Sharon Mazer's contribution to Free Theatre is immeasurable....
Sharon is a Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Auckland University of Technology, where she works to support theatre and performance related research and teaching in Colab, Te Ara Poutama (the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development) and the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies as well as to build active connections more widely with performing arts and communities in Auckland and beyond. After a career as a theatre director in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, she earned her PhD at Columbia University, writing about Middle English Drama. While she is perhaps best known for her work on popular performance – in particular, for her book Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle, her current research focuses on diverse aspects of theatre and performance in Aotearoa New Zealand. Recent publications include The Intricate Art of Actually Caring . . . and other New Zealand Plays (Seagull Books 2016), the first critically framed anthology to bring together plays by Māori, Samoan and Pākehā writers; and a book on the life and times of gay Māori performance artist, Mika.
She is on the editorial boards of Performance Paradigm and Theatre Annual, and convenes the New Zealand Universities Committee for Theatre/Performance Research.
Publications include articles and reviews in journals: Te Kaharoa; Performance Research; TDR; Theatre Annual; Popular Entertainment Studies Antipodes; Luna Cornea; Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature; Language, Composition, and Culture, Theatre Journal; Theatre Survey; Australasian Drama Studies; and Cultural Sociology. Chapters in books include: Theatre and Performance in Small Nations; Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture; Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression; and Performance Studies.
For the Free Theatre Mazer directed Power! (1996) and Caucasian Chalk Circle (2004) and in her role as HOD in the department of Theatre and Film Studies at University of Canterbury for 20 years, Mazer was an important and constant support for all Free Theatre artists and projects during this time. Thanks for fighting the fight with us Sharon.