- Full Professor, Theatre and Performance
- Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance, CUNY Graduate Center
- M.A. in Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts
Bertie Ferdman is Associate Professor of Theatre at Borough Manhattan Community College. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico to Argentinian parents and now calls Brooklyn home. Her research specialties are in contemporary performance and curating practices, in particular immersive, participatory, and site based performance, as well as urban dramaturgies and interdisciplinary performance historiographies. Ferdman’s most current research focuses on the relationship between the concept of authenticity and the actor’s work.
Her book, Off Sites: Contemporary Performance beyond Site-Specific (SIU Press, 2018), won the honorable mention for ATHE’s best book award. Contextualizing “site specificity” in both visual and performing arts discourses, Off Sites traces the evolution of the term from an experimental staging practice to an engaged situational event. Her recent books center on performance art and performance curating, with a special focus on how institutional models of art production shape these aesthetic forms. The Methuen Drama Companion to Performance Art (Bloomsbury Press, 2020), co-edited with Jovana Stokic, addresses how the mainstreaming of performance art and Eurocentric performance historiographies of theatre and visual art have come to shape the performance art narrative. Curating Dramaturgies, co-edited with Peter Eckersall,is a collection of interviews with leading arts professionals around the world on the relationship between dramaturgy and curating.
Bertie’s essays and reviews have appeared in Theater, TDR, PAJ, Performance Research, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and HowlRound. She is co-editor of a special issue of Theater titled “Performance Curators” (44:2, May 2014), as well as editor of a special section of PAJ titled “Urban Dramaturgies” (37:2, May 2015). Book chapters include “From Content to Context: The Emergence of the Performance Curator” in Curating Live Arts: Critical Perspectives, Essays, and Conversations on Theory and Practice, eds. Dena Davida, Jane Gabriels, Véronique Hudon, and Marc Pronovost (Berghahn Books, 2018).
She is Chair of the Performing Arts Panel for the PSC-CUNY Research Awards and has served as a peer reviewer for books and journal articles, as well as served as a theatre panelist for the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (2018), the Royal Café Royal Foundation, and ASTR’s Awards Selection Committee. She has been invited to present her work, among others, at Simon Fraser University, Paris-Sorbonne University, Festival de Buenos Aires, University of Montreal, and Festival Internacional de Artes Escenicas de Bahia (FIAC) in Brazil.
Bertie received her Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance from the Graduate Center (City University of New York), an M.A. in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, a B.A. in Theatre from Yale University, and attended the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris from 1996-1997. Bertie has taught at City College, College of Staten Island, and Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program.