Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wendy Arons

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wendy Arons

Article excerpt

Wendy Arons hails from Birmingham, Mich., a town just outside Detroit, and has been a Pittsburgher since 2007. After eight years teaching at the University of Notre Dame, she joined the Carnegie Mellon University staff as associate professor of dramatic literature. She lives in Aspinwall.

The author of "Performance and Femininity in Eighteenth-Century German Women's Writing: The Impossible Act" (2006), Ms. Arons recently received a $200,000-plus fellowship from the National Endowment of the Humanities to work on the first complete translation from German into English of G.E. Lessing's "Hamburg Dramaturgy," a centuries-old text on the part criticism and culture play in society. From 2008-11, she was the secretary of the American Society for Theatre Research. Her works include a translation of Brecht's "Good Person of Sezuan" for an adaptation by Tony Kushner.

On her blog The Pittsburgh Tatler, she writes about theater and culture, with "ruminations on the life academic, and the occasional tidbit of juicy gossip." The "about me" section of the blog reveals: "I have two kids, a dog, a home under renovation and a serious thing against brown marmorated stink bugs."

I am inspired by ... Things that are puzzling, things I don't understand. All of my best research and writing has had its origins in an aspect of what I'm studying that initially baffled me or stymied me. It's immensely satisfying to me to have to figure something out, piece things together, and make sense of writing or art that is purposefully ambiguous or mystifying. I love the analytical detective work such questions inspire, and when I'm doing that work is when I most often experience that exhilarating feeling of "flow."

If you had to choose just one: Film, TV or live performance? Live performance, no question about it. I hardly ever watch TV, and although I do like movies a great deal, I don't go to the movies very often. I go to see live performance at least once a week, usually more, mostly theater and dance, occasionally live music. …

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