John (Ray) Proctor Assistant Professor Department of Theatre & Dance Tulane University

John “Ray” Proctor

Global South Fellowship 2022


Dr. John “Ray” Proctor is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Tulane University holds a Master of Fine Arts from West Virginia University, and a Ph. D. in Theatre Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an actor, director, and dramaturg. He has been a dramaturg for The Public Theatre (Measure for Measure) and St. Louis Repertory Theatre (Jitney). He has directed Alice Childress’ Trouble in Mind, Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His primary research concerns audiences’ cognition and reconciliation of Performers of Color in Shakespeare and contemporary modalities concerning color conscious casting. He will also be a featured contributor in the forthcoming collections Romeo and Juliet: Adaptation and the Arts and Contemporary Black Theatre and Performance.


This project produces three audience interactive mountings of Derek Walcott’s Pantomime in New Orleans, Scotland, and Vermont, in October 2022. The Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland was built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame who made his fortune engaging in the transatlantic slave trade.

Staging Pantomime in an art museum renegotiates the social contract of the museum. The play offers communities with complicated histories the opportunity to engage the function that the museum serves culturally in a society with theater. Museums are essentially rooms with objects, the public is invited to enter, view, reflect, and leave. The experience is a private, intimate affair. Museums are church-like. Authority is conveyed through explanatory texts. When the viewer encounters work that makes them uncomfortable, they may move on to another object. The goal, of course, of any exhibition is to avoid this. We curate exhibitions to engage the viewer, to arm them with the tools they need to engage, and to inspire them to look and think about what they are seeing. We use the grandeur of the museum, the scholarship of the research, and the beauty of the artwork to hold the viewer's attention.

This is a collaboration between Tulane University, Kolaj Magazine, and Crescent City Stage.