Professor Wolf is the author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical (Oxford University Press, 2011), A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical (University of Michigan Press, 2002), and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical (with Raymond Knapp and Mitchell Morris, 2011). She has published articles on theatre spectatorship, performance pedagogy, and musical theatre in many journals, including Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, and Camera Obscura. She was the editor of Theatre Topics: A Journal of Pedagogy and Praxis in 2001-2003. Professor Wolf also oversees the Lewis Center’s Music Theater Lab and has experience as a director and dramaturg.
Wolf holds a B.A. in English from Yale and an M.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation, Theatre as Social Practice: Local Ethnographies of Audience Reception, uses reception theories and methods from theatre and performance studies, literary, film, and television studies, anthropology, and sociology to explore the complex and contradictory ways that audiences make use of theatre. All but one chapter of her dissertation have been published as articles.
Recent publications include “Wicked’s Women and Other Queer Conventions in the 21st Century Broadway Musical” (Theatre Journal, 2008); "Wicked Divas, Musical Theater, and Internet Girl Fans” (Camera Obscura, 2007); and “In Defense of Pleasure: Musical Theatre History in the Liberal Arts [A Manifesto]” (Theatre Topics, 2007). Her essay, "'We'll Always Be Bosom Buddies': Female Duets and the Queering of Broadway Musical Theatre" in GLQ [Gay and Lesbian Quarterly] (2006), won the year’s award for Best Essay in Theatre Studies from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Wolf's manuscript-in-progress, The American Musical After Broadway: Dinner Theatres, Road Shows, and Amateur Hours explores the persistence of musical theatre across the country in amateur and semi-professional venues like summer camps, high schools, Jewish Community Centers, African American churches, dinner theatres, and non-Equity touring companies. She is also working a biography of Mary Martin, star of South Pacific, Peter Pan, and The Sound of Music.
Wolf teaches courses in American musical theatre history (including a seminar on the musicals of Stephen Sondheim), dramaturgy and dramatic literature, histories of U.S. performance, performance theory, and performance studies.
Prior to her current appointment Professor Wolf was an Associate Professor in the Performance as Public Practice Program in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Texas at Austin, where she taught from 2000-2008. At Texas, Professor Wolf also taught in the Plan II Honors Program and received a Theatre & Dance teaching award in 2006. Her other teaching positions include Assistant Professor at the George Washington University in English and Theatre and Dance (1996-2000) and Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre at Florida State University (1994-1996).