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Dr Lisa Woynarski

Dr Lisa Woynarski
  • Film, Theatre & Television Study Abroad Coordinator
  • Undergraduate Admissions Tutor
  • Joint Honours Degree Liaison
  • School Ethics Chair.

Areas of interest

My research interests are broadly concerned with how performance can intervene in the contemporary social and political contexts. This includes areas such as performance and ecology, ecodramaturgy, urban ecology, intersectional environmentalism, indigenous and postcolonial ecology, socially engaged and applied performance, site-based practice and intersectional feminism.

My recent work has interrogated the intersection of performance and ecology, articulating an ecological performance aesthetic, or the way performance may enact, critique and reveal ecological relationships. The second strand of my research is intersectional feminism and gender equality in theatre and performance. I recently worked on the Advance project run by Tonic Theatre and Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, which examined gender equality in UK performing arts, both in workforces and repertoires. Working with some of the top theatre, opera and dance companies across the UK, we investigated the barriers to gender equality and initiated new processes to overcome them.

I am currently developing an interdisciplinary research project on performance and urban ecology. Drawing on performance examples from the UK and beyond, I investigate how new, ecological visions of the city are imagined and catalysed in and through performance.

In addition to working as a lecturer and researcher, I have made performance work in London, Toronto, Nashville, Reno, Glasgow and Cardiff. As co-founder of Green Stage Theatre Company, my practice explores ecological performance and urban interventions, with a specific interest in urban agriculture, oral histories and reframing images (or data) of climate change. With Plantable Performance Collective, I have made collaborative, transnational and experimental research-led performances and interventions.

I recently co-created an installation with comics artist Mike Medaglia, Five Bridges: Stories of the Flood at the Kendal Museum, which featured illustrated stories set against a soundscape of oral histories collected from people affected by recent flooding in Cumbria. This experimental practice explored flooding and its links to climate change, urbanism and culture through human stories.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students, including fully written and practice-based projects, in any areas of my research, including proposals engaging with:

  • performance and ecology
  • applied and socially-engaged theatre
  • contemporary performance practices
  • site-specific performance and feminist practice
  • any work that interrogates the role of performance in the current political context.

I am currently supervising a project on game structures in performance (co-supervisor, practice as research).

Teaching

I teach across a range of undergraduate modules, including practical modules (Making Meaning, Creative Practice: Theatre, Ensemble Practices) as well as theoretical modules. Performing Ecology is a Year 3 critical optional module based on my current research. I supervise Advanced Practical Projects in Theatre, including both scripted and devised work.

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • ASTR (American Society of Theatre Research), co-convenor Ecology in/and/of Performance Working Group
  • Culture and Ecology Network,Young Vic Theatre, London, co-convenor
  • TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), member
  • Let's Talk Intersectionality (feminist reading group), co-convenor.

Selected publications

  • 'Ecological Health in Violeta Luna's NK 603: Action for Performer & e-Maiz' Theatre Applied: Performing Health and Wellbeing, eds. Baxter, V. and Low, K. Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2017.
  • 'The Trans-Plantable Living Room' (co-author with Bronwyn Preece) Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol 25: 3, July 2015, p. 421–423.
  • 'Ecological sentinels: Indigenous heroes or colonial cliché?' RiDE: the Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Vol 20: 2, June 2015, p. 186–190.
  • 'The Trans-Plantable Living Room: Sites, Processes and Performances' (co-author with Bronwyn Preece and Meghan Moe Beitiks) Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Quarterly, No. 12, May 2015, p. 18–25.
  • 'The Celebrated Trees of Nashville, Tennessee: Some Reactions to the Matter of Performance Documentation: An Interview with Plantable' (co-author with Bronwyn Preece and Meghan Moe Beitiks). Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Quarterly, Vol 10: 2013, p.6–11.

Publications