Catherine M. Cole

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Catherine M. Cole[1] is an American academic, theatre specialist and director, who has written extensively on African and South African theatre and performance.


She studied English and Drama at Occidental College, Los Angeles (1985), followed by directing and playwrighting courses in New York, and Interdisciplinary PhD. Program in Theatre and Drama, (with certificates in Women’s Studies and African Studies) at Northwestern University (1895). Her academic and professional interests include African Studies, Dance, Disability Studies, Gender, Human Rights, Popular Culture, Performance Studies.

She held various teaching and administrative positions at a number of Universities over the years since 1986, including the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, University of California, Berkeley (Professor 2007-2016, Department Chair 2013-2016) and Divisional Dean of the Arts and Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle (since 2016).

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

She has written extensively on African and South African theatre and performance over the years, producing both articles and a number of books. A number of them are listed in the ESAT Bibliography[2], but for a comprehensive list of her publications, see for example the entries on her on the University of Washington website[3] and in Google Scholar[4].


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