Dr. Jessi Piggott is a theatre historian and practitioner with a specialization in political and activist performance. Having received her PhD from Stanford University's Theatre & Performance Studies Department in 2019, she currently holds a fellowship at the Stanford Arts Institute, where she teaches, mentors and supervises in the interdisciplinary Honors in the Arts program.
Dr. Piggott's ongoing research focuses on the relationship between theatrical and political acts in agitprop performance: a genre of anti-fascist street theatre popular in the final years of the Weimar Republic (1926-1933). Her dissertation, “Acts of Commitment: Prefigurative Politics on the Agitprop Stage,” explores how amateur agitprop performers —and to some extent, their audiences—used theatre to develop their own agential political identities, modes of discourse, and strategies of resistance. This research draws on largely unpublished archival materials, which Jessi was able to access with the support of a 2017-2018 DAAD research grant.
Jessi completed an MA in Theaterwissenschaft at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2012, where she studied as a DAAD scholarship holder. Prior to that, she received a BA with first class honors in Drama from the University of Alberta.
Jessi is an active theatre artist with a special focus on integrating performance and pedagogy. Please see Productions for details of recent directing and dramaturgy work. Jessi also runs workshops on topics including guerrilla performance, Brecht in practice, drag, and public speaking.