Angela  Pao

Angela Pao

Professor Emeritus, Comparative Literature


  • Ph.D. , UC, Berkeley, 1989
  • M.A., Smith College

About Angela Pao

My primary fields of interest are theatre and performance studies, intercultural theatre and cross-cultural representations, and the literatures of ethnic minorities and diasporic cultures in North America and Europe. My book on non-traditional casting as a social and cultural practice, No Safe Spaces: Re-casting Race, Ethnicity and Nationality in American Theatre, was published by the University of Michigan Press (2010) and received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's 2011 Outstanding Book Award. I am now engaged in two concurrent projects. The first extends my research on race and ethnicity in U.S. theatre by comparing multiracial and culturally specific performance in Canada, Great Britain and France. The second explores the politics and aesthetics of belonging and seeks to understand how diasporic authors and visual artists have used the physical senses to evoke a sense of home.

Representative Publications:


No Safe Spaces: Re-casting Race, Ethnicity and Nationality in American Theatre (University of Michigan Press, 2010).
The Orient of the Boulevards: Exoticism, Empire and 19th-Century French Theatre (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998).

"Green Glass and Emeralds: Citation, Performance and the Dynamics of Ethnic Parody in Thoroughly Modern Millie." MELUS. Winter 2011.
"Ocular Revisions: Re-casting Othello in Text and Performance." Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance. Ed. Ayanna Thompson. Routledge. September 2006 "False Accents: Embodied Dialects and the Characterization of Ethnicity and Nationality." Theatre Topics. 2004.
"Changing Face: Recasting National Identity in All-Asian American Dramas." Theatre Journal. 2001. 
"Recasting Race: Casting Practices and Racial Theories." Theatre Survey. 2000.
"The Critic and the Butterfly: Socio‑cultural contexts and the reception of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly." Amerasia Journal, 1992.
"The Eyes of the Storm: Gender, Genre and Cross‑casting in Miss Saigon." Text and Performance Quarterly. 1992.