Max Shulman, Ph.D.

Max Shulman, Ph.D.

Max Shulman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theatre


Max Shulman is an associate professor in the Theatre and Dance Program. His area of expertise is 19th and early 20th century U.S. theater with a focus on the formation of national identity. He is the author of The American Pipe Dream: Performance of Drug Addiction, 1890-1940, with the University of Iowa Press, which traces the formation of the addict in the U.S. imaginary. He is the co-editor of Performing the Progressive Era: Immigration, Nationalism, and Urban Life, also with Iowa. His work has appeared in Modern Drama, Theatre Topics, Theatre Annual, Studies in American Jewish Literature, and on He is also a member of the Eugene O’Neill Review editorial board. Locally, he serves as the “resident contributing dramaturge” for UCCS Dramaturgy and Theatreworks.

Max is presently the director of the Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities. The 34-acre campus promotes the humanities across UCCS and the Pikes Peak Region through fellowships, salons, exhibits, and performances. He is also the director of the HomeFront Theatre Project that creates events around issues facing our veteran and active-duty military community. Through this work, Max was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Dialogues on the Experience of War” in 2020. The resultant project, “To the Battlefield and Back Again” promotes dialogue across the region around military issues.

Max maintains an active directing practice. Recent credits include Pericles (Theatreworks), Indecent (UCCS), Everybody (UCCS), An Iliad (Theatreworks), Awake and Sing! (Quintessence Theatre), and Ugly Lies the Bone (UCCS).


  • Ph.D. in Drama, Tufts University, 2016
  • M.A. in Theatre History, Hunter College, 2010
  • B.S. in Performance, B.A. in English, Northwestern University, 2003

Courses Taught

  • Intro to Theatre
  • All Arts Excursions
  • Contemporary Performance Theory
  • Bloodbaths and Bedlam: History of Genre
  • Performance of Radical Politics
  • Performance of American Identity
  • Scene Study
  • Solo Performance
  • Performance of Greeks and Shakespeare

Select Publications

The American Pipe Dream: Performing Drug Addiction, 1890-1940 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, Spring, 2022).
Performing the Progressive Era: Immigration, Urbanism and Nationalism, 1890-1920 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2019). Co-editor with J. Chris Westgate."Tuning the Black Voice: Colordeafness and The American Negro Theatre's Radio Dramas," Modern Drama, 59.4 (Winter 2016).

"Everyday Astonishment and Crafting the Theatrical: Speaking with David Down on Undergraduate Acting Training," Theatre Topics, 26.1 (2016).

"Beaten, Battered, and Brawny: American Variety Entertainers and the Working-Class Body."  Working in the Wings: New Perspectives on Theatre History and Labor. Eds. Beth Osborne & Christine Woodworth. S. Illinois University Press, 2014.

Select Conference Presentations

“Cab Calloway and the Jazz Drug”
Heller Center for the Humanities Salon Scholar Series, Spring, 2021
“Fallen Angels Burn Too Brightly: The Impossibility of Rose Livingston,”
Association for Theatre in Higher Education, August, 2020
“Welcome to Campus: Setting New Standards Through Embodied Learning,”
American Society for Theatre Research, San Diego, CA, November 2018.
“Opiated Inspiration and Social Salvation: The Drug Addict in Haddon Chambers’s John-a-Dreams,”
American Society for Theatre Research, Atlanta, GA, November 2017.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night and the Unity of Addiction” (Panel Convener)
Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Las Vegas, NV, August 2017.
“The Transformative Effects of Addiction and the Limits of Medical Knowledge in the Progressive Era” American Society for Theatre Research, Minneapolis, MN, November 2016.
“The Progressive Era’s Doctor-Doper Dyad”
Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Montreal, Canada, August 2015.
“From Oriental to Existential: The Opium Den Play and Defining American Addiction” (Panel Convener) Mid-American Theatre Conference, Kansas City, MO, March 2015
“Race on the Radio: The American Negro Theatre and the Isolated Black Voice”
American Society for Theatre Research, Baltimore, MD, November 2014.
“Stoned Off Stage: Origins of the Actor Addict in American Popular Culture”
Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Phoenix, AZ, July 2014.
"Dismissing Utopianism: Teaching and Engaging with the Activist's Dream”
Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Phoenix, AZ, July 2014.
“The American Negro Theatre’s On-Air Assimilation: The Redefinition of Race on the Radio” New England Theatre Conference, Natick, MA, October 2013.
“Anatomy of an Addict: Junie McCree and the Vaudeville Dope Fiend”
Comparative Drama Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2012.
“Rebel Yell, 2.0:  The Limits of Authenticity in Civil War Reenactments”
American Society for Theatre Research, Nashville, TN, October 2012.