Professor Galella researches the racial politics and economic dynamics of contemporary U.S. popular performance. Her scholarship, teaching, and practice span the fields of African American, Asian American, and musical theatre.
Professor Galella is the author of America in the Round: Capital, Race, and Nation at Washington DC’s Arena Stage, a critical history of the first professional regional theatre in the U.S. capital. She argues that Arena Stage has earned ticket sales, prestigious grants, and critical acclaim by producing racially liberal dramas, capitalizing upon the black middle class, and resonating with Washington, D.C.
Her second book project investigates the ways that yellowface remains producible, profitable, and pleasurable in musical productions post-Miss Saigon. In addition to studying modern manifestations of yellowface, she theorizes what she calls “Feeling Yellow,” how Asian Americans have responded with creative and affective critiques.
Professor Galella has published articles in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and Continuum, and she has contributed chapters to Reframing the Musical: Race, Culture, and Identity; The Sixties, Center Stage; and The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen. Her critical takes on casting and musicals led to interviews with the Washington Post and Cincinnati Inquirer. She has presented her research at the conferences of the American Society of Theatre Research, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the American Studies Association, the Black Theatre Network, and the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists, among others.
At UCR, she teaches Theatre History I & II, Asian/American Theatre, African American Drama, and History of American Musical Theatre. She invites students to think through power and epistemology—how racial and gender hierarchies shape how we know what we know.
She has worked as a dramaturg for Leviathan Lab, a New York-based Asian American creative studio, and for Princess Ten Ten and the Dark Skies, a homegrown UCR musical. Professor Galella advises the student-run Model Minority Theatre Collective, and in 2016 she won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Asian Pacific Student Programs Office. Assembly member José Medina honored her as a 2019 “Woman of Distinction” for her work in California’s 61stassembly district.
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