Visiting Faculty, 2020-21: Playwright Mfoniso Udofia and Lecturer Samantha Lazar

The Department of Theater is delighted to welcome playwright and performer Mfoniso Udofia and lecturer Samantha Lazar as Visiting Faculty for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Mfoniso Udofia

Professor Mfoniso Udofia will be teaching THEA 50: Playwriting I in the fall 2020 term, as well as two additional courses later in the year.

Mfoniso Udofia's plays, SojournersrunboyrunHer Portmanteau, and In Old Age have been seen at the American Conservatory Theater [A.C.T.], New York Theatre Workshop [NYTW], The Playwrights Realm, Magic Theater, National Black Theatre, Strand Theater Company, and Boston Court. She's the recipient of the 2017 Helen Merrill Playwright Award, the 2017-18 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights' Center and is a member of the New Dramatists class of 2023. Mfoniso is currently commissioned by A.C.T., Hartford Stage, Denver Center, A.C.T., Roundhouse, and South Coast Repertory. Her plays have been developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, A.C.T., NYTW, The Playwrights Realm, McCarter Theatre, OSF, New Dramatists, PCS's JAW Festival, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, The OCC, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Page 73, New Black Fest, Rising Circle and more.

She has worked as a television writer on the third season of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and the first seasons of both Apple TV's Little America and Pachinko.

​As an actress, she recently appeared off-Broadway in Ngozi Anyanwu's, The Homecoming Queen. She's also appeared in the feature film Fred Won't Move Out.  



Samantha Lazar

Visiting Lecturer Samantha Lazar will be teaching THEA 10.33 Contemporary Performance this fall term 2020. 

Samantha Lazar is a performance curator, scholar, theater artist, and passionate teacher. She received her M.F.A. in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism from the Yale School of Drama, with comprehensive studies in the historical European avant-garde and the American avant-garde movements. Her dissertation, "An Alternative Engine: Devised Theater and Urban Ecology in Philadelphia, 1995-2015" explores the interplay between contemporary devised performance and urban revitalization in Philadelphia. Her writing has appeared in PAJ, Theater, and Praxis, as well as in journalistic publications; she has taught at institutions including Yale College, Yale School of Drama, Connecticut College, and Dartmouth College. She is currently the Curator of Academic Programming at Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts, with scholarly and creative interests in devised performance, visual dramaturgy, environmental theater, and scenography.