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Biography of Gwyneth Shanks

Performance Studies

Gwyneth Shanks

Gwyneth Shanks
MA in Performance Studies, New York University


BA in Theatre, minors in Religious Studies and Classical Archaeology, Macalester College; Magna Cum Laude

Academic Interests

Religious, dance, trauma, and purity studies; martyrologies; Butoh; liveness/stillness in performance; ‘death’ in performance and religious texts; investigations of space and place.


Shanks is originally from the southern coast of Oregon, and graduated from Macalester College in May of 2010. Shanks studied abroad the summer of 2008 in Greece, working on the Kenchreai excavations of the eastern port of the ancient city of Corinth. In the fall of 2008, she studied abroad in Moscow, training at the Moscow Art Theatre School. While at Macalester, Shanks choreographed several works, one of which was presented at the American College Dance Festival. Shanks was the 2009 Apprentice Playwright for the Minneapolis based Playwrights’ Center, one of four nationally chosen emerging playwrights to receive mentorship from the Center. Shanks’ published work includes “Fighting Mortality: tracing a parallel between the communal meal and the sectarian’s eschatology in the War Scroll.”