CarlosAlexis Cruz, associate professor of theatre, is the new president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the national professional membership organization for college and university theatre departments and administrators, educators, graduate students and theatre practitioners. He assumed leadership of the organization at the 2023 ATHE Conference in Austin, Texas.
Cruz starts his term as president at a crucial moment in the field of theatre, as the industry and academic programs grapple with the long-term effects of the pandemic, the rapid development of artificial intelligence technology and the continued need to address issues of equity and inclusion.
“In every single space I currently occupy as leader/artists/teacher, the question that keeps popping up in my mind is, where is our field currently?” Cruz said in his plenary speech at the Austin. “The bottom line is that old models and old structures are no longer viable and/or sustainable, yet, this is in fact a moment of massive opportunity to establish strong next steps, hopefully this time centering the values that we have professed to be missing: equity, justice, compassion, accountability, transparency. Our organization should and must serve as a place in which we can advocate for education, training and the inherent need for the arts in our society.”
Cruz is the director of the proposed Master of Fine Arts in Community-Centered Practice in the College of Arts + Architecture and the founder and artistic director of the Nouveau Sud Circus Project. Read more about that work in the digital feature, Circus with a Purpose.
In April, Cruz received the 2023 Bonnie E. Cone Professorship in Civic Engagement from the Office of the Provost.