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Cobina Gillitt

Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance

Cobina has been teaching at Purchase since 2014. Professionally, she works as a dramaturg, a translator of Indonesian plays, and has been a member of Jakarta-based Teater Mandiri since 1988.

More About Me

Some of my recent dramaturgical work includes Time Bomb by N. Riantiarno, directed Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (2018), The Golem: A Horror Opera co-conceived with Elizabeth Swados, with music, lyrics  and direction by Elizabeth Swados (2015), My Heart is in The East by Jessica Litwak, directed by Sabrina Peck (2015), Dirty Paki Lingerie by Aizzah Fatima, directed by Erica Gould (2013) and Clive by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Ethan Hawke (2013).

Several of my translations of Indonesian plays into English can be found in anthologies I have edited  and for which I have written the introductions, including The Islands of Imagination I: Modern Indonesian Plays (University of Hawaii Press, 2015) and The Lontar Anthology of Indonesian Drama, Volume 3: New Directions, 1965–1998 (Lontar Foundation, 2010). An excerpt of my translation of Shaytan by Putu Wijaya is in the January 2017 issue of the online journal Asymptote.

Some of my recent scholarly writing includes “A Legacy of Theatricality: Antonin Artaud’s Encounter with Balinese Gamelan” in Performing Indonesia (Smithsonian Institution, 2016), “How the Fish Swims in Dirty Water: Antigone in Indonesia” in Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage (Oxford University Press, 2011),  as well as articles in the Asian Theatre Journal, The Drama Review, and Theatre Survey. I have contributed and edited numerous entries on Indonesia and Southeast Asia in several encyclopedias including The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stage Actors and Acting, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, among others.

I am also a proud a member of Jakarta-based Teater Mandiri since 1988, performing and holding workshops in Indonesia and internationally as well as serving as company manager. You can hear me speak about Indonesian Theatre and my experience as part of the company in a HowlRound Theatre History Podcast. I am an active member of the PEN Translation Committee and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA). I have also served on the Board of Directors of PSi (Performance Studies International), Pentacle (an artist management support service and dance education organization) and was a member of the Theatre Arts Selection Committee for Fulbright for three years (2014, 2015, and 2016).

Research Interests

Dramaturgy and translation, Asian theatre and performance theory, and American and European 20th-century avant-garde theatre theory, history, and practice.

Representative Courses

  • THP 2020 Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies
  • THP 2885 Theatre Histories I
  • THP 3000 Dramaturgy
  • THP 3155 Theatrical Avant-Garde: East West Connections
  • THP 3250 Theories of Drama and Performance
  • THP 3260 Theatre and Asia
  • THP 3725 Adapting Literature for Performance
  • THP 3890 Junior Seminar