Department: Communication Arts/Theatre
Degrees: B.A., Colby College; M.A., Ph.D, Tufts University
Phone: (814) 332-2304
Office Location: VCCA 311
Sabbatical Fall 2017
Mark Cosdon, Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from Tufts University in theatre history, literature, and criticism. His B.A. in American studies is from Colby College.
Mark’s areas of research include the contemporary American stage, the history of popular theatre and entertainments, and the Broadway musical. His book The Hanlon Brothers: From Daredevil Acrobatics to Spectacle Pantomime, 1833 – 1931 studies a protean family of nineteenth-century performers renowned for an array of aerial, gymnastic, and pantomime specialties. His forthcoming book is an anthology of physical and slapstick comedy. Mark is currently working on a book studying the money-trail behind the contemporary American musical. He has published articles in the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Dance Gazette, Journal of the London Royal Academy of Dance, Theatre History Studies, Theatre Research International, Asian Theatre Journal, and Theatre InSight. Cosdon’s essays are included in the anthologies China’s Greatest Operatic Male Actor of Female Roles: Documenting the Life and Art of Mei Lanfang, 1894-1961 and Pantomime et théâtre du corps. Transparence et opacité du hors-texte. Cosdon has presented papers at recent meetings of the American Society for Theatre Research, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and the Popular Culture Association. He serves on the editorial boards of the Theatre in the Americas Series for Southern Illinois University Press and Theatre History Studies. Mark is also a consultant on the Bedford Introduction to Drama.
Mark is the immediate past-president of the American Theatre and Drama Society, an international organization with over 300 members. He has consulted on a number of films and television productions, including Boardwalk Empire, Water for Elephants, The Illusionist, and Who Do You Think You Are?
At Allegheny Mark teaches courses in introduction to theatre, theatre history, the American musical, and modern and contemporary American theatre and drama. He has directed over 15 productions in the Playshop Theatre. Biannually he co-teaches a travel course in Italy devoted to renaissance art, culture, and theatricality.