Assistant Professor, Theatre History and Criticism
Photo of Sebastian Trainor

The Pennsylvania State University
124 Theatre Building
University Park, PA  16802
(814) 863-4107

Sebastian Trainor is a theatre historian, theorist of theatre historiography, and director. As a scholar his current focus is on corrective histories of canonical theatre events — part of an ongoing effort to counter some of the misleading stories that are commonly associated with some of the most celebrated performances of the past 2500 years.  His essays have appeared in the journals Theatre Symposium, Text & Presentation, and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre; in the collection Women in the Arts in the Belle Epoque: Essays on Influential Artists, Writers and Performers; and in the Fandex Field Guide to Shakespeare.  As a director Sebastian is especially engaged by production collaborations that aim to re-think historical plays from the Western canon, and to refashion in a twenty-first century idiom — with twenty-first century tools and sensibilities — some of the forgotten performance conventions of bygone eras.  He is a member of the Mellon School for Theatre and Performance Research, the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, a former associate artist at the Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble in New York City, and was the recipient of a multi-year E.J. Noble Arts Administration Fellowship. He has directed professionally at numerous small theatres across the United States. He holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from the California Institute of the Arts, and, in 2018, will receive his Ph.D. in Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of Washington. Sebastian has taught previously at the California Institute of the Arts, the University of Washington, the State University of New York at Potsdam, and at Saint Lawrence University.



"The Odeon of Pericles: a Tale of the First Athenian Music Hall, the Second Persian Invasion of Greece, Theatre Space in Fifth Century BCE Athens, and the Artifacts of an Empire." Theatre Symposium 24 (2016): 21-40.

"Rachilde's Supermale of Letters and the Invention of the Ubu Roi Riot." Text and Presentation (2012): 92-108.

"Loië Fuller and the Coercive Moral Force of Colored Light: Modernity, Eternity, and the Folies-Bergère." Book chapter in Women in the Arts in the Belle Epoque: Essays on Influential Artists, Writers and Performers. London: McFarland & Co., 2012. 97-117.

"'It Sounds Too Much Like Comrade': The Preservation of American Ideals in Room Service." Journal of American Drama and Theater 20.2 (2008): 29-48.



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Address: Penn State School of Theatre, 116 Theatre Building, University Park, PA 16802 USA.

Office: (814) 865 7586

Fax: (814) 865 5754

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