Stephen Anthony Di Benedetto

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-5669
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Stephen Di Benedetto is currently the Associate Professor of Theatre History at the University of Miami. Additionally, he is a Performance + Design Series Editor (Bloomsbury) and an Associate Editor (drama, dance, Performance) of ASAP/ Journal (Johns Hopkins University Press). Dr. Di Benedetto’s books include The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre (Routledge, 2010) and An Introduction to Theatre Design(Routledge, 2012), and with John Russell Brown, editor of Designer’s Shakespeare (Routledge, 2016). Current projects include The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre since 1945 (anticipated 2021), co-edited with Julia Listengarten.

Dr. Di Benedetto received his Ph.D. from Goldsmiths College, University of London with a dissertation entitled, Playwriting as a Visual Art: A study of contemporary English-speaking dramaturgy using the works of five playwrights trained as fine artists. He holds an MA in Theatre History from the University of Michigan, and a BFA in Theatre Studies from The Theatre School, DePaul University. Dr. Di Benedetto has held teaching positions at the University of Houston; the Drama Studies Centre, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland; and DePaul University. He is an active member of the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), and Performance Studies International (PSI). Among his other professional affiliations, he was formerly Treasurer of the Association of the Study of Arts in the Present (ASAP), a Book Review Editor (North America), for Theatre Research International. An Associate Editor of Scene (Intellect), a convener of the Scenography Working group of the International Federation for Theatre Research, an artist board member of DiverseWorks Art House in Houston, a theatre critic for Houston Free Press and Irish Theatre Magazine, worked as a dramaturg at such places as Infernal Bridegroom Productions and The Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Current research and publications explore scenographic design in various cultural contexts and examine the ways in which the five senses are harnessed by artists in performance from a phenomenological perspective. He is interested, also, in the ways that performance can inform other disciplines. Notable articles reflecting these interests include Jill S Sanko, Ilya Shekhter, Richard R Kyle Jr, Stephen Di Benedetto, and David J Birnbach, “Establishing a convention for acting in healthcare simulation: merging art and science. Simulation in Healthcare 8.4 (August 2013):215-20; “Senses in Design” in The Routledge Companion to Scenography, Arnold Aronson, ed. London: Routledge, 2018; “Cognitive Approaches to Performance Design, or how the dead materialize and other spectacular design solutions,” in “Scenography expanded: contemporary perspectives on performance design” Joslin McKinney and Scott Palmer, eds., Methuen Bloomsbury, 2017; “Playful Engagements: Wrestling with the Attendant Masses,” in Wrestling and Performance, Claire Warden, Broderick Chow, and Eero Laine, eds., London: Routledge, 2017; “Embodying Scenography,” Performance Research 18.3 (July 2013): 193; and “Camillo’s 4-D Theme Park Attractions” in Performance Research 17.3 (June 2012): 57-62. He has contributed scholarly essays as part of Playing with Theory, edited by Julia Listengarten, Megan Alrutz and Vanduyn Wood, The Senses in Performance: Taste, Touch, Smell, and Sound in the Theatre, edited by Sally Banes and André Lepecki; Patronage, Spectacle and the Stage, edited by Irene Eynat-Confino and Eva Sormova, Space and the Postmodern Stage, edited by Irene Eynat-Confino and Eva Sormova; and The Professions in Contemporary British Drama, edited by Daniel Myer-Dinkgräffe. Other essays and reviews have been published in Theatre Research International, New Theatre Quarterly, Performance Research, Australasian Drama Studies, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Scenography International, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Theatre Design and Technology, Blue Papers, Irish Theatre Magazine and the Houston Free Press.