Renee Cyr holds a B.A. in Theatre from Muhlenberg College with a concentration in Performance Studies and Directing, with a double minor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. She completed an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland College Park and a M.A. in Religious Studies from University of Kansas.
Broadly speaking her research interests are the cross-cultural intersections of ritual, belief, and performance. In particular, she is looking at the performance of contemporary American death rituals amidst the rise of atheism and secularization. In her M.A. Thesis she examined individual death rituals; during her dissertation research she hopes to expand on this to include cultural memory and memorialization as well as grief and trauma. She hopes to use ritual and storytelling to help individuals process grief and move toward healing. Her secondary area of research is the rise of Wicca and Witchcraft in the U.S. Her article "Modern Wicca and the Witchcraft Movement" was published in Next Journal and her book review of Distillations was published in Critical Research on Religion. She worked as an independent theatre artist in Seattle for five years prior to grad school and continues to incorporate practice into her academic pursuits. She has worked as a director, stage manager, dramaturg, actor, and assistant choreographer.