Research

The Centre for Spectatorship and Audience Research

I am a founding member of the Centre for Spectatorship and Audience Research (CSAR) and currently serving as the associate director, external. CSAR is a research institute, founded at the University of Toronto, that specializes in bringing together scholars from across disciplines who focus on reception, participation, public space, encounter, and all the elements that comprise spectatorship and audience studies. Our centre is currently partnered with the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, sponsoring a year-long working group. We are preparing a special issue of Performance Matters, due out in November 2019.

Ph.D. Thesis "Community-Engaged Theatre Audiences: The Seat of Interpretation"

I am currently writing my Ph.D. thesis, which examines audiences in their own words as they respond to documentary, verbatim, and researched plays. This study is built on three case studies of contemporary plays performed in Ontario within the last five years. My research investigates the space between the artist’s process and the individual audience member’s experience. I understand "audiences" as both unified communities within the constructed, temporary moment of performance, and a collection of individual spectators who are interpreting the play through their own layered lenses. I ask: how are audience members interpreting the research of the artists? What do audience members perceive as authoritative or authentic in the performance? How do audience members reflect on these plays and their efficacy? I investigate this primarily through interviews, both of the artists involved, and a select group of audience members.

LGBTQ Families Speak Out

I am proud to be an artist-researcher on this SSHRC funded project at OISE, supervised by Prof. Tara Goldstein. The goal of our project is to video interview LGBTQ families across Ontario about their children’s experiences in school and share our findings from these interviews with teachers, community educators and other LGBTQ families. One of the ways we are working on sharing these stories is through the creation of a verbatim play Out at School. Together with four other graduate students, Tara and her team are taking this rich research and creating music, visual art and drama.

Publications

Pairing Verbatim Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed to Provoke Startling Empathy”. 

 Co-authored with Pam Snell and Tara Goldstein

 The Educational Forum. Issue 83. volume 4. pp 418-431.

Out at School”.

Co-authored with Tara Goldstein and Pam Baer.

in Teaching gender and sexuality at school: Letters to teachers. by Tara Goldstein.

Taylor and Francis/Routledge. pp. 208-218. 

"Inviting Startling Empathy through Performed Ethnography: A Queer(ed) Collective Research Project". 

Co-authored with Tara Goldstein, benjamin lee hicks, Kate Reid, Austin Koecher, and Pam Baer.

in The Methodological Dilemma Revisited Kathleen Gallagher Ed. Routledge. pp 171-191.

When Qualitative Research Meets Theatre: The Complexities of Performed Ethnography and Research-Informed Theatre Project Design”. Qualitative Inquiry. 20(5). 674-685.

“Resistant and Elusive Creativity in Globalized Education”. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. 11(2). December 2014.

Thinking a Public University”. Forum. Theatre Research in Canada. 37.1

 

“Political Acts and Public Voices: Paying Time and Attention to The Public Servant”. Canadian Theatre Review. 166. pp 72-77.

Conference Presentations

Paper Presentation

2017 “Out At School: A Verbatim Theatre Project about the Experiences of LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools”

co-presented with Tara Goldstein and Kate Reid.

Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) Conference, ARTS division, Congress; Ryerson University.

 

2016 “The words of the audience: How audience members respond to verbatim performance Stories from the Generation Gap”

Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) Conference on the theme of “Energizing Communities”, Congress, University of Calgary.

 

2016 “Clowning Around with the Real: staging community through research, devising, and the tradition of clown”

Festival of Original Theatre on the theme of “Staging Realities”, University of Toronto.

 

2015 “We’re Here Now: Site-specific theatre beyond play in Toronto Jewish Diaspora”

Performance Studies International 2015: “Beyond Contamination”, University of Tohoku, Japan.

 

2015 “Failing to Go Inside: Queering the performance space with outdoor winter theatre”

Festival of Original Theatre on the theme of “Queer(ing) Performance”, University of Toronto.

Seminar - Organizer

2017  “Watching the World Burn: The Rise of the Spectator in an Anthropocene Dusk”

co-organized with Cassandra Silver, Scott Mealey, and Kelsey Jacobson. Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference,

University of Toronto.

 

Seminar - Participant

2017    “Audience and Community: the confluence of two polluted states” in Watching the World Burn: The Rise of the Spectator in an Anthropocene Dusk. Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference (CATR), University of Toronto.

 

2016 “Interruptions or ‘spect-actorship' in WWII performance” in Energizing the Past through Performance.

Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference, (CATR). University of Calgary.

 

Praxis - Organizer

2017    Out At School: A Verbatim Theatre Project about the Experience of LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools.

Co-organized with Tara Goldstein and Pam Baer. Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference (CATR), University of Toronto.

 

Roundtables - Presenter

2015    “Staging Equity” Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference, Congress, University of Ottawa.

Paper title “What’s in a Name: Abandoning (Theatre) Columbus to build a more equitable brand.”

 

2013 “University Student Productions: Between Teaching Tools and Artistic Creations” Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference, Congress, University of Victoria.

Paper title “Roots Among the Rocks: Devising outside the theatre department.”

 

Working Groups - Presenter

2015    “Place” Performance Studies International, Tohoku, Japan

Paper title “We’re Here Now: Site-specific performance beyond place in Canadian Jewish Diaspora performance.

 

Workshop Presenter

2017    “So, you’re going to TA a drama class?” Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto.

2011    “Roots Among the Rocks” High School Youth Theology Program Conference, The Fund for Theological Education, Indianapolis.

2010    “Beyond the Skit: using drama in youth ministry” CanLead, Institute for Specialized Ministries, London.

2008    “Beyond the Skit: drama and storytelling for high school youth” Generation 2008, Huron University College.

 

Conferences Convened

2016    “Centre for Spectatorship Visiting Scholars Series” featuring Dr. Janelle Reinelt & Dr. Helen Freshwater,

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto.

 

2014    “The Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards Artists in Residence” with Myrto Koumarianos. Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts, University of Toronto, SSHRC funded.

2011    “Common Ground - Canadian Ecumenical Youth Ministry Forum” Huron University College, with Judy Steers.

2007    “Judith Thompson on Playwriting” at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London UK.

 

Panel Participation

2014    “Performance/Research” Artists and Scholar Exchange. Hosted by ABER@OISE, University of Toronto.

2014    “Open Program Symposium” The Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards Residence,

             University of Toronto.

2013    “Politics in Intermedial Performance”, Panel Chair, Festival of Original Theatre on the theme of ‘Theatre & Technology’,

             University of Toronto.