Charles Parrott


Assistant Professor & Director of The KSU Tellers


Charles Parrott received his Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale  (2011). He earned an M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric from Ball State University in Indiana (2002) and majored in Speech Communication and Sociology at Hastings College in Nebraska (2000) where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He teaches courses at KSU focused on performance studies, including the intersections between performance and culture and he is the director of The KSU Tellers storytelling troupe

A native Nebraskan, Charles cemented his love of performance as a forensics competitor for Hastings College from 1996 to 2000. He is proud of the time he spent coaching competitive forensics: first, as a graduate assistant at Ball State University; and later, as Director of Forensics at Clemson University. His students earned multiple national and regional awards including two national championships.

While attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Charles participated in nine performances in four years in the Marion Kleinau Theatre. These performances included work under the direction of Dr. Ronald J. Pelias, Dr. Craig Gingrich-Philbrook and Dr. Jonny Gray. His original work appeared in The Kleinau Theatre in 2007 when he co-wrote and directed Doctor Weathervaine’s [adjective] [adjective] Olde Timey Medicine Show (and Revue), and he wrote and directed Rip Cardigan and the History of the Future in 2008. He was honored in 2009 as the recipient of the Marion Kleinau Theatre Award for outstanding contributions to performance studies at SIUC. He regularly performs his own poetry and stand-up comedy and is a former member of the Carbondale Illinois chapter of the improv comedy troupe Cult of the Stage Monkey.

 Charles’ research employs Continental philosophy—phenomenology and hermeneutics particularly—to examine popular entertainments and performance art. His other areas of interest include performance history, materialities of communication, performance in the community, improvisation, popular culture and creative collaboration. He regularly presents his research at the National Communication Association Annual Convention and at the Western States Communication Association Conference, where he has served as Secretary and Vice Chair of the Performance Studies Division.



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