Theatre Historian, Instructor, Practitioner
About Dr. Hoskins

Dr. Vicki L. Hoskins is a scholar, educator, and practitioner whose research focuses on musical theatre, Broadway commercialism, and the history of theatrical institutions. Her teaching experience includes courses in theatre history, dramatic literature, contemporary theory, and musical theatre, as well as practical courses on playwriting, dramaturgy, and acting. Dr. Hoskins is an experienced professional dramaturg and director with a particular interest in new works development and musical theatre dramaturgy. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a BA in Drama from the University of California, Irvine. Currently, she teaches as a Lecturer in the First Year Seminar program at Siena College.

Dr. Hoskins is currently working on her book project titled, Playbill: A History of the Longest Running Act on Broadway. The book explores how New York City company Playbill, Inc. built its publishing empire by flattening the competition, utilizing its reputation to earn fan adoration and trust, and wielding its proximity to NYC and Broadway to become an icon of the American Theatre.

Dr. Hoskins's scholarship has appeared in Coup de Théâtre and Studies in Musical Theatre. Her upcoming book chapter, “This is Not a Moment, It’s a Movement: Why Millennials are Hamiltrash," is slated to publish with McFarland and Company by the end of 2021. She has presented her research at national conferences, including American Society for Theatre Research, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Mid-America Theatre Conference, Comparative Drama, Song Stage and Screen, and the Northeastern Modern Language Association.

Dr. Hoskins is the recipient of several grants, awards, and fellowships, including the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, the American Theatre and Drama Society Research Award, and the Elizabeth Baranger Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Howdy Stranger. Theatre program. Forty-Sixth Street Theatre, 1937. The New York Public Library Digital Collections.
As a theatre historian, I research the role that theatrical institutions play in the shaping of productions and artistic life. Whether these institutions are the physical spaces that house staged productions or they are the advertising firms that provide imagery to audiences prior to curtain, theatrical institutions make significant decisions that reveal financial priorities, reflect potential audience demographics, and suggest connections to a particular sociohistorical moment.

Book In Progress

Among these theatrical institutions, none is perhaps more pervasive than Playbill, the theatrical program company based in New York City since approximately 1884. As the chief provider of playbills to all Broadway theatres, and increasingly, a majority of American regional theatres, Playbill provides a distinctive angle into the history of and cultural shifts within American theatre production. Titled, Playbill: A History of the Longest-Running Act on Broadway, my book explores Playbill's history from their founding to the present, interrogating the methods that the company utilized to climb to the proverbial top.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

These conversations continue in my published work, which interrogate the use of marketing and audience engagement in commercial theatre ventures.

“This is Not a Moment, It’s a Movement: Why Millennials are Hamiltrash.” Kevin Wetmore, ed. Hamilton: History, Hip-Hop and Politics: Essays on the Afterbirth of a Nation. McFarland and Company, 2021. (Forthcoming)

“Death is the Wages of Sin: Murder and the True Crime Musical.” Coup de Théâtre, 32 (2018).

Marketing Musicals: Commercializing the Avant-Garde in Spring Awakening.”Studies in Musical Theatre, 7.3 (2013), 359-368.

Courses Taught

Theatre History (Pre-Greeks to 20th Century)
Theatre Arts
Acting: Studio Study
Modern World Drama
Critical Interventions in Musical Theatre

Theatre History III (1890-Present)
Introduction to Dramatic Art
Contemporary Global Stages
Introduction to Performance


Theatre History I (Pre-Greeks to 1800)
Introduction to Theatre
I have experience as a professional dramaturg and director. Click on the corresponding links to learn more about my work.
Vicki L. Hoskins, Ph.D.
Top image credit: Longacre Square, New York, 1905.
From the New York Public Library digital collections
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