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Olivia Rutigliano

BA - University of Pennsylvania, English and Cinema Studies, 2014

MA - University of Pennsylvania, English, 2014

Research Interests: Adaptation Studies; Shakespeare and Early Modern Theater; Shakespeare and Film; Costume Design; Monster and Early Sci-Fi Movies based on Gothic Literature; Silent Film and Early Cinema; History of Hollywood; Feminst Film and Women's Cinema; Physical Comedy and Film's Vaudeville Inheritance. 




Olivia Rutigliano is a MA student in the English Department, having submatriculated into the graduate program while in her Senior Undergraduate year.  As an undergraduate, she is currently working on a Cinema Studies Honors Thesis on silent film adaptations of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.  

She is currently the Chairperson of the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Humanities Forum, and has recieved her second Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship as part of the program (as well as a Cinema Studies Research Grant) to study the history and politics of, as well as attempt to track down, three stolen Academy Awards. She is scheduled to present her reseearch findings in a paper entitled "Stealing the Show: An Investigation of Three Academy Award Robberies" at the Penn Humanities Forum in March 2014. 

Olivia was on the Steering Commuttee of the 2012-2013 Undergraduate Humanities Forum (and recieved her first Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, among several other grants) for a project entiteld "Bardrobing: Conventions and Inventions in Costume Design Throughout Shakespeare Performance History," in which she explored how six of Shakespeare's heroines (from six different plays) were dressed in six entirely different periods of high production concentration - Tamora, from Titus Andronicus, as understood as transnational mother-figure in Elizabethan-era productions; Lady Macbeth, from Macbeth, as understood in Nineteen-Century British stage adaptations that represent her either as a serpent or a knight; Katherine, from The Taming of the Shrew, as understood in early twentieth-century silent and transitionally talkie films, in which a Medieval aesthetic is reinforced despite the associated modern technological advancements; Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as understood in Depression-Era European productions in which she is dressed to opulent femininity; Cordelia, from King Lear, as understood as a transformative object in abstract twentieth century productions; and Olivia, from Twelfth Night, as understood in historically considerate twenty-first century productions that reevaluate Edwardian opinions of the roles of women and men. The designs for the dresses of the six heroines can be found at this homepage, along with explanations as to the significance of their particular styles - as well as various other costuming and design projects recently undertaken.

Olivia is the Head of the Costume Design Department of Penn's Underground Shakespeare Company, and has designed and sewn costumes for over eleven various Shakespeare shows.  She has also designed and sewn/constructed costumes professionally for the 2012 Philadelphia Fringe and Live Arts Festival and 2013 New York International Fringe Festival productions of a Shakespeare adaptation, Antony and Cleopatra: Infinite Lives. 

She recently recieved the English Undergraduate Research Award to investigate a recent trend in filmmaking (zombie and vampire adaptations of un-supernatural nineteenth century texts) both by researching current films in this genre and wriing a paper, and by making a movie trailer for a fake zombie movie adaptation of a nineteeth century seemingly unprepared for such an adaptation - Henry David Thoreau's Walden.

She was also recently featured in SAS Frontiers, the online research newsletter of the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, in a written interview entitled "Woven into History: Senior Olivia Rutigliano Takes Shakespearean Costume Study into Her Own Hands," by Blake Cole, Frontiers, November 2013.

She was also interviewed while presenting at a SAS research poster session on her research. Featured in this SAS Frontiers article is a video interview in which shespeaks about her thesis on the representation of Katherine in silent film adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew, as well as a video in which she discuses the Research she has conducted for both of her Penn Humanities Forums fellowships - her research on Stolen Oscars and Costume Design throughout Shakespeare Performance History.  



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