Isaiah Matthew Wooden


Isaiah Matthew Wooden is a director-dramaturg and assistant professor of theater arts at Brandeis University. He has staged new and canonical works in both the U.S. and abroad. Some favorite directing projects include: In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney; Insurrection: Holding History by Robert O’Hara; Bulrusher by Eisa Davis; Argonautika by Mary Zimmerman; Big Love by Charles L. Mee; Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl; and Beyond My Circle, the multidisciplinary performance project that he co-devised and staged at the National Theater in Kampala, Uganda. Recent dramaturgy projects include: Native Son by Nambi E. Kelley and the world premiere of Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son by Psalmeyene 24 at Mosaic Theater Company. Wooden is also a scholar and has published widely on contemporary African American art and drama—from the plays of Lydia Diamond, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Robert O’Hara to the performance work of Derrick Adams, Jefferson Pinder, and Adrian Piper. He is currently at work on a monograph that explores the interplay of race and time in contemporary black expressive culture and co-edited the anthology Tarell Alvin McCraney: Theater, Performance, and Collaboration (Northwestern UP, 2020). An alum of Georgetown University, Wooden earned his Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. He enjoys teaching a range of courses on the history, theory, and practice of theater at Brandeis.