Cristal C. Truscott, PhD
Assistant Professor and Theatre Department Director
African American Theatre, Theatre History, Directing, Acting Problems, Acting Styles
Dr. Cristal C. Truscott is a Houston native and graduate of High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre with a minor in Africana Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and went on to complete her Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees from NYU’s Department of Performance Studies. Before joining the faculty at Prairie View A & M, Dr. Truscott taught classes in the drama and religious studies departments at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and lectured at universities and arts programs nationwide including San Francisco State University, University of Georgia at Athens, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Columbia University. She is also former Assistant Editor of the scholarly performance journal, TDR: The Drama Review; former Associate Editor for Azizah Magazine; and has served on the editorial boards of the publications Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory and Black Masks Magazine: A Spotlight on Black Art; and is Associate Editor of the current issue of the Journal for History and Culture, a publication of the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture (TIPHC) at PVAMU.
Dr. Truscott is founding artistic director and playwright of Progress Theatre, an internationally touring ensemble company. Her work as a playwright and performer has been commissioned and supported by the likes of the New England Foundation for the Arts–National Theatre Project, National Performance Network, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and Ford Foundation and featured at numerous venues nationally and abroad including Washington DC’s The Kennedy Center, New York’s Apollo Theatre, San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Europe’s World Music Theatre Festival, the Hip Hop Theatre Consortium, and the National Black Theatre Festival. In Houston, Dr. Truscott made her professional debut at The Ensemble Theater while attending HSPVA and has since made several returns with Progress Theatre for performances and residencies at Project Row Houses, the Multi-Cultural Arts Alliance (MECA), The Heinen Theatre and DiverseWorks. Called “astonishingly vivid” by NY Show Business Weekly and “the next wave of aesthetics in words” by San Francisco Chronicle, Dr. Truscott’s theatrical repertoire includes the musical plays ‘MEMBUH, Shahadah, and her premiere work PEACHES, which is currently featured in the anthology Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy: Theatre from the Hip Hop Generation published by Theatre Communications Group in 2009-10. Her newest play The Burnin’ will premiere in 2013. With Progress Theatre, Truscott facilitates an arts education program, Generation Progress, which has reached thousands of students through featured university and grade-through-high school performances and workshops using art to encourage social consciousness, cross-community dialogue and cultural awareness. She also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Network of Ensemble Theatres (NET) and has been an invited artist participant in groundbreaking national and international conferences such as “Future Aesthetics: Hip Hop and Contemporary Performance” funded by the Ford Foundation and “Diversity Dialogues,” lead by the US Embassy to the Netherlands and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund. As an artist and educator, Dr. Truscott is passionate about contributing to the development of new artists, new aesthetics and diverse audiences for the next generation of American theatre.
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