Dr. Keith Byron Kirk is Assistant Professor of Performance Studies and African American Performance at the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance. He received his MA in Performance Studies and Playwriting at New York University and recently completed his doctorate at Northwestern University in its Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama Program. His dissertation entitled "Eulogy as Mass Mobilization Narrative: Performing Commemorative Discourses in African American Civil Rights Funerals" interrogates funeral eulogy as social performances. Research interests include the intersectionality of history/memory in 20th century Drama, Performance Historiography, Culture-based Drama and the Tragic, and the multivocality of performance narratives. He is the author of the plays Ft. Lonesome, Urban Trilogy. His play “As Reaper in Summer Grain” was developed at the Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference and a recent project “The Audience” was nominated for a 2005 Drama Desk Award. Acting roles include Steppenwolf Theater Co. “The Grapes of Wrath” at The La Jolla Playhouse, Britain’s National Theater and Broadway, The Goodman Theater, Wisdom Bridge, Blind Parrot Theater. Prof. Kirk has appeared on Broadway and began his stage career with the famed Steppenwolf Theater Co. and in such shows as Miss Saigon, The Civil War, and others.