Biography

Di Benedetto comes to MSU from the University of Miami where he was an Associate Professor of Theatre History. Additionally, he is a Performance and Design Series Editor for Bloomsbury.

During his time with the University of Miami over the past 15 years, Di Benedetto has served as a Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Chair, and Chair and Executive Director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. 

His 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 also is interested in the ways that performance can inform other disciplines. 

His books include The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre (Routledge, 2010) and An Introduction to Theatre Design (Routledge, 2012). He also co-edited Designer’s Shakespeare (Routledge, 2016) and is currently co-editing The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre since 1945, which is expected to be published in 2021. 

Prior to joining the University of Miami in 2005, Di Benedetto was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Houston. He served for one year as a Visiting Assistant Lecturer in Modern Drama at University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, and he also was a Lecturer in English at DePaul University.

He is an active member of the American Society for Theatre Research, the International Federation for Theatre Research, and Performance Studies International. Among his other professional affiliations, he is the former Treasurer of the Association of the Study of Arts in the Present. He also was an Associate Editor of ASAP/ Journal (Johns Hopkins University Press), 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, and he worked as a dramaturg at such places as Infernal Bridegroom Productions and the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

Di Benedetto received his Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2000. He has an M.A. in Theatre and Drama from the University of Michigan, and a B.F.A. in Theatre History and Criticism from The Theatre School, DePaul University.

University News

MSU Department of Theatre Announces 2021-2022 Season
Published September 21, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
The Michigan State University Department of Theatre announces its 2021-2022 season, which focuses on the examination of the contemporary understanding of gender.Read now »
Gift to Benefit Summer Circle Theatre Program
Published May 26, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
an older ma wearing glasses, a white hat and blue button down shirt talking to a group of people
Former Chair of the Michigan State University Department of Theatre, Frank C. Rutledge used to say that his daughter and the Summer Circle Theatre (SCT) Program were born in the same year. Now, in…Read now »
MSU Theatre Freshmen Premiere Original Web Series Satire About College During COVID-19
Published February 9, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
A person with long blonde hair stands with back to camera, wearing a black backpack, looking at a collegiate building with a tree with pink flowers on it, and a sign that says Danger Keep Out
The freshmen class of Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre have created a mockumentary-style web series satire about the experience of starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic. Freshman Showcase: Pandemic’d! will premiere its first two episodes with a Facebook Live Viewing Party on Friday, February 12, at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Read now »
Department of Theatre Announces Fall 2020 Experimental Season
Published October 19, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
The Michigan State University Department of Theatre announces an experimental season for Fall 2020, rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, and public discourse. While conventional…Read now »
MSU Theatre Department Partners with Berkeley Rep to Get Out the Vote
Published October 12, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
Red, White and Blue Poster for Berkeley Rep's Adaptation of It Can't Happen Here
Michigan State’s Department of Theatre has signed on as an official Broadcast Partner for Berkeley Rep’s highly anticipated radio play revival of Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here adapted by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen. They join over 100 theatres, universities, libraries, community centers, and radio stations to leverage theatre arts as a means to get out the vote for November’s election. Read now »
College Welcomes New Faculty and Staff
Published September 1, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
graphic that reads "welcome our new faculty & staff college of arts and letters"
This semester, the College of Arts & Letters is pleased to welcome 22 new faculty and staff members. Please join us in welcoming the following people to Michigan State University and the…Read now »
New Department of Theatre Chairperson Appointed
Published May 29, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
Man with short black hair and glasses
Stephen Di Benedetto has been selected as the next Chairperson of the Department of Theatre at Michigan State University, effective July 15, 2020.  “I am thrilled to join the…Read now »