Arnold Aronson is a theatre historian and has taught at Columbia since 1991. He is the author of Ming Cho Lee: A Life in Design (2014); The Disappearing Stage: Reflections on the 2011 Prague Quadrennial (2012); Exhibition on the Stage: Reflections on the 2007 Prague Quadrennial (2008); Looking into the Abyss: Essays on Scenography (2005); American Avant-Garde Theatre: A History (2001); Architect of Dreams: The Theatrical Vision of Joseph Urban (2001); American Set Design (1985); and The History and Theory of Environmental Scenography (1981), as well as chapters in several anthologies. In 2007 he served as the first non-Czech General Commissioner of the Prague Quadrennial of Stage Design and Theatre Architecture. He is co-editor of Theatre and Performance Design, a new journal that will begin publication in 2015. Prof. Aronson served as the editor of Theatre Design & Technology from 1978 to 1988.
His articles have appeared in The Cambridge History of American Theatre, Cambridge Guide to World Theatre, The Drama Review, American Theatre, Theatre Forum, Performance Research, Theatre Research International, and The New York Times Book Review, among others. Prior to coming to Columbia, he chaired the theatre departments at Hunter College and the University of Michigan and has also taught at Cornell University and the University of Virginia.
Prof. Aronson regularly teaches classes in theatre history, as well as seminars in such topics as the History of Stage Design; the Theory of Comedy; and American Avant-Garde Theatre.
2001 American Avant-Garde Theatre: A History / There is something delightfully practical about Arnold Aronson's American Avant-Garde Theatre: A History. Concise, informed, and accessible, it is in many respects the primer that scholars have long sought for courses on US avant-garde theatre.