Kelly Rafferty is a writer, actor, and educator based in Oakland, CA.
She uses intellectual rigor, humor, and heart to do intersectional feminist work, crafting interactive experiences for audiences and students. Current projects include:
Thick & Thin – a solo theater piece about feminist body politics and the ongoing adventure of eating disorder recovery.
The Van Life – a web comedy about what happens when an uptight academic goes undercover in the West Coast VW Vanagon subculture in the name of “research” and “personal growth.”
The Stay Up Late Show – a TV talk show for 3rd – 6th graders who have problems to solve and want to rock out while they do it. Think the Tonight Show + Oprah + Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
Workshops on collaboration and creative risk for artists and regular humans with Monica Stufft.
No matter what she’s making, Kelly collaborates with smart, creative people to generate art and learning that incorporate knowledge and practices that don’t usually play well with one another. Like that time she took Barbie, GI Joe, and Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity and made an indie rock opera.
Her plays and performance texts have been staged by theaters and museums across the US. She has published scripts, research, and reviews in Women’s Studies Quarterly, TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies, and Canadian Theatre Review. When she’s performing, Kelly likes to hang out at the mortifying intersection of physical comedy, feminist performance art, and improvisation.
Once upon a time, the University of California, Berkeley gave her a Ph.D. in Performance Studies and some awards for directing and devising plays. Then Arizona State University hired her to be Assistant Professor of Performance Studies for a few years. Some time before that, she traveled around the state of Indiana playing in golf tournaments.
Photo: Shawna Jones