BA Hons (First Class, U.N.E.); PhD (Bristol, UK)
I am Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies in the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW Sydney.
I specialise in modern and contemporary German theatre as well as socially engaged performance. Currently I am researching Bertolt Brecht's approach to comedy and ageing as well as engagements with elderly bodies in Theatre of Real People. My research focuses on the way in which theatre responds to socio-historical contexts, ideologies and habitual modes of perception. This focus underpins my work on the following topics: the theory and practice of German playwright-director Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956); sex-gender ideology and intercultural encounter in German drama, performance and dance theatre since the early twentieth century; and the engagement with cultural diversity and ageing bodies within innovative Theatre of Real People from both German- and English-language countries. My research advances disciplinary understanding of theatre’s capacities and strategies for engaging with social inequity, complex cultural identities and vulnerability.
My key publications include the award-winning book Bertolt Brecht in the Routledge Performance Practitioners series. I am co-author (with Ulrike Garde) of the monograph Theatre of Real People: Diverse Encounters from Berlin's Hebbel am Ufer and Beyond (Bloomsbury, 2016) and co-editor (with Garde and Johannes Birgfeld) of Rimini Protokoll Close-Up: Lektüren (Wehrhahn, 2015). These two books address a current fascination with people presenting aspects of their own lives on stage, and explore how innovative documentary theatre seeks to offer fresh ways of perceiving diverse and unfamiliar people.
My contributions to research include my research training work as School Postgraduate Research Convener, and as supervisor for over 17 and examiner for over 9 Higher Degree Research students. I have also acted as Asia-Pacific Book Reviews Editor for Theatre Research International, and am currently a member of the editorial board for The Brecht Yearbook / Das Brecht Jahrbuch.
Bertolt Brecht (London and New York: Routledge, 2009) was included in Choice magazine's international list of Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009. A revised version was re-issued 2018.
Overseas Research Students Award, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals, UK, 1992
Keith and Dorothy Mackay Travelling Scholarship, University of New England, Australia, 1991
University Medal in Theatre, University of New England, Australia, 1991
ARC LIEF Grant: LE140100024 AusStage, Phase 5: researching Australian live performance – national culture, global markets, aesthetic transmission: four interviews with Australia-based theatre-makers involved in Rimini Protokoll & the City of Melbourne Arts and Participation Program’s 100% Melbourne and Rimini Protokoll’s 100% Darwin, 2015-16.
Goethe Institut, Sydney, for Ta(l)king Pleasure in German Culture symposium, October 2007
Goethe Institut, Glasgow, for ‘Brecht Fest’ 1998 and Purgatory in Ingolstadt 1999