Kim Marra

Kim Marra
Professor of American Studies and Theatre Arts
PhD University of Wisconsin at Madison (1990, Theatre and Drama)
Room 200, 108 River Street
(319) 353-2402
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
Late nineteenth and early twentieth-century U.S. theatre and performance; feminist, queer, and animal studies

Kim Marra is a theatre historian who specializes in U.S. theatre and performance mainly in New York City at the turn into the twentieth century. From 2008 to 2011, she served as chair of the Department of American Studies. Her book Strange Duets: Impresarios and Actresses in American Theatre, 1865-1914 (U of Iowa Press) won the 2008 Joe A. Callaway Prize awarded biennially for the best book on theatre and drama by the NYU Department of English. Other publications include three co-edited volumes from the University of Michigan Press: Passing Performances: Queer Readings of Leading Players in American Theater History (1998), its sequel Staging Desire (2002), and The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era (2005). Her articles and reviews have appeared in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, TDR, Theatre Topics, Theatre Annual: A Journal of Performance Studies, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and ATQ: Journal of 19th Century American Literature and Culture. A former Secretary and Executive Committee member of the American Society for Theatre Research, she has also served as Book Review Editor and Editorial Board member of Theatre Survey. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the University of Iowa Press and the Theatre in the Americas series of Southern Illinois University Press. She is an elected member and current Board member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.  A lifelong horse lover and former competitor in the cavalry-derived sport of three-day eventing, she developed a 75-minute autobiographical solo piece entitled Horseback Views: A Queer Hippological Performance linking her family history with Thoroughbreds to the wider Anglo-American equestrian tradition.  She has presented this piece at several academic conferences and at a professional venue, Chicago’s Links Hall, in a series of performances about animals curated by Holly Hughes. Her current book project is on “Fashioning the Thoroughbred Ideal: Show Women and Show Horses on American Stages, 1865-1930.”   She also won a Collegiate Teaching Award at the University of Iowa.


  • 45:230 Performing Arts in American Culture: America through the Theatre
  • 45:230 Performing Arts in American Culture: Performance Studies/American Studies
  • 45:299 American Studies Proseminar: Queer American Performance History
  • 45:156 Arts in America: Starmakers and Impresarios
  • 45:150 Topics in American Studies: Animals and Performance in U.S. Cultures