Professor Cathy Turner

Research interests

My research concerns the relationship between dramaturgies of performance and experiences of place and space. 

I published my monograph, Dramaturgy and Architecture: Theatre, Utopia and the Built Environment with Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. My current interests grow out of this exploration of relationships between the development of architecture and performance in modernist and postmodernist performance and out of my research into aesthetic walking (scholarly and artistic practice).

I am now interested in performance, walking and urbanisation in India, involving appreciation and analysis of Indian performance artists' relationships to urban spaces. My current AHRC funded project, a collaboration with NIAS, Bengaluru, has a particular focus on festivals on the urban periphery:

I'm also interested in gardens as performance spaces, and in the ways in which gardens are structured as performances and am developing a monograph, Performing Gardens, with a focus on gardens in England, India and Japan.

I am a core member of artist's collective, Wrights & Sites. One of our artworks, comprising 41 signs and titled Everything You Need To Build A Town Is Here can be seen in various locations across Western-super-Mare We are also known for our 'Mis-Guides' or alternative guide-books which offer strategies for making familiar places unfamiliar. In 2008 we curated 'Mis-Guided', a mini-season of artworks at the Belluard Bollwerk International Festival in Switzerland, developing ideas from a similar project for the Vienna Festival/Tanzquartier Wien in 2007. We are currently working on a new book concerned with the 'architect-walker', to be published by Triarchy Press.

I am joint author, with Synne Behrndt, of Dramaturgy and Performance (Palgrave, 2008) we are also joint editors of Palgrave's 'new dramaturgies' book series. We guest-edited an edition of Contemporary Theatre Review  on that topic in 2010. 

In 2013, I was Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded network, 'Porous Dramaturgy: "Togetherness" and Community in the Structure of the Artwork'. This project investigated the politics of work that makes the audience in some sense co-creators. 

I am a member of the Walking Artists Network and of the FIRT/IFTR Theatre Architecture working group.



Research collaborations

I am currently collaborating with NIAS, Bengaluru, and with MOD Institute Berlin/Bengaluru. See previous sections for a link to this project.

I am series editor of Palgrave's 'New Dramaturgies' series, collaborating with Synne Behrndt, and we have collaborated in researching dramaturgy since 2005.