April 1, 2019

UChicago Professor Wins the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism

Assistant professor John Muse received the George Jean Nathan Award for his book Microdramas: Crucibles for Theater and Time. Muse is also the director of graduate studies in theater and performance studies.

English department heads at Cornell, Princeton, and Yale Universities select a winner of the award annually. Famed drama critic George Jean Nathan established the award in his will for “the American who has written the best piece of drama criticism during the theatrical year, whether it is an article, essay, treatise or book.”

Muse’s book focuses on short plays, ranging from several seconds to 20 minutes, and argues that short plays provide both oddity and complexity and force the audience to pay more attention to such a brief theatrical experience.

Muse studies various periods of theater, specializing in modern and contemporary drama and literature. Muse’s current book project, Theater and the Virtual, pays special attention to the crossroads of technology and theater, comparing traditional embodied and virtual theater from social media performances to plays written by algorithms and mixed reality performances.

Muse received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2010 and has been teaching at UChicago since 2010.