At an early age, I recognized the power of performance—my love for performing. I was 11 when my parents enrolled me in a drama camp after countless summers of trying different things—from karate to comics, from basketball to ceramics. Theatre was what stuck. It was truly transformative. It was a place I could try on new ideas, both play with and strengthen my imagination, and feel accepted.
Performance is not merely something we observe on stage, but it is also a way of being in the world. I have come to appreciate viewing life as a kind of theatricality that has allowed me to understand and participate in the world differently. While knowledge of performance allows me to explain my reality and the realities of others, it also provides me with the ability to create change. I am thrilled to have a career that allows me to show students how performance—ever-present—can change people's lives.
As assistant professor and program coordinator of Theatre and Performance Studies (TAPS), I teach a variety of courses, such as storytelling, performing culture and identity, performance and social change, performance art, directing, and writing as performance—all courses that explore my interests in the value of performing one's own stories as well as the stories of others, how performance engages society and politics, and how we perform gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, etc. on a daily basis. I also teach courses in improvisation, voice and movement, new media and performance, Chicagoland theatre, and public address.
I earned a doctorate in Performance Studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a master's in Communication Studies and bachelor's in Humanities from the University of South Florida. I have worked as an actor, director, writer, and stage manager in professional and educational theatre for over 20 years. Representative acting credits include roles in 8: THE PLAY, Lemony Snicket's THE BAD BEGINNING, Charles Dickens's THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP, SOMETHING'S AFOOT, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, and originating a role in the new musical MEGA! Representative directing credits include BAGGAGE (winner of Source Theatre's 21st Annual Washington Theatre Festival 10-Minute Play Competition), THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a contemporary retelling of the Greek myth Icarus, and, at GSU, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, FAHRENHEIT 451, and the poetry of Anne Sexton in her take on the Grimm's fairy tales. In addition to more traditional works of theatre, I participate in the creation of performance art, installation art, and video projects.
In 1997, I received the "Chappie" James Most Promising Teacher Award—an early acknowledgment of my passion for teaching. Years later, I still feel that passion, reminded of my desire to teach each and every time I see my students' widening eyes, their inquisitive faces, their relaxed bodies, their warm and encouraging interactions with one another, their voices growing with confidence. Teachers create formative learning and life experiences, and I respect the ways in which education enriches and changes students' lives—how the classroom becomes a space for students to be who they are while getting them to think beyond what they already know toward who they have yet to become.
Santoro, Patrick, Uriah Berryhill, Lois M. Nemeth, Rebecca Townsend, and Deidre L. Webb. "Students Staging Resistance: Pedagogy/Performance/Praxis." Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal 1.Article 6 (2016). Web. <http://scholarworks.uni.edu/ptoj/vol1/iss1/6>.
Santoro, Patrick. "Queerscape: Embodying Landscape and Rupture in Auto/Ethnography." International Review of Qualitative Research 9.1 (2016): 107-136. Print.
Santoro, Patrick. "Performing Landscapes of/and Loss." Text and Performance Quarterly 35.2-3 (2015): 234-254. Print.
Santoro, Patrick. "Queer Renderings: Rewriting Identity in Experimental Video." Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 11.1 (2015). Web. <http://liminalities.net/11-1/renderings.html>.
Santoro, Patrick. "Relationally Bare/Bear: Bodies of Loss and Love." Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies 12.2 (2012): 118-131. Print.
Santoro, Patrick. "Writing Ephemera: Embodiment from Stage to Page." Writing in the Performing and Visual Arts: Creating, Performing, and Teaching. Forthcoming.
Santoro, Patrick. "Lather, Rinse, Reclaim: Cultural (Re)Conditioning of the Gay (Bear) Body." Critical Autoethnography: Intersecting Cultural Identities in Everyday Life. Eds. Robin M. Boylorn and Mark P. Orbe. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc., 2014. 159-175. Print.
Santoro, Patrick. "Transforming Loss through Landscape." Communication Currents 10.4 (2015). Web. <http://www.natcom.org/CommCurrentsArticle.aspx?id=6263>.
Santoro, Patrick. "Autobiographical Flesh: Lying Naked with Gavin Geoffrey Dillard." Supplemental materials for Gavin Geoffrey Dillard and Eric Norris's Noctural Omissions: A Tale of Two Poets. Alexander, AR: Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011. Web. <http://siblingrivalrypress.com/nocturnalomissions/>.
Santoro, Patrick. "Bear-ing My Body." Rocky Mountain Communication Review 6.2 (2009): 56-57. Web.