La Donna Forsgren has won the American Society for Theatre Research’s Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize. She serves as an associate professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre.
The award, given annually to the best essay of theater research in a scholarly English-language publication, honored Forsgren’s “’The Wiz’ Redux; or Why Queer Black Feminist Spectatorship and Politically Engaged Popular Entertainment Continue to Matter,” which appeared in Theatre Survey.
Her essay explores three different versions of “The Wiz” — a musical reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz” that features an all-Black cast — and analyzes how queer Black feminist spectators would have perceived each adaptation.
Forsgren, a concurrent faculty member in the Gender Studies Program and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Africana Studies, focuses her research on African American theater and performance, dramaturgy and Black feminist theories.
She was also appointed this month as associate editor of Theatre Survey, which will lead to her becoming editor of the journal in two years. In that position, she said, she will strive to empower authors and amplify the works of previously marginalized voices in the field.