Dr. Tony Perucci is Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His research and writing address performance as a complex of power and as a means of resistance, subversion, opposition and rupture.  His work draws on theories and embodied practices of social movements (especially labor, civil rights, anarchist, and anti-capitalist), the aesthetics and organization of experimental theatre and avant-garde visual and performing arts.  He is the author of Paul Robeson and the Cold War Performance Complex: Race, Madness, Activism (University of Michigan Press, 2012).  His other writing has appeared in the journals TDR: The Drama Review, Text and Performance Quarterly, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies as well as in the books Culture Jamming, Violence Performed, Performing Adaptations, and Iraq War Cultures.  

He is currently at work on two research projects: The New Thing: Ruptural Performance, Impossible Theatre, and Social Practice presents an approach to contemporary performance called “The New Thing,” a term borrowed from the Free Jazz movement to describe the continuous (re)production of an historicized “new,” the animated materiality of the “things” of performance (bodies, ecologies, gestures, constructed environments, objects, time, and space), and the theatrical condition of perpetually both becoming-new and becoming-thing. He is also currently working on his forthcoming book, On the Horizontal: Mary Overlie and The Viewpoints (University of Michigan Press), which critically engages Overlie’s contributions to theatre and dance, particularly the theory and practice of the Viewpoints.




Ph.D., New York University, Performance Studies

M.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Communication Studies

B.S.,  Northwestern University, Performance Studies



On the Horizontal: Mary Overlie and The Viewpoints. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming.


Paul Robeson and the Cold War Performance Complex: Race, Madness, Activism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012.


“Irritational Aesthetics: Reality Frictions and Indecidable Theatre.” Theatre Journal, 70:4, December 2018, pp. 473-498.

"The New Thing: Three Axes for Devised Theatre." Theatre Topics, 28:3, November 2018, pp. 203-216.

"Sordid Ironies and the Short Fingered Vulgarian." TDR: The Drama Review, 62(1), Spring 2018, 191-200. (PDF)

"On Stealing Viewpoints." Performance Research. 22:5, 2017, pp. 113-124. (PDF)

"The Trump is Present." Performance Research. 22:3 September 2017, pp. 127-135. (PDF)

“The Poetics of Ruptural Performance.”  In Culture Jamming: Activism and the Art of Resistance. Eds. Marilyn DeLaure and Moritz Fink. NYU Press, 2017. 

 “Robeson, Paul Leroy.”  Dictionary of American History Supplement, America in the World, 1776 to the Present.  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2016. (PDF)

“Dog Sniff Dog: Materialist Poetics and the Politics of the Viewpoints.” Performance Research. 20:1, February 2015, pp. 105-112. (PDF)

 “An Interview with Tony Perucci.” Interviewed by Andrew Barbero, Peace & Change: A Journal for Peace Research. 40.1 January 2015, pp. 110-121. (PDF)

“On Compagnie Marie Chouinard.”  Carolina Performing Arts Season Catalogue: 2012-2013. (PDF)


“Fight or Fuck: Performing Neoliberalism at Abu Ghraib.”  In Iraq War Cultures.  Eds. Cynthia Fuchs and Joe Lockard.  Peter Lang, 2011, pp. 87-102. (PDF)

 “What the Fuck is That?: The Poetics of Ruptural Performance.”  Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies Volume 5, Issue 3 September 2009, pp. 1-18. (PDF)