Carla Melo

Photo of Carla Melo.
Assistant Professor
Theatre and Performance Studies


Carla Melo (Ph.D., UCLA) is a researcher, director and performer invested in creating and thinking critically about the intersections of performance, social engagement and activism. Both her scholarly and artistic research explore theatre and performance practices that place corporeality, public space, and the tensions between memory and history, center-stage. Through a decolonial and hemispheric lens, she has paid particular attention to performances from across the Americas, with a focus on Latin American, Afro-diasporic, immigrant and indigenous populations.

Her solo and ensemble-based works have been seen in Brazil, U.S. and Canada and her research has been published in volumes and journals such as Canadian Theatre Review, The Drama Review, Latin American Theatre Review, Latin American Cultural Studies, Theatre Journal and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ E-misferica, among others. Most recently, she has published on her own intercultural urban performance work in the Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance (2018) and has contributed to Sustainable Tools for Precarious Times: Performance Actions in the Americas (Palgrave, 2019). She is currently working on a monograph titled Rites to Remember: Performance and Collective Memory in Contemporary Brazil.

Prior to joining UTSC, Carla served as Assistant Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute, working primarily in the “Theatre and Performance of the Americas” program (2007-2013). Since moving to Canada in 2014, she has taught at York, Brock, Ryerson and McMaster universities, joined the independent theatre scene in Toronto and founded her own company: CorpOLuz Theatre.