Cristal Truscott

Photo of Cristal Truscott
Visiting Professors of Community Engagement
[email protected]


Cristal Chanelle Truscott is a playwright, scholar, educator, dialogue facilitator and founder of Progress Theatre (PT). As a playwright, Cristal blends academic and pop-culture conversations to examine the concerns and struggles of our times. In addition to her PT plays PEACHES and ‘MEMBUH, her newest piece, The Burnin’ is currently touring as part of PT’s repertoire. Most recently, she received the 2016 Map Fund and Idea Fund grants to support her next piece, a site-specific project: Plantation Remix. Her artistic work has garnered recognition and grants from the likes of the National Theatre Project Grant (New England Foundation for the Arts), Ford Foundation, Theatre Communications Group, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and the National Performance Network’s Creation Fund Grant. She is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award, which honors artists who are influential in the shaping of powerful creative movements in contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and related multidisciplinary work.


As a scholar, Cristal has served as Assistant Editor of the performance journal, TDR: The Drama Review; Associate Editor for Azizah Magazine; and on the editorial boards of the publications Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory and Black Masks Magazine: Theater and Entertainment. As an educator, Cristal has been a professor, lecturer and speaker at various universities and arts programs including San Francisco State University, University of Houston, Spelman College, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia University and internationally at Wits University in South Africa, and Albeda College, DOX Theater Group and Theatre RAST in The Netherlands.


She completed her Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees from NYU’s Department of Performance Studies with a research focus on representations of spiritual diversity in African American Theatre before 1950.