Kyle  Gillette Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Kyle Gillette

Associate Professor of Theatre
Trinity University

Kyle Gillette writes, directs, performs and teaches theatre as a laboratory for perception and thought. Most recently his books and essays explore cities, travel and site-specific performance. Kyle is an associate professor at Trinity University. He has also taught at Stanford University, The American Conservatory Theater and a workshop on walking in the city as part of Teatro Potlach's Festival Laboratorio Interculturale di Pratiche Teatrali (FLIPT) in Fara Sabina, Italy.


Kyle Gillette writes about theatre, travel, perception and performance theory. An artist-scholar, Kyle tries to synthesize the imaginative act of creating or encountering live performance with the theoretical depth and precision of writing. Recent work focuses on the ways perception underlies consciousness and the intersections between travel and performance.

Kyle's third book, The Invisible City: Travel, Attention and Performance (Routledge 2020) explores the city as both stage and subject in three parts: 1) a constellation of vignettes that unfold individual cities through travel writing and engagement with texts and performances that draw them out; 2) an intimate portrait of Teatro Potlach’s twenty-six-year-old ongoing project Invisible Cities, which has created site-specific performances in dozens of cities as an anthropology of their memory; and 3) a set of exercises to guide artists and travelers to explore urban spaces as sites and sources.


    PhD in Drama, Stanford University 2007

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Much of Kyle's research develops theatre as a space that makes perception unfamiliar. This defamiliarization, described well by Victor Shklovsky, Bertolt Brecht, Bert O. States, Alice Rayner and Stanton Garner, Jr., allows the world to reveal something normally invisible about its contours. It can also help the spectator to see her very act of seeing.

    Before Thornton Wilder's The Skin of our Teeth was published in Routledge's Fourth Wall Series in 2016, Kyle's book Railway Travel in Modern Theatre: Transforming the Space and Time of the Stage was published in 2014. Kyle's essays explore visions of self in the theatre of Luigi Pirandello, the limits of subjectivity in Samuel Beckett, hyperreal objects in Sam Shepard, Einsteinian relativity in F.T. Marinetti's futurism, and the phenomenology of stage objects in a variety of modernist theatre. His essays, articles and reviews have appeared in several journals, including Performance Research, Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Comparative Drama, Performance Research, the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and the Contemporary Theatre Review. His creative-theoretical work has also recently appeared in Imagined Theatres edited by Daniel Sack (Rouledge 2017).

    As a theatre practitioner, Kyle has performed and directed plays by Euripides, Beckett, Brecht, Vogel, Eno, Williams, Witkiewicz, Iizuka and others. He has co-created several devised pieces and collaborated on site-specific projects as well as performed in experimental and traditional theatre.

    Kyle Gillette is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Communication and Theatre at Trinity University. Since 2008 he has taught performance theory, dramatic literature and theatre history as well theory-practice seminars such as Reimagining Tragedy (co-taught with the classical reception scholar Thomas Jenkins) and Futurism and its Legacy.

    Before Trinity, Kyle taught as a postdoctoral teaching fellow in Stanford University's interdisciplinary Introduction to the Humanities program. Previously, he was a visiting Instructor in the MFA Acting program at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and for three summers helped teach and assistant direct a Shakespeare seminar at Oxford University. For four years, Kyle ran the California Actors Workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kyle earned his Ph.D. in Drama from Stanford University in 2007.

Personal Interests

    Travel, modern literature (especially Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf, Roberto Bolaño, Zadie Smith, Cormac McCarthy, Samuel Beckett, Marilynne Robinson, J.M. Coetzee, Denis Johnson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Paul Auster, Donna Tartt, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, Michel Houllebecq...), continental philosophy, cultural anthropology, sensory perception, thinking, rivers, cities, forests, modes of transport, meditation practices, Fara in Sabina, Krakow, Tokyo, Montreal...



Featured Title
 Featured Title - The Invisible City - Gillette - 1st Edition book cover


Contemporary Theatre Review

Performance, Transport and Mobility: Making Passage by Fiona Wilkie (review)

Published: Jul 10, 2018 by Contemporary Theatre Review
Authors: Kyle Gillette
Subjects: Theater

A review of Wilkie's book on transit and performance.

Pirandello's Visual Philosophy: Imagination and Thought Across Media, ed. by Lisa Sarti and Michael Subialka

"'My Portrait Come to Life': Visions of Self in Pirandello's Henry IV"

Published: Jul 21, 2017 by Pirandello's Visual Philosophy: Imagination and Thought Across Media, ed. by Lisa Sarti and Michael Subialka
Authors: Kyle Gillette

A phenomenological analysis of self images and self identity in Pirandello's play, in conversation with the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage, ed. by Daniel Sack

'Realism', 'Imagined cities (After Calvino)' and 'Triptych'; also, glosses on 'The last wor(l)d' (VK Preston), Onboard entertainment (Joe Kelleher) and 'A garden party Hamlet' (Rachel Joseph)

Published: May 03, 2017 by Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage, ed. by Daniel Sack
Authors: Kyle Gillette
Subjects: Theater

These short pieces imagine theatre events for the mind's eye.

Modern Drama

The Illuminated Theatre: Studies on the Suffering of Images by Joe Kelleher (review)

Published: Nov 29, 2016 by Modern Drama
Authors: Kyle Gillette

review of The Illuminated Theatre

Theatre Journal

Germinal by Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort, and: Yesterday Tomorrow by Annie Dorsen (review)

Published: Sep 01, 2016 by Theatre Journal
Authors: Kyle Gillette

A review of two pieces at the Under the Radar Festival.

Journal of American Drama and Theatre

Poor Things: Naturalistic Props and the Death of American Material Culture

Published: Sep 10, 2013 by Journal of American Drama and Theatre
Authors: Kyle Gillette

This essay explores the phenomenology of insistently real objects in Sam Shepard's play Action.

Comparative Drama

Zen and the Art of Self-Negation in Samuel Beckett's Not I

Published: Sep 10, 2012 by Comparative Drama
Authors: Kyle Gillette

This essay analyzes Beckett's Not I through the lens of Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism.

Performance Research

Upholstered Realism and the Great Futurist Railroad: Theatrical Train Wrecks

Published: Jul 10, 2010 by Performance Research
Authors: Kyle Gillette

This essay analyzes the phenomenon of theatrical "train wrecks" and its connection to real train wrecks, focusing on the different legacies of domestic realism and futurism as they drew from railway space and time.

Performance Research

Loco Motion: Railway Perception, Relativity, and the Stage

Published: Mar 11, 2007 by Performance Research
Authors: Kyle Gillette
Subjects: Theater

This essay explores railway space and time as the perceptual basis for Einstein's general theory of relativity and F.T. Marinetti's founding manifestos of futurism through the medium of Stanislaw Witkiewicz's play The Crazy Locomotive.

Modern Drama

"A Hole in the Paper Sky": Psycho-Scenographic Rifts in Pirandello's Henry IV

Published: Sep 10, 2005 by Modern Drama
Authors: Kyle Gillette
Subjects: Theater

This essay offers a reading of Luigi Pirandello's play Henry IV and its implications for how scenography shapes consciousness.