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Research: Welcome

I am fascinated by meaning making and parallax viewership.  Drawing upon Material Semiotics and the interplay between Performance Text, Conditions of Performance, and Conditions of Reception, I am particularly intrigued by spectatorship and the ways through which the same event can be viewed and interpreted differently, not only by multiple spectators, but even by a single individual witnessing through different space, time, emotion, media and/or place.

Research: Quote

Alternative Dramaturgies in Contemporary Western European Theatre for Young Audiences

Dissertation: University of Wisconsin-Madison Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies (2021)

By focusing specifically on the theatrical advances of TYA in Western Europe since the late 20th century, I examined how TYA has fostered a strong alternative dramaturgy which relies on the semiotics inherent in the performance and inspires its audiences to practice empathy, agency, and social consciousness.  I built upon two premises: (1) TYA in Western Europe participated in, and perhaps even championed, the rise of alternative dramaturgies during the late 20th century and (2) that TYA continues to promote and improve alternative dramaturgical practices by connecting to the cultural and ideological needs of young people, pushing the boundaries of what theatre can mean, and how it can both affect and be affected by those participating.  To ascertain how alternative dramaturgies operate in contemporary Western European TYA, my dissertation engaged with the following questions: 

  1. What are alternative dramaturgies?

  2. How are contemporary Western European TYA companies advancing experimentation with alternative dramaturgies?

  3. How are alternative dramaturgies promoting the importance of empathetic exchange and agency for young people?

Through these questions my dissertation aimed to redefine current understandings of the progression of alternative dramaturgies in order to highlight a widely overlooked movement within TYA. 

[photo: 2016 production of Het Hamiltoncomplex by hetpaleis]

Research: About

Volume in Process: Complexity and Performance

Co-edited by  Daniel Galbreath, Claire Mason, and Gavin Thatcher

This planned volume explores the application of Complexity Theory to performance studies and aims to embrace a broad range of performance media through interdisciplinarity, addressing how Complexity can offer a framework for understanding interaction within and across disciplines of performance.

Call For Chapters
Research: About

 "Experts of Their Own Experience:

Inclusive Participation and the Legacy

of Geesche Wartemann"

As academic and practical conversations continue to examine the role of young people in TYA, not only as spectators but as active members of the production process, the legacy left by Geesche Wartemann, and her interest in the importance of perception and the agency of young people, is an invaluable resource.  To honour her legacy, this presentation, given during the 2021 ITYARN virtual conference, explored the role of active agency and inclusive production practices in theatre by/for/with young people through the lens of Wartemann’s works.

Research: Video

Association for Theatre in Higher Education

  • “Waiting for Legos: Creative Absurdity in the STEAM Classroom.” (2022)

  • “Engaged Seedlings: Aesthetic Emergence in Theatre for the Very Young” (2022)

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International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network

  • "Experts of Their Own Experience: Inclusive Participation and the Legacy of Geesche Wartemann" (2021)

  • "Talk to Me: Engaging the Young Male Spectator Through Melodrama" (2017)

American Society for Theatre Research

  • “A Girl Remembers:” Emancipated Spectatorship and the Power of Agency in Dystopian Young Adult Narratives" (2019)

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American Alliance for Theatre & Education

  • “The normality of all this extraordinary experience:” Navigating the New Normal in Northern Irish Theatre for Young Adults" (2016)

Theatre, Youth, Trauma and Europe in Crisis Symposium

  • "'Everybody knows a fella like COMET:' The Violence of Adolescence in Post-Conflict Belfast" (2016)

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American Conference for Irish Studies

  •  "'and the whole brain begging… something begging in the brain:' A Performative Exploration of Samuel Beckett’s Not I" (2015)

  • "The Orangeman Out: Identity, Otherness, and ‘The Northern Irish Question’ in Jonathan Lewis’ Our Boys" (2014)

  • "Perception, Representation, Neglect: Altering the Role of the Ulster Protestant in Northern Irish Drama" (2013)

Research: Past Events
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