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Will Lewis

Will Lewis

Assistant Professor, Theatre History, Literature, and Criticism // Theatre // Rueff School

Coordinator of Undergraduate Theatre Studies // Theatre // Rueff School

Office and Contact

Room: PAO 2185


Phone: (765) 494-3806

PhD, University of Colorado Boulder
MA, City University of New York/Hunter College


Directing & Performance


Will Lewis is an assistant professor of theatre history, literature, and criticism in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance after serving as a visiting assistant professor of directing and performance from 2019-2022. He will also serve as faculty in the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program. Prior to Purdue he served as faculty in the MFA directing program at Texas State University.

He received a Ph.D. in theatre and performance studies from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2018 and a M.A. in theatre history and criticism from CUNY/ Hunter College in 2012.

Will's research focuses on spectatorship, politics, digital cultures, and experiential performance. Through practice-based-research he also utilizes interactive technologies to better understand the relationships between contemporary audiences and mediatized cultures. He is co-editor with Sean Bartley of the forthcoming volume Experiential Theatres: Praxis-Based Approaches to Training 21st Century Theatre Artists (Routledge, 2022) which connects postdigital theory, interaction design, and performance practice to introduce holistic pedagogical methods for training theatre students to make events that integrate immersion, participation, game play, and role play.

His current project tracks the relationship between communications technologies of the late 20th and early 21st century and the rise in experiential spectatorship practices that include audience members as central members of the narrative, dramaturgy, and environment through various forms of interactivity. The project offers a taxonomy of interactive experience informed by media sociology, theatre and performance theory, and user experience design.

He is also the founding co-editor of PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research and the Focus Group Representative for the Directing Program in the Association of Theatre In Higher Education. His theatrical practice has garnered recognition from the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) and Knight Foundation program for media innovation