Weston Twardowski is a performance scholar and artist whose research investigates how we survive in precarious places. Dr. Twardowski holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University, and is currently writing a monograph that focuses on the role of performance in community recovery and urban adaptation in post-Katrina New Orleans. A part of this project, entitled “Moving Together: Creating Solidarity Through Placemaking Performance in Post-Katrina New Orleans,” is forthcoming in Performance Research. Dr. Twardowski’s research has been published by TDR: The Drama Review, Ecumenica, and the Annals of Political Science. His performance and book reviews have appeared in Theatre Journal and Theatre History Studies.
A lifelong theatre artist, Dr. Twardowski regularly directs and dramaturges for professional theatre companies, including the company he cofounded, Third Culture Theatre (TCT) in Los Angeles, where he serves as Literary Manager. He is dedicated to new play development and devised and produced TCT’s first new play development series: Nexus Festival. He regularly mentors emerging playwrights on their work and is passionate about contemporary playwrights who address major social and political questions. As a director, he has worked across professional and academic theatre on titles as diverse as All My Sons, Romeo and Juliet, The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood, and Seussical the Musical. His play, Summit, premiered at the New Orleans Fringe Festival in 2015.
Passionate about transdisciplinary approaches in both art and research, Dr. Twardowski is an expert in community engagement and collaborative research design. Through the Diluvial Houston Arts Incubator, an environmental arts initiative he developed at Rice University, he has helped to create conversations across disciplinary and geographic boundaries in Houston and New Orleans. At Northwestern University, he worked on a National Science Foundation Civic Grant building partnerships with Objibwe Tribes throughout the Midwest. At Rice, he is deeply invested in fostering partnerships with non-profit organizations and community groups to develop community-oriented research and educational programs that directly serve the Greater Houston community.