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Academics - Theater Faculty & Staff

Academics - Theater Faculty & Staff

James Cherry

Associate Professor of Theater, Dept Chair, Faculty Marshal


Fine Arts Center T115
Curriculum vitae

Picture of Cherry, James

After completing his doctoral work in theater history in New York City, Jim Cherry arrived at Wabash in 2007.  Jim’s research focuses on popular forms of 19th and early 20th century American performance like melodrama and vaudeville. He is interested in the ways in which these cultural forms both help shape, and are shaped by, prevailing and dissident ideologies. Jim has the chance to direct a play every year at Wabash, and his tastes range from the classical (Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Macbeth; Euripides’ The Bacchae) to the contemporary (Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy; David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross)He also acts occasionally when an “older” male performer is needed (Prospero, The Tempest). He is an Associate Professor, Chair of the Department, Coordinator of Film and Digital Media, and Wabash’s Faculty Marshal.
When not in the theater, Jim can be found hanging out with his wife, Crystal Benedicks, Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department, and their three children. He also enjoys playing tennis, reading contemporary fiction, and watching the Red Sox pummel the Yankees.


Ph.D. in Theatre, The City University of New York Graduate Center, May 2005
M.A. in Theatre, Villanova University, May 1998
B.A. in History, Bates College, May 1995


New York City on Stage and Screen; The Modern Stage; The Multicultural Stage; The American Stage; The Classic Stage; Modern European Drama; Dramatic Theory and Criticism; Introduction to the Theater; Beyond Heroes and Villains: Melodrama and the Development of Popular Culture; Henrik Ibsen: The Father of Modern Drama; Political Performance in America; Multicultural Theater in America; Parody and American Culture; Introduction to Film; The Antihero in American Film; Great Directors: Alfred Hitchcock; Great Directors: Stanley Kubrick; Great Directors: Akira Kurosawa and Billy Wilder; Freshman Tutorial: “9/11 and American Culture”; Freshman Tutorial: “Shakespeare: The Motion Picture!”; Enduring Questions.


Lecture: “Leather Shadows in a Digital Age: Introducing Students to Chinese Shadow Puppetry.” Asian Studies Symposium, Wabash College: Fall 2015

Invited Panelist and Mentor: “Mentorship in a Time of Transition: An ATHE Pre-Conference for Early- and Mid-Career Faculty”: Summer 2015.

Lecture: “An Introduction to Chinese Shadow Puppetry; or, How You Spend Two Weeks in Hawai’i Without Going Surfing Even Once.” Ides of August, Wabash College: Summer 2014.

Panel Chair: “The Utopic Frontier: Theatrical Explorations of the Dreams of America.” American Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Scottsdale, AZ: Summer 2014.

Lecture: “‘Last Echoes’: Portraying the Shoah in Performing Objects.” American Society for Theatre Research, Baltimore, MD: Fall 2014.

Lecture: “Hipsters in Hell: The Youth Group’s Hollywood Hell House, Les Freres Corbusier's Hell House, and the Parodic Interrogation of Evangelical Spectacle.” American Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Orlando, FL: Summer 2013.

Lecture:Babbitting Broadway: Satire, The Gospel of Success, and Americanization of Expressionism.” American Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Washington, DC: Summer 2012.

Lecture: “In the Shadow of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Humanities Colloquium, Wabash College: Spring 2012


“Theater and Ritual in American Politics.” In American Political Culture, (ABC-CLIO, 2015).

“Parody, E.E. Cummings, and the Twentieth-Century Rebuilding of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Modern Drama 57:2 (June 2014).

Review: “Suzan-Lori Parks: Essays on the Plays and Other Works edited by Philip C. Kolin.” Theatre Topics 53:1 (April 2012), 157-159.

Babbitting Broadway: Satire, The Gospel of Success, and Americanization of Expressionism.” In To Have or Have Not”: New Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modernist Theatre (McFarland, 2011).

Review: “Kamp.” Theatre Journal 63:1 (March 2011), 109-111

“Connecting in the Aftermath: Trauma, Performance, and Catharsis in the Plays of Anne Nelson.” In Portraying 9/11: Essays on Representations in Comics, Literature, Film and Theatre, (McFarland, 2011).

Review: “FABRIK: The Legend of M. Rabinowitz.” Theatre Journal (March 2010), 108-110.

“In Edgewise: Examining Parodic Responses to David Mamet.” In Crossings: David Mamet’s Work in Different Genres and Media, (Cambridge Scholars, 2009).

Review: “American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke.” Theatre Journal 60:4 (December 2008), 682-683.