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Chee-Hann Wu

Assistant Professor Faculty Fellow
Theatre Studies

New York University

Ph.D. in Drama & Theatre

University of California, Irvine
(A joint program with UCSD Theatre & Dance)

Keywords: #theatre #performancestudies #puppetry #activism #technology #VR #Taiwan #AsianStudies #AsianAmericanStudies



Hi there! I am Chee-Hann. I am currently an assistant professor faculty fellow (postdoc) in theatre studies at NYU, and editor of Taiwan Insight, an online academic magazine curated by the University of Nottingham's Taiwan Studies Programme. I got my Ph.D. in drama and theatre at UC Irvine. I also make socially engaged art. I am proudly from Taiwan!

My research focuses on puppetry and its ability to reenact/retell memories, experiences and trauma that have been suppressed, and further serve as a force for transitional justice. My dissertation and current book project, Puppetry: A Performative Reenactment of Taiwan, considers puppetry as a means of mediated communication through which I look at Taiwan’s cultural and sociopolitical environment, colonial history, as well as its path to democracy. 

I am also very interested in the transnational ecology of video games and VR through the lens of theatre and performance, among many other things! 

Some of the performance projects I was involved in focused on Asian and Asian American experiences, drawing attention to the issues of (im)migration and the stigmatization of mental health within the community. 

I love teaching! I've taught "Development of Drama," "Intro to Theatre Studies," "Performing the Nonhumans" and "Transpacific Asian Theatre." 

Aside from research and teaching, I am the editor of Taiwan Insight, and currently serve on the Board of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (2023-26). 


  • 2017 - 2022
    (A joint program with UC San Diego)

    Ph.D., Drama & Theatre

    Dissertation: Puppetry: A Performative Reenactment of Taiwan.
    Advisor: Dr. Daphne Lei

    Irvine, CA, U.S.A.

  • 2014 - 2016
    M.A., Drama & Theatre
    Thesis: From the Rest to the West: Staging Differences and Redefining Intercultural Performances.
    Advisor: Dr. Stefano Muneroni

    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

  • 2010 - 2014
    B.A., Foreign Languages and Literatures
    Taipei, Taiwan.



  • I taught Intro to Theatre Studies, upper-level undergrad courses "Performing the Nonhumans" and "Transpacific Asian Theatre" in 2023-24, and will be offering an Honor's Seminar "Performing the Future: Theatre, Technology and Beyond" in fall 2024 at NYU.

  • I was an instructor/teaching associate of "Development of Drama" (Theatre Histories) at UCI. Check out my sample syllabus!

  • My experience in teaching assistantship includes "Performance Now," "Intro to Theatre," and "Culture and Performance" at UCI.

  • I have worked as a research assistant for several projects, such as "Investigations on Southeast Asian Puppetry," "How to Teach about Taiwan: Findings from the Taiwan Syllabus Project," "Indian and South African Postcolonial Performance" and "The History of Dress and Décor."




  • Director
    My directing experience includes The Blue Room (2014), The Bear (2015), Almost, Maine (2017), and "US Census Pop-up Performance with Irvine Playwrights Workshop" (2020; sadly this was canceled due to COVID-19). 

  • Performer
    Though I am extremely stage shy, I have performed in Babel en Bhablóin (2016), a devised piece about body, language, cultural code and violence by Josh Clendenin, and presented a puppet piece I made as a part of the I Dream Therefore I Am: Asian Immigration as Creative Muse (2019). I also performed with Taiwan Puppet Troupe for the Lantern Festival in Costa Mesa, CA (2018).

  • Theatre Admin
    I worked as a project specialist for the 2016 Asia Pacific Traditional Arts Festival (hosted by National Center for Traditional Arts, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan; organized by Puppet & Its Double Theater)
and served as the executive producer of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). I also have experience as an English-Chinese interpreter for theatre workshops, and a translator for theatre-related pieces.

This is from the show The Bear (Anton Chekhov) 
I directed at the 2015 Taipei Fringe Festival.   
Venue: Drip Cafe, Taipei. Photos by Yi-Chen Han.

This is from The Blue Room (2014) by David Hare.  
Venue: NTU Theatre. Photo by Sheng-jung Huang.

Performance with Taiwan Puppet Troupe in 2018.  
Venue: Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Julianne and George Argyros Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. Photo by Spencer Grant.

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