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Nitery Experimental Theater (NExT) aims to present bold and relevant performance meant to challenge, transform, and cultivate meaningful artistic expression. NExT is also committed to diverse communities, aesthetics, and politics that exist within the Stanford community. By building connections between student-artists and the Department of Theater and Performance Studies, NExT intends to foster performance as an integral forum for community conversation. Performance at NExT may be raw, political, provocative, or even playful. NExT is not a new home for performance; NExT uses performance to make Stanford a new kind of home.



2019-20 SEASON

This year, we present a series of performances that interrupt, challenge, or mock the seriousness of social expectations. Where do joy and humor fit in social movements? Does irreverence hold insights to building a better world? What are the tragic consequences of mischief gone wrong?


MARIE ANTOINETTE is an irreverent retelling of the story of the life of the last queen of France. At times absurd and at others heartbreaking, David Adjmi’s playfollows Marie from before the birth of her first child until her beheading at the hands of the French people, as she fumbles her way through extramarital affairs, a friendship with a talking sheep, and her own mother’s espionage. MARIE ANTOINETTE is fierce, hilarious, ridiculous, and touching, asking the audience to question our conception of history, as well as their own roles in the celebrity machine.

Tickets available here.


TAPS second-year PhD students present their second-year projects in repertory. More details TBA.

Reservations open January 7 2020.


TOO GOOD is a coming-of-age story of self-acceptance, friendship, love, and tragedy that follows seventeen-year-old Cameron Robinson as he navigates his identity. As Cameron starts to fall in love with Dominic, one of his tennis teammates, and hang out with Rachel, an unapologetically queer femme, his heterosexual façade begins to crack. When he comes out, will it be everything that it seems? TOO GOOD creates mischief in theater by telling a Black queer story truthfully and depicting all the joy, sorrow, pain, and love that comes along with it.


“Genuine Negro fun” was once used to capture the supposedly harmless pleasures of nineteenth century blackface performance. “Blacking up” was a chance for mostly white men to enact racial fantasies, but it also allowed black artists to achieve recognition for their craft. A solo act of movement and monologues, AGAINST THE JAGGED GRAIN tells stories shared between the artist’s father and him as he learns his father’s perspective on “blacking up.” Presenting contemporary blackface as a complex practice of coping, striving, and dreaming, AGAINST THE JAGGED GRAIN invites audiences to reflect on the intergenerational performances that shape our past and our future.


When Hannah’s grandmother jumps off the roof of her South Korean retirement home and into North Korea’s Demilitarized Zone, one might think tragedy is in store. Yet what unfolds next is a piece of theater that challenges narrative and political borders, full of fluidity and magic. The DMZ becomes the afterlife; encounters with North Korean officials turn into soap opera episodes; grandmothers transform into tigers; wishes come true and are found in bottles and gazebos. Taking on mental illness, colonial violence, and diasporic experience, Hannah and the Dread Gazebo shows us a more liberated and playful future.


Offered in repertory, this series of one-person shows take on race, gender, ethnicity, nationalism, the self, and the Other. These solo performances make mischief to challenge the classics and create original work. More details TBA.




Danee Conley is a dramaturg turned academic in Stanford TAPS’ PhD program. Her current research looks at contemporary strategic board games as they intersect with postcolonial spectatorship, activism, and identity formation through game play. Her interests also include game design, intent versus impact, and the potential for cultural or ethical consulting in gaming companies, both board and video. She has served the role of lead production dramaturg for university and student theater as well as professional companies since beginning her creative practice in 2012.

Co-Artistic Director

Danee Conley


Kari Barclay is a theater maker, researcher, and educator based at Stanford University's PhD in Theater and Performance Studies. Originally from Washington, DC and Durham, NC, he loves using performance to advance democracy and tell human stories of sexuality. He has made work regionally and in New York at venues including the San Francisco Mime Troupe Studio, Round House Theatre, and Manbites Dog. Recent directing credits include CAN I HOLD YOU? (the first full-length play in the U.S. about asexuality) and STONEWALLIN' (about queer life in the U.S. South). Kari is a Carl Weber Memorial Fellow, Humanity in Action Fellow, and recipient of the Sudler Award in the Arts.

Co-Artistic Director

Kari Barclay


Niza Contreras (she/hers) is a senior at Stanford majoring in Earth Systems. It is understandable that she forgets that she’s doing science, since in addition to and often surpassing her school work, she acts as the Technical Director for NExT and the Asian American Theater Project, is a Space Manager for the student scene shop on campus, manages the prop loan-out program at TAPS, and works in the TAPS scene shop (and occasionally the costume shop). She also is a co-captain of the Stanford Quidditch team and TD’s shows in her free time.

Technical Director

Niza Contreras


Claire Breger-Belsky is a senior studying TAPS and Translation Studies. They spend a ridiculous amount of time stage managing (recent shows include TAPS’ ReVIVAL and Cabaret), but they have also directed, fight choreographed, and—once upon a time—acted. Most of the time they’re not actually in a theatre is spent heading to a different one. They’re excited to make a whole lot of spreadsheets for the Nitery this year.

Production Manager

Claire Breger-Belsky

Claire Nitery Headshot.jpeg


What All the Buzz is About



presented by Stanford Asian American Theater Project

written by Rajiv Joseph

May 9-May 11, 2019

Humayun and Babur, best friends and guards in Hindustani ruler Shah Jahan’s Imperial Army, watch from their post as the sun rises for the first time on the newly-completed Taj Mahal — an event that shakes their respective worlds. Humayun, sternly loyal second generation civil servant, is content to follow orders, even when the Emperor, determined that nothing more beautiful than the Taj Mahal should ever be built again, has the guards carry out an unthinkably horrible task. But sensitive Babur, an imaginative inventor, can only come to terms with the destruction of beauty if he exacts his own powerful vengeance. In the aftermath, both men are forced to question the concepts of beauty and power, duty and resistance, and friendship and love, as their relationship is tested and irrevocably changed by the choices they made on that one fateful night.



presented by Stanford Just Art

Nov. 9-Nov. 10, 2017

The Marigold & Lavender Project brings together the traditions – old and new – of Día de los Muertos and Transgender Day of Remembrance. These performances remember the dead as a way to reclaim, decolonize, and honor our cultural traditions and to demand the end of anti-trans* violence. Together, our spoken word artists, musicians, storytellers, actors, and performance artists imagine and create a just world.

Read about us in The Stanford Daily

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