Visiting Assistant Professor of Performance, Theater and Dance
Theater and Dance
- Curriculum Vitae
- [email protected]
- Runnals 302
|TD124||Performance, Politics, and Practice||A|
|TD197||Setting the Stage: A Performance Laboratory for Social Justice||A|
|TD251||Tomorrow Will Be Bigger! Performing Protest in Brazil||A|
|TD262||Colby Collaborative Company||A|
- Street-based and site-specific performance
- Contemporary Brazilian cultural history
- Theatre of the Oppressed
- Gentrification, “revitalization,” and resistance movements
- Embodied memory and territoriality
- Performance and activism
B.A., Yale University, Theatre Studies and Anthropology
M.A., Universidade Federal Fluminense, Art
Ph.D., Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Urban Planning
Raphi Soifer (he/they) is a performer, educator, and conceptual mess-maker whose work focuses on street-based activist performance. Raphi’s research examines relationships between embodied memory, territory, and community; competing notions of urban public space; and the aesthetics of power and protest in Brazil and the United States.
Raphi is dedicated to merging creative practice, intellectual inquiry, and community engagement. Through their performance work, they blur divisions between so-called “applied” and “devised” approaches, working collaboratively to create work that is experimental in both form and content. His site-specific interventions utilize invented rituals, deconstructed historical texts, and reimagined uses of urban monuments to encourage public participation through exchanges of ideas and actions. Raphi is an at-large member of the Teatro de Operações street theatre company in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was also a founding member of the performance collective Museu de Colagens Urbanas (Museum of Urban Collages).
Raphi’s writing juxtaposes autoethnographic analysis and critical theory with protest chants, popular songs, graffiti, and mass media to create texts that are at once experimental and accessible. In exploring everyday movements on city streets – and power relations of race, gender, nationality, and class that such choreographies alternately highlight and obfuscate – Raphi’s work draws on performance studies, social sciences, urban planning, and Brazilian cultural history. This interdisciplinarity is also central to their teaching, which aims to count students as collaborators in creating spaces where artistic exploration compliments academic investigation Their texts have been published in English and Portuguese, in journals including Nuart, Periódicus, and Prumo, and in compendiums including Do legado faz-se espólio (Justiça Global/Ford Foundation, 2020); Vocabulário político para processos estéticos (Editora Aplicação, 2014); and “Come Closer”: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed (Peter Lang, 2011). Their translation work includes films by Jonathas de Andrade, Wallace Lino, and Luis Carlos de Alencar, and the books Mega-Events, City, and Power (Routledge, 2021), and Queer in the Tropics: Gender and Sexuality in the Global South (Springer, 2019), among others.
Raphi has trained extensively in the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology with Augusto Boal, the Viewpoints and Suzuki techniques with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, and performance composition with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra. They were a research fellow at the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA), through which they conducted a two-year survey of community-based artistic practices throughout Brazil. Raphi holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, an M.A. in Art from Universidade Federal Fluminense, and a B.A. in Theatre Studies and Anthropology from Yale University. He is an enthusiastic bicyclist, a mediocre guitar player and a devotee of found-object puppetry. More of Raphi’s work can be seen at http://raphisoifer.com