Prior to coming to Flinders in 2014, Will was Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Theatre and Performance at Monash University, serving as Director of the centre from 2007-2011 and again in 2012. He was foundational academic staff in Theatre Studies at the National University of Singapore, Lecturer in Drama at the University of Waikato, and Associate Professor of Theatre at the California State University San Bernardino, also serving as Co-Director of that university's International Institute.
Will's research on community-based performance in the Philippines has been supported by research fellowships and visiting professorships at the International Institute for Asian Studies (University of Leiden), Asia Research Institute (National University of Singapore), University of Amsterdam, University of the Philippines (Diliman) and Ateneo de Manila University. His third monograph, "Asian Self-Representation at World's Fairs," is under contract with Amsterdam University Press and will appear in late 2019.
His academic publications have focused on religion, dance and theatre in the Philiippines, mass events, English-language theatre in Singapore, Maori and Pakeha theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand, international arts festivals, and interactions between Asia and the West through performance at international expositions. In addition to undergraduate teaching, Will supervised what at one time was the world's largest cohorts of PhD students from Asian countries working on Asian performance topics. At Flinders, he is working on deeping engagement with Asian partners in the performing arts.
Ph.D., Dramatic Arts, University of Texas at Austin
M.A., Dramatic Arts, San Diego State University
Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Monash University
B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
Rob Jordan Book Prize, Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies, for Places for Happiness: Community, Self, and Performance in the Philippines, 2018.
Finalist, Best Book in the Social Sciences, International Convention of Asia Scholars, for Places for Happiness: Community, Self, and Performance in the Philippines, 2017. This is the most competitive book prize in Asian Studies globally.
Honourable Mention, Marlis Thiersch Prize, Australasian Theatre, Drama & Performance Studies Assn (ADSA), 2013. Award for research excellence for “La Ville Sensuelle: Seeking a ‘Better City, Better Life’ in the French Pavilion,” Access 31.2 (2012): 39-51.
Commendation, Marlis Thiersch Prize, ADSA, 2011. Award for research excellence for “Performing Indigeneity in the Cordillera: Dance, Identity and Politics in the Highlands of Luzon.” Asian Theatre Journal 27.2 (2010):246-268.
Teacher of the Year, CSUSB Panhellenic Council, 2001. University-wide teaching award for excellence in teaching.
Primary duties involve teaching and curriculum development for undergraduate and honours subjects in theatre and performance, supervision of postgraduate (RHD/PhD) students, and maintaining an active, international research profile, which has largely been in the fields of community-based performance in the Philippines, religious performance, intercultural performance, and transactions between Asia and the West at international expositions. At Flinders University, Will contributes regularly to public forums on the arts, and particularly to expanding exchanges with Asia in the performing arts. Will hopes to ensure that graduates of this course, along with the many BA students studying drama as well as the large number who take it as a teaching subject, continue to play important roles in the cultural landscape of this state and in Australia, while they go out into the world with a deeper understanding of and engagement with Asia and its many diverse cultures.
Best Student Publication, 2015, Faculty of EHL, "The Art of Creating a Kathakali Performer's 'Presence'" - APR 2016
Adelaide Fringe Best Theatre Award for "19 Weeks" - MAR 2017
Runner-Up, Made-In-Adelaide Prize for "19 Weeks." Funding to take production to Edinburgh - MAR 2017
Asian Migrant Artists Network : Serve on advisory board of the Asia+Australia Performance Community, a registered non-profit group created by two former PhD students to activate and mobilize connections between Asian performing artists here and in the Asia-Pacific region.
External Examination of PhDs: I have examined four PhD theses and one MA thesis externally since coming to Flinders, and a further eight from 2005-2014.
Editorial Boards and Journal Editing: Since coming to Flinders, have served on the editorial boards of Performance, Religion, and Spirituality and Theatre Research International. Also refereed articles in Australasian Drama Studies, Humanities Diliman: A Journal of Philippine Studies, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Journal of Sociology, and Asian Theatre Journal. My writings on festivals and Asian performance now reach a larger audience through contributions to The Conversation, with an average of 1,200 hits per article.
Indonesia Residencies: Residencies at that country’s top-ranked private university, Gadjah Mada, running seminars on musical theatre with American Studies MA students in 2015, and in 2016 working with student actors and a production team on the development of a cross-cultural adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Indonesian.
Representing Flinders in Asia: Supported by the faculty, participated in the 2016 international conferences of the Asia-Pacific Network for Cultural Education and Research in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and the international conference of the Association of Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Centres, hosted by Douglas Gautier and the Adelaide Festival Centre. In 2015, I presented on a panel at the International Convention of Asia Scholars conference with Doug Gautier and Joseph Mitchell that focused on Adelaide’s unique capacities to drive intercultural connections with Asia in the performing arts. I am currently working at the school and faculty level to contribute to the necessary and important work of cross-cultural engagement with Asia across a range of platforms.
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