Sarah Bay-Cheng

Sarah Bay-Cheng
PhD (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
BA (Wellesley College)

Sarah Bay-Cheng, PhD was appointed as the Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design in 2019. Prior to York University, she served as Chair and Professor of Theatre and Dance at Bowdoin College and as the founding Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre & Performance at the University at Buffalo, SUNY (UB). In 2012, she founded the Technē Institute for Arts and Emerging Technology at UB, a collaboration that connected faculty researchers and students working at the intersection of art, computer science, design, engineering, media and performance.

An internationally recognized scholar in theatre and performance studies, Bay-Cheng’s research focuses on the intersections among performance and media including histories of cinema, experimental theatre, social media, and computer technology in contemporary performance. Her book publications include Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field (2015) and Mapping Intermediality in Performance (2010), and Mama Dada: Gertrude Stein’s Avant-Garde Theatre (2005). Her essays appear in Theatre Journal, TheaterContemporary Theatre Review, and Performance Research, among others. Her current monograph project explores digital historiography and performance (forthcoming), and she is the co-editor for the Palgrave Handbook on Experimental Theatre with Jacob Gallagher-Ross.

Bay-Cheng frequently lectures internationally and in 2015 was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She edits the book series Avant-Gardes in Performance (Palgrave) and is an associate editor for the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism and Contemporary Theatre Review, while serving on the editorial and advisory boards for ASAP/Journal for the Association for the Study of the Art of the Present and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, among others.

She currently serves on the executive committee for the American Society for Theatre Research and has previously served on the governing boards of Performance Studies international and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Since 2016, Bay-Cheng can be heard monthly as a co-host for the podcast, On TAP (Theatre and Performance) with Pannill Camp and Harvey Young.

Select Publications


  • S. Bay-Cheng, J. Parker-Starbuck, D.Z. Saltz. Performance and Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field (University of Michigan Press, 2015).
  • S. Bay-Cheng, C. Kattenbelt, A. Lavender, R. Nelson, eds. Mapping Intermediality in Performance (Amsterdam University Press/University of Chicago Press, 2010).
  • S. Bay-Cheng and Barbara Cole, eds. Poets at Play: An Anthology of Modernist Drama (Susquehanna University Press, 2010).
  • S. Bay-Cheng. Mama Dada: Gertrude Stein’s Avant-Garde Theatre (Routledge, 2004; pbk. 2005).

Essays & Articles

  • S. Bay-Cheng, “Modernist Afterlives in Performance: The Afterlife of Modernist Acting” Modernism/modernity Print+ Vol. 4, Cycle 3 (October 10, 2019).
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “The Algorithms of Democracy,” 100 Years of Now, Journal for Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Goethe Institute (1 January 2017): der-demokratie/.
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “Pixelated Memories: Performance, Media, and Digital Technology” Contemporary Theatre Review 27.3 (fall 2017): 324-339.
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “Unseen: Performance Criticism in an Age of Digital Recordings,” Theatre 46.2 (2016): 77-85.
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “Postmedia Performance,” Interventions – Contemporary Theatre Review (May 2016). Reprinted and translated in POESIA PROGRAMABILIDADE PERFORMANCE: Projetos, processos e práticas em meios digitais (POETRY PROGRAMABILITY PERFORMANCE: Projects, processes and practices in digital media), eds. Sandra Guerreiro Dias and Bruno Ministro (2020).
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “Digital Historiography and Performance” Theatre Journal 68.4 (December 2016): 507-527.
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “‘When This You See’: The (Anti) Radical Time of Mobile Self-Surveillance” Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts 19.3 (summer 2014): 48-55.
  • S. Bay-Cheng, “Theatre is Media: Some Principles for a Digital Historiography of Performance,” Theatre 42.2 (2012): 27-41.
  • S. Bay-Cheng, A. S. Holzapfel. “The Living Theatre: A Brief History of a Bodily Metaphor” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 25.1 (fall 2010): 1-19.
  • J. Anstey, A.P. Seyed, S. Bay-Cheng, J. Bono, D. Pape, S. Shapiro. “Agent Takes the Stage,” International Journal of Art and Technology 2.4 (2009): 277-296.
  • J. Anstey, S. Bay-Cheng, D. Pape, S. Shapiro. “Human Trials: An Experiment in Intermedia Performance,” Computers in Entertainment 5.3 (November 2007): 1-17.