Penn State Official Sheild

Judith L. Stephens
Professor of Humanities and Theatre
Pennsylvania State University

Schuylkill Campus

Office Address

A205 Administration Building

Penn State Schuylkill Campus

Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972








Research Interests | Education | Publications | Professional Affiliations | Courses Taught

Research Interests

African American Theatre

American Theatre and Drama

Theatre History

Dramatic Theory and Criticism

Gender and Theatre


Ph.D. Theatre History and Dramatic Literature, Kent State University, Kent Ohio, 1977

Master of Arts (M.A.), Theatre,  Kent State University, 1967

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English, Kent State, University, 1965



Books and Sections of Books:


The Plays of Georgia Douglas Johnson: From the “New Negro” Renaissance to the Civil Rights Movement. University of Illinois Press, February, 2006.


Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women. An Anthology of plays with critical commentary co-edited with Kathy Perkins. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998


African American Women Playwrights of the Harlem Renaissance and ‘New Negro’ Era," The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights Ed. Brenda Murphy New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 98-117.  


“Gender Ideology and Dramatic Convention in Progressive Era Plays, 1890- 1920.” Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre ed. Sue Ellen Case, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990. 283-293.


“Mary Morris: Actress, Director, Drama Professor, 1895-1970,” in Notable Women in American Theatre, eds.  Alice Robinson, Vera          Mowry Roberts and Millie Barringer, New York:  Greenwood Press, 1989, pp.673-76.


“Central Female Characters in the Pulitzer Prize Plays, 1918 -                1949” in Women in American Theatre, eds. Helen Kirch Chinoy and Linda Walsh Jenkins (New York: Crown Publishers 1981), pp. 243-251. Paperback edition published by Theatre Communications Group, 1987.



Articles and Reviews in Refereed Journals:


“Art, Activism, and Uncompromising Attitude: Georgia Douglas

 Johnson’s Lynching Plays” African American Review. Spring/Summer

 2005, 87-102.


Politics and Aesthetics, Race and Gender: Georgia Douglas Johnson’s Lynching Dramas as Black Feminist Cultural Performance,” Text and Performance Quarterly, Vol. 20, No.3 (Summer 2000), 251-267.


 Sandra Gunning’s Race, Rape, and Lynching: The Red Record of American Literature” (Invited Book Review) African American Review, Vol.34, No.2 (Summer, 2000), 347-348.


“’And Yet They Paused’ and ‘A Bill to be Passed’: Newly Recovered  Lynching Dramas by Georgia Douglas Johnson.” African American Review, Vol. 33, No.3 (Fall 1999), 519-522.


“Racial Violence and Representation: Performance Strategies in Lynching  Dramas of the 1920s.” African American Review Vol.33, No.4 (Winter, 1999), 655-671. (reprint on SIRS Renaissance databases, including online and CD-ROM.)


“Charlotte Canning’s Feminist Theatres in the U.S A.: Staging Women’s Experience” (Invited Book Review) Theatre Survey, Vol.38, No.2 (Fall 1997), 173-176.                       


“Lynching, American Theatre, and the Preservation of a Tradition,” The Journal of American Drama and Theatre Vol. 9, No.1 (Winter, 1997, 54-65.                  


“The Anti-Lynch Play: Race, Gender, and Social Protest in American Drama”, African American Review, Vol. 26, No.2 Summer,1992), 329-339.


“The Anti-Lynch Play:  Toward an Interracial Feminist Dialogue in Theatre,” The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Vol. 2, No.3 (Fall, 1990), 59-69.


“Gender Ideology and Dramatic Convention in Progressive Era Plays, 1890-1920”, Theatre Journal, March 1989, 45-55.


“Women and Theatre Program: Reactions and Reflections,” Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory Vol. 4, No. 2, 1989, 14-19.


“Subverting the Demon Angel Dichotomy: Innovation and Feminist Intervention In Twentieth Century Drama,” Text and Performance Quarterly January, 1989, 53-64.


“Feminist Perspectives in American Plays and Dramatic Criticism,” The Pennsylvania Speech Communication Annual Vol. XLIV, 1988, 59-67.


“Robert Wilson's Invitation to Insanity” The Cue, Winter 1986, Vol. 64, No. 1, 25-28.


“The Compatibility of Traditional Dramatic Form and a Feminist Perspective,” Theatre Annual, Vol. XXXX, 1985, 7-23.


“Nubs: An Original Drama by Lisa Goldberg,” (Performance Review) Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory Vol. 2, No. 2, 1985, 80-82. (Theatre Review)


“Adapting the Basic Speech Communication Course for Engineering and Engineering Majors,” (Co author with, Arthur Marsicano, Professor of Engineering) The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication Vol.14, No.2, 1984, 133-142.


Why Marry?: The New Woman of 1918,” Theatre Journal, Vol.34, No.2 (May, 1982) 183-196.


Professional Affiliations

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

Black Theatre Network (BTN)

American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)

American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS)

Courses Taught

Theatre 105: Introduction to Theatre


Theatre 103: Fundamentals of Directing

Theatre 110: Script Analysis

Theatre 207: Gender and Theatre

Theatre 407: Women and Theatre

Theatre 410 Play Analysis

Theatre 412: African American Theatre

Theatre 401W: Theatre History I

Theatre 402W: Theatre History II

CAS 100 (Communication Arts and Sciences) Effective Speech

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