Samuel N. W. Blake


Sam Blake (all pronouns welcome) is a scholar/educator/theatre maker and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. Sam’s dissertation project, tentatively titled Mincing and Screaming: Male and Masculine of Center Identified Femme Performance, examines the history, aesthetics, and politics of what might often be called effeminate performance practices in the 20th century United States. As part of the Ph.D., Sam is pursuing minor concentrations in both feminist, gender, and sexuality studies and directing. Other teaching and research interests include queer performance and theory, fat performance and fat studies, applied and community based theatre, queer and embodied archives, performance ethnography, and Shakespeare.

While much of Sam’s theatre work has been as a director, Sam has also enjoyed working professionally as an actor, dramaturg, stage manager, and sound designer. Within PMA, Sam has directed Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and An Evening at the Caffe Cino, as well as produced the Ten Minute Play Festival. Recent professional theatre credits include: What Happens Next, Cherry Arts, Ithaca (dramaturg); Emma When You Need Her, a devised biodrama on Emma Goldman for Vortex Theatre, Austin (devisor/performer); and String Up the Moon, devised from Gogul and Pushkin for Fratellanza Theatre, Detroit (devisor/director).

Before coming to Cornell, Sam earned a M.A. in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin, and also completed the certificate program in LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies. Originally from the suburbs of Detroit, Sam began graduate school after living and working professionally as a theatre artist in both Chicago and Michigan. Sam earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan with majors in both drama and English, as well as a minor in British history.