Les Gray, PhD
Assistant Professor
by appointment

Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
M.A. in Theatre Studies, University of Oregon
B.A. in Theatre, University of North Carolina Charlotte


Dr. Gray’s primary research area focuses on Black cultural production and its relationship to trauma and terror. They approach framed and unframed events ranging from plays and blues dancing to police brutality videos through the lens of performance. Dr. Gray considers performances of spectacular Black pain as well as considering the potential for joy, healing, and solidarity. While they pursue scholarship deeply invested in what it means to be ethical cultural producers, Dr. Gray’s work and theory is continually underscored by embodied knowledge and highlighting representations of intersectional identities which include race, sexuality class, disability, and gender. Their work is embedded in and indebted to Black radical feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. Dr. Gray is a dramaturg, collaborator, writer, and occasional performer.

Dr. Gray has taught a range of courses: African-American Theatre and Performance, Popular Culture and Popular Performance, and A Giant Trigger Warning: Performances of Terror and Trauma. Their work has been featured in Youth Theatre Journal and The Professor Is In. Dr. Gray has forthcoming articles in Performing Ethos and Teaching Theatre with Things. They have presented their research at Performance Studies International, The American Society for Theatre Research, The Mid-America Theatre Conference, and The International Federation of Theatre Research World Congress.