Peter Carpenter is an arts educator, performing artist, and administrator who finds opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange across lines of artistry and scholarship. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre from Northwestern University (1992), and a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance (2003) and Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from University of California Los Angeles (2013).  He currently serves as the Interim Chairperson for the Dance and Theatre Departments of Columbia College Chicago, where he has been on faculty since 2005. He regularly teaches a combination of choreography and dance studies courses and encourages his students to find connections between their own appetite for movement and the socio-political forces that shape their lives.  


Carpenter has been active as a choreographer since 1992 and during that time he has honed a distinctive approach to blending complex dance vocabularies with politically charged text and meta-theatrical conventions.  He has received robust support for the creation of new works in the form of commissions by Lucky Plush Productions, The Dance Distribution Project (Memphis), The Ashland Art Museum (Chapel Hill, NC), Robin Lakes/ROUGHDANCE, Project|Motion (Memphis), and SPDW Dance Theatre.  Grants to create new work include the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Grant, Chicago Artists Assistance Program Grant and DCASE Individual Artist Grant. Honors include a Joseph Jefferson Citation, a Ruth Page Award, and two nominations for the Alpert Award in Dance.  His work as a choreographer for theatre include engagements with Steppenwolf Arts Exchange, The Goodman, Strawdog, National Pastime, Roadworks, 29thStreet Repertory, and Street Signs.  He regularly teaches as a guest artist in college dance and theatre programs including DuPaul University, Ferris State University, Georgetown, Illinois Wesleyan College, Northwestern, the Ohio State University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Alaska—Anchorage and Fairbanks, University of California—Los Angeles, University of Colorado—Boulder, University of Memphis, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, and University of Southern Mississippi.

Photo credit: William Frederking