Emily Roxworthy

Dean, USC School of Dramatic Arts

Emily Roxworthy was named dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts on July 1, 2021. Roxworthy joins USC from the University of California, San Diego, where she was associate dean of the Graduate Division.

She is the founder and artistic director of Workplace Interactive Theatre, which offers diversity training for all chairs and deans on the ten University of California campuses using documentary theatre-based improvisational workshops. Roxworthy also created an educational video game prototype, Drama in the Delta, that was twice funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Based on her historical research, the game uses digital roleplay technology to recreate life in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II.

Roxworthy is the author of two books, The Spectacle of Japanese American Trauma: Racial Performativity in World War II, which received the Barnard Hewitt Award Honorable Mention from the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), and The Theatrical Professoriate: Contemporary Higher Education and Its Academic Dramas. Her scholarly articles have received research awards from ASTR and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

She was formerly on the theatre and dance faculty of the University of California, San Diego, where she also served as associate vice chancellor of faculty diversity and equity and provost of Earl Warren College. During her time there, she received a 2012 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and a 2015 Inclusive Excellence Award. Her research and creative interests include roleplay training, intercultural theatre, digital media and performance in higher education.

Roxworthy holds a bachelor’s degree in performance studies and English literature from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in theatre from Cornell University. She returned to Northwestern University to complete her Ph.D. in drama and dramatics and theatre arts.