147 (Summer 2011), with Stephen Johnson.
Edited Journal Issues:
Performance and Human Rights in the Americas. A special issue of the Canadian Theatre Review 161 (Winter 2015), with Sasha Kovacs and Jimena Ortuzar.

Manifestos: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Say about Theatre but Were Afraid to Put in Print. 150th anniversary special issue of the Canadian Theatre Review 150 (Spring 2012), with Jenn Stephenson.

On Corpses. A special issue of Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts 12.2 (2012), with Athena Colman and Rajiv Kaushik.
Health and Performance. A special issue of Canadian Theatre Review 146 (Spring 2011), with Catherine Graham.

downloadable pdf


Dr. Natalie Alvarez, Assistant Professor (Theatre Praxis)

Departmental Events

Informal Open House at the MIWSFPA Nov. 28
November 28, 2015 - 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Major Predictions, Barbara
February 23, 2016 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm