School of Theatre
Brandon LaReau is an assistant professor in the School of Theatre. His major research area is intercultural performance theory, specifically early approaches and frameworks which consider 18th and 19th century works. He writes primarily about Said’s theory of Orientalism and its application to opera and musical theatre pieces. The body of his work seeks to help bridge the gap between theatre studies and opera studies by focusing on the two field’s similarities rather than their differences.
Dr. LaReau is the author of the 2021 article “Soliman’s Legacy: What Mozart Has to Teach us About Race and Musical Theatre” in Studies in Musical Theatre, as well as several book and performance reviews. His developing book project expands on ideas first proposed in his dissertation regarding the application of Saidian Orientalism to the dramaturgies of operas and musicals. His work has been published in Theatre Journal, Studies in Musical Theatre, The New England Theatre Journal, and Theatre Annual. He has a long history with the Mid-America Theatre Conference serving on the organizing committee for the past four years, and is currently in the second of a two-year appointment as the Associate Conference Planner for MATC and will serve as Conference Planner for the 2025 and 2026 annual conferences.
Dr. LaReau works as a director and dramaturg, in addition to occasional acting credits including winning the Richmond Theatre Critics’ Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical as Lion in Virginia Repertory Theatre’s 2019 production of The Wiz alongside Broadway’s Mariah Lyttle and Michelle Mercedes with choreography by Broadway’s Jacob Brent and directed by University of the Art’s Kikau Alvaro.
BA – Music Theatre and Dance, Christopher Newport University , 2014
MFA – Theatre Pedagogy and Literature, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019
PhD – Theatre Studies, University of Georgia, 2023