Katherine Profeta

Katherine Profeta's picture
Professor in the Practice

Katherine Profeta is Professor in the Practice of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama, with a secondary appointment in Yale College’s Theater and Performance Studies program. She is a production dramaturg and scholar, with a focus on the recent history and practice of contemporary dance and collaboratively-generated performance. Before joining Yale in 2017, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Drama, Theater and Dance at Queens College, CUNY, where she received the 2015 Raymond D. Gasper Chair’s Award.

Profeta has worked as dramaturg for choreographer/visual artist Ralph Lemon since 1997. Other artistic collaborators over the years include Alexandra Beller, Nora Chipaumire, Karin Coonrod, Annie Dorsen, Okwui Okpokwasili, Julie Taymor, David Thomson, Sage Ni’Ja Whitson, and Netta Yerushalmy. She is also a founding member and choreographer with award-winning NYC theater company Elevator Repair Service, having lent her hand to most of its productions from 1991-2015. She was proud to have been a dramaturg with the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative in 2017-18, and to have co-led the 4-day workshop on Dramaturgy in Choreography in connection with the Mexican National Dance Prize in 2023. Upcoming in 2024 she will be in residence at the Watermill Center to work on a book about the improvisational dance practices of Darrell Jones and Ralph Lemon.

Profeta holds a BA from Yale College and an MFA and DFA in dramaturgy from the Yale School of Drama. Her first book, Dramaturgy in Motion, came out in 2015 from University of Wisconsin Press. Other writing has been seen in the pages of Performing Arts Journal, Theater magazine, Movement Research Performance Journal, TCG’s Production Notebooks, and MoMA’s Modern Dance monograph series. Her current research explores the intertwined histories of improvisational practices in dance and theater of the mid-20th century US. Memberships include the American Society for Theater Research and the Dance Studies Association. Recent service includes chairing review committees for ASTR’s Sally Banes Publication Prize and DSA’s Oscar G. Brockett Book prize, and serving on Yale University’s Faculty Committee on Digital Education.