Susan Mason, Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), has been chosen to be a Fulbright Scholar for a second time.
The Fulbright program is an international educational exchange program that has been sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1946. Fulbright Scholars receive funding for living and other expenses so that they can either teach, study, or research abroad.
Mason will be teaching “Contemporary American Dramatic Literature” in English at two Japanese campuses, Tsuda College in Kodaira and Kyoritsu University in Tokyo in the Spring of 2009. Her undergraduate courses will focus on American, Japanese, Latino, and Black writers. Her graduate seminar will focus on female dramatic writers.
In an interview with the Mirror, Mason stated that she has “always had an interest in Japanese culture and theater.” She began preparing for her stint in Japan last summer by studying Japanese at Santa Monica College.
Mason has been a Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance at CSULA since 1989 where she teaches theatre history, dramaturgy, Ibsen, comedy, and political theatre. In September of 2008 Mason was selected as one of the four outstanding university professors at CSULA. She was also a Fulbright lecturer in American Studies in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1993. Her other foreign teaching positions were as an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand in 1995 and a lecturer on political comedy in Siena, Italy in 2004.
During her twenty-five year career, Mason has published numerous articles and performance criticisms on subjects such as Ibsen, contemporary European theatre, political theatre, and Japanese Noh theatre. The University of Michigan Press published her book, The San Francisco Mime Troupe Reader, in 2005. The troupe is one of the oldest mime troupes in the country, and her book contains a collection of their original plays and discusses the troupe’s history.
Mason’s current research is interviewing actresses who have played Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House around the world.
Mason grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She received her PhD from the University Of Oregon and also trained at the Yale School of Drama in dramaturgy and criticism. She has been a resident of Santa Monica since 1985.