Thomas Sellar

Professor in the Practice of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism & Editor, THEATER

Tom Sellar, a writer, editor, dramaturg and curator, is Editor of Yale’s international journal Theater and Professor in the Practice of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

At the School of Drama he teaches criticism workshops and courses on contemporary global performance and the curation of performance. Under his editorship since 2003, Theater has commissioned and published essays, creative dossiers, reviews, interviews, commentary, polemics, plays, and portfolios from a wide range of global artists and authors. (A list of themes and editions can be found on The award-winning creative journal also presents lectures, workshops, and creative colloquia on the Yale campus and beyond, including the Yale Eastern European Theater Project, supported by a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Sellar’s arts writing and criticism has appeared in national publications including Artforum, BOMB, the New York Times, the Guardian, TheatreForum, and American Theatre. From 2001-2016 he was a frequent contributor to the Village Voice, where he covered theater and performance art nationally, serving as an Obie award judge and for two years as chief theater critic. He has also contributed to numerous book anthologies including The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (2015); Joined Forces: Audience Participation in Theater (Alexander Verlag Berlin, 2016); Curating Live Arts: Global Perspectives, Envisioning Theory and Practice in Performance (Berghahn, 2018); and the forthcoming history The Art of Performance: BAM/The Next Wave Festival (2018). 

He curated the 2017 multi-arts series Hidden Hate/Hidden Love with Anna Deavere Smith at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, and served as curator of Prelude 2015 (What Could We Build, or Is the Future Already Behind Us?) and Prelude 2016 (Welcome Failure) with Antje Oegel at New York’s Martin E. Segal Center. He has also curated public programs for the Prague Quadrennial (Stages of Utopia, 2014), Philadelphia Fringe Arts (Live Remix: Stage Adaptations in the New Media Age, 2015), Fusebox Festival, and other organizations. He has given guest lectures and workshops at many universities, theaters, and art centers including Swarthmore College, Harvard University, De Singel (Antwerp), Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival, and Signal/CIFAS (Brussels).

He has served as dramaturg for more than 25 productions at theaters including the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, Center Stage (Baltimore), PS 122, Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama, and the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, among others. 

A New York City native, Sellar is a graduate of Haverford College and received his Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Fine Arts from Yale University, where he was twice awarded the John W. Gassner Memorial Prize for critical writing.