Assistant Professor, Dramatic Art (Class III)
Ashley Lucas is an assistant professor of Dramatic Art and a fellow of the Ford Foundation and UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities. Her research and teaching interests include U.S. Latina/o theatre, prison-related theatre, theatre for social change, and related topics in acting, playwriting and comparative ethnic studies. Lucas also authored a play about families of prisoners “Doin’ Time: Through the Visiting Glass,” which she has performed as a one-woman show throughout the U.S. and in Ireland and Canada. Lucas’s book manuscript “We All Looking at Walls: Ethnographic Theatre in Prison Contexts” is under review at the University of Michigan Press. Lucas co-edited “Razor Wire Women: Prisoners, Activists, Scholars, and Artists” and writes a blog by the same title. She is also the producing artistic director of the Teatro Latina/o Series at UNC.
The Faculty Engaged Scholars program helped Lucas deepen and extend her work with prisoners and their families through performance, community engagement and scholarship. She toured her one-woman play to prisons in Wyoming, Illinois and Ontario, Canada; to universities in Kentucky, Illinois and North Carolina; and to the national conferences of the American Studies Association and the National Women’s Studies Association, where she was a keynote performer. Building on the foundations of FES’s principles of community partnership, Lucas attended the 2011 Prisoners’ Family Conference and helped to draft a Bill of Rights for the Prison Family. The FES program also pushed Lucas to integrate her community work into her scholarship. Lucas will be the lead author on the “Methuen Critical Companion to Prison Theatre” and is planning a research trip to the United Kingdom to observe and work with companies devising theater in British prisons.
“The Faculty Engaged Scholars program provided me with high-quality mentorship, financial resources, and an incredibly supportive network of colleagues. In my two fellowship years, my work expanded and deepened, and I learned how to explain the value of my engaged research to funders and colleagues across the campus and beyond.”