John Keefe

Senior Lecturer in The Cass Undergraduate Centre.


John Keefe  

John Keefe has worked as a lecturer in theatre-performance-film, a theatre director and a performance dramaturg since 1979. He has developed projects and material on ‘physical theatre’ and on the role of the performance dramaturg for Mime Action Group/Total Theatre, the Directors Guild of Great Britain and the Dramaturgs Network.

He received his Scottish Diploma in Liberal Studies in 1975, BA (Hons) in Philosophy & Literature (University of Warwick, 1978) and MA in Theatre & Drama Arts (University of Leeds, 1979). He was awarded his PhD (A Spectatorial Dramaturgy: Ethical Principles of Recycling, Habitus and Estrangement) by Kingston University in 2013. He is a senior lecturer in The Cass Undergraduate Office, London Metropolitan University and Continuing Lecturer in Theatre, Drama and Performance at the Queen’s University (Canada) Bader International Study Centre.

Research interests

John Keefe’s research interests centre on ‘physical theatres-the physical in theatres’; the ethical position of the spectator and how the spectator is located in the theatre-film experience; from this ‘spectatorial dramaturgy’, the shaping of the mimetic work and the spectatorial responses by the framework of genetic, cognitive-neurological and material-cultural inheritances that make all humans qualified agents, recycling poachers and nomads; theatre sites and spaces in relation to  theatre-spectatorial dramaturgy.

Expertise areas

Theatre; film; performance; The ethical position of the spectator; spectatorial dramaturgy. Recycling and reworking ideas and materials in theatres and performance; Qualities of the physical in theatres and performance.

Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction, and Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader (Routledge, 2007), co-authored and co-edited with Simon Murray

Berkoff’s “Londons”: staging psycho-geographies of the feared and the ecstatic (Literary London, 7: 2, 2009)

Recycling sources and experiencing physical theatre in Recycling in Arts, Education and Contemporary Theatre (Norwegian Theatre Academy, 2009)

A spectatorial dramaturgy, or the spectator enters the ethical frame (Performing Ethos, 2010)

Play(ing) it again: recycling as theatres, histories, memories (Art History and Criticism 6, 2010)

The Film Spectator as Bricoleur: an Ethics of Viewing and Poaching in What Would You Have Done? Explorations of Ethics in Film Studies, ed. Jacqui Miller: CamBridge Scholars Press, 2013)

A second, enlarged and revised edition of Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction, has now been commissioned by Routledge scheduled for publication in 2015

Research portfolio

What Would You Have Done?

Explorations of Ethics in Film Studies

Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction

Book Launch

Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction

Image from book cover