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Columbus, OH 

aviva [dot] neff [at] gmail [dot] com                                                  





Ph.D. Theatre 2021 (ABD, expected graduation May 8th)  The Ohio State University

                                                                                                                        Columbus OH

M.A. Applied Theatre 2015                                                    Goldsmiths College                

                                                                                                                        London, England

B.A. in History / Theatre 2014                                                College of Wooster

                                                                                                                        Wooster, OH


RESEARCH INTERESTS AND SPECIALITIES                                                         


    • Black American & Mixed Race Studies • Practice-as-Research • Archival Research• Playwriting •        •Performance  Studies• Directing • Applied Theatre • Pedagogy• Movement (informed by Viewpoints) •     •Mixed Media Performance • Collective Creation • Adaptation•




Graduate Teaching Associate         The Ohio State University Department of Theatre


Spring 2021         Theatre 2367.03           Criticizing Television

Fall 2020              Theatre 2367.02           African American Theatre History

Spring 2019         Theatre 2367.02           African American Theatre History

Fall 2018              Theatre 2367.03           Criticizing Television

Spring 2018         Theatre 2367.02           African American Theatre History

Fall 2017              Theatre 2367.02           African American Theatre History

GUEST LECTURES                                                                                              


February 2021     Skidmore College Theatre

                             "Blood, Earth, Water: The Tragic Mulatta in Literature and Performance"

November 2019  College of Wooster Dept. of Theatre and Dance

                            “Directing Devised Theatre”

October 2019       Gateway Film Center

                            “The Tethered of the Earth:” Post-colonial Readings of Jordan Peele’s Us

September 2019   Lewis and Clark College

                            “Theatricality and Thanatourism”


ACADEMIC AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS                                                        


Ohio State University “Discovery Themes Initiative” Team Fellowship



Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship



HistoryMakers “Creative Fellowship Grant” Runner-Up



Ohio State Sesquicentennial Scholar



HistoryMatters/Back To the Future “Sallie Bingham Grant”



Ohio State University Writing Across the Curriculum “Outstanding Teacher Award: Honorable Mention,”



“From Oppressed to Possessed: Performance Protest as a Means of Overcoming “Discovery” and Diaspora” Thesis and Degree awarded with Distinction, 2015


“A Better and Truer Self: the Harris Brothers in Reconstructed North Carolina” Thesis and Degree awarded with Honors, 2014


College of Wooster Allardice-Wise Scholarship Recipient, 2014


Clarence Beecher Allen Scholarship Recipient, 2010-2014



"Curating Inclusive Season Selection Practices"

Panel discussion at the American Society for Theatre Research, 2020


“Blood, Earth, Water,” Mixed Race Pedagogical Approaches”

Panel presented at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 2020


"Theatricality and Thanatourism: a Reflective Response on Autoethnography”

Paper presented at the American Society for Theatre Research, 2019


“Confronting an Aesthetics of Absence: Beyoncé Knowles, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Kara Walker’s Performative Remembrances”

Comparative Drama Conference, 2019

Paper presented at the American Society for Theatre Research conference, 2018


“Revolutionary Wake Work: a Response to Christna Sharpe”

Working group at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference, 2018


“Silence or violence: the choice is yours.” The Disruptive Power of Violence in Sarah Kane’s Crave”

Paper presented at the American Society for Theatre Research, 2017


“Experimental Collectivities Collaborations, and (Dis)embodied Digital Experiences”

Working group and performance making laboratory centered around digital theatre making.

Hemispheric Institute’s Graduate Student Initiative Convergence (HEMI GSI) 2017, Toronto, ON


“Dismantling with 21st Century Tools: #BlackLivesMatter and Livestreaming Trauma”

Paper presented at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference, 2017




"Lost Voices in Black History," Mint Theatre Company, monthly newsletter.                                                                                                   


“What, to the Descendants of Enslaved Africans, is Juneteenth?” Interzine, June 19th, 2020.

"Black Squares, White Faces: Cancel Culture and Protest in the Age of Digital Blackface" (In print)


"Honi soit qui mal y pense:” Succession, Race, and Gender in the Demi-Monde of Storyville, New Orleans"

(In print)




The Ohio State University:

Council for Graduate Students (CGS) Representative (2019-2020), Committee Chair for the Council on Academic Affairs (2020)


Performance Studies Working Group

President (2018-2019)

Vice President (2017-18)


The Graduate Theatre Syndicate

Secretary (2017-18)


OSU Theatre Diversity Task Force (2017)


Black Theatre Association:

Graduate Representative (2016-2018)


Goldsmiths College:

 Degree awarded with Distinction

Elected as a Student Representative for the Applied Theatre program


College of Wooster:

Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society

Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society

SELECTED PRODUCTION CREDITS                                                                               


As You Like It                                           Director, 2020

Once Upon the Oval                              Dramaturg, 2020 (canceled due to COVID19)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream                Lysander, 2019

The Women of Ciudad Juarez               Actor (on tour since 2014)

Sunday Morning in the South

(white church version, black church version) Director, 2018

Gruesome Playground Injuries              Director, 2017


PLAYWRITING CREDITS                                                                                                                                                    


Blood Earth Water                               2020 

The Annexation                                   2020 (Virtual Performance)


WORKSHOP FACILITATOR  /  DEVISOR                                                                    


Creating Community                                 Columbus College of Art and Design                     

Westside Stories                                         Third Way Café, Columbus, OH

Be the Street                                              The Ohio State University

Women of Ciudad Juarez                           Universite de Caldas, Missouri Southern State University               

Turning a Little Further                                      The Young Vic Theatre

Cops in the Head                                       Eastern Michigan University

Nonverbal Clowning                                 Goldsmiths College

List(less)                                                    Goldsmiths College

Devising with Personal Narratives             Greenwich—Lewisham Young People’s Theatre

Theatre Half-Term Camp                          Greenwich—Lewisham Young People’s Theatre

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