Lisa Woynarski


BA (Hons) Drama

MA Theatre (Directing)

Project Title

Levelling the Greenhouse: Toward an Ecological Performance Aesthetic


Matters of ecological concern are some of the timeliest in public dialogue today, and performance has an opportunity to creatively respond to ecological resilience, opening up new ways of thinking and engaging the public’s imagination. Problematising differentiating practices that divide humans from ‘nature’, I suggest performance may highlight the interconnectedness of humans and the living world by providing a phenomenological experience of ecological relationships. My research into an ecological performance aesthetic takes up this opportunity and conceives of new ways of critically thinking about performance. I engage a range of ecological philosophy through two methodological applications: ecodramaturgy and ecological phenomenology. Ecodramaturgy (May 2012) combines eco-critical and applied approaches to performance with ecological ways of performance-making, and represents a critical extension to the discipline of performance studies. Ecological phenomenology considers the experience of relational exchanges with the more-than-human world, revealing interrelated ecological relationships. The aim of the research is to articulate an ecological performance aesthetic, marking the current field and calling forth new forms of practice.


Lisa is a performance-maker, researcher, and ecodramaturg working at the intersection of performance and ecology. Originally from Canada, she holds an undergraduate degree is from the University of Guelph, in Drama, and an MA in Theatre (Directing) from Royal Holloway. Her current practice explores the making of ecological performance through site-based urban interventions. She makes work exploring questions of our relationship to the environment, climate change resilience and the phenomenological experience of socio-ecological relations. Her work as an ecodramaturg has been across various disciplines, from site-specific work to dance pieces about the Arctic. Along with creating research-informed performances, she has been developing international research networks in the field of performance and ecology, having recently been on a research visit to the University of Melbourne, and through administration of an international Performance and Ecology listserv for scholars and practitioners to share information. She had presented at a number of international conferences and co-convenes the Performance and Ecology Working Session at ASTR. She is the recipient of the Board of Governor’s 2014 bursary and two Governor’s travel awards.

Teaching Areas

Lisa’s teaching experience ranges across undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, in a wide range of subjects related to theatre and performance, critical theory and writing skills. She has experience giving lectures, seminars and workshops, experience of supervising groups as well as individual students. She also has experience curating and organising large-scale research events. At Central she has taught across BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education: Key Concepts, Collaborative Outreach and Performing Emergencies; BA Theatre Practice; MA shared units Critical Contexts, Cultural Landscapes and Performing Research; Academic Writing Tutor for the Learning Centre.



2015 Locating an Indigenous Ethos in Ecological Performance, Performing Ethos: Performing Ecos (forthcoming Autumn 2015)

2015 Bioperformativity: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Performance Aesthetic, Performance Research: On Anthropomorphism 20.2 (forthcoming April 2015)

2015 Ecological sentinels: Indigenous heroes or colonial cliché?, Research in Drama and Education (RiDE) (forthcoming)

2014 Readings in Performance and Ecology Book Review, Theatre Research International Vol. 39: 03, p. 243-244.

2013 The Armchair Book of Gardens: A Miscellany Book Review, The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy, Vol 29: 1 2013, p.76-77.

2013 The Celebrated Trees of Nashville, Tennessee: Some Reactions to the Matter of Performance Documentation: An Interview with Plantable (co-author), Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Quarterly, Vol 10: 2013, p.6-11.

Conferences Presentations

2014 Ecological sentinels: Indigenous heroes or colonial cliché?, TaPRA, Royal Holloway.

2014 The Bricolage Aesthetic in Ecological Performance, IFTR, University of Warwick.

2014 Ecodramaturgy: An Introduction, Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies, Victoria University of Wellington.

2014 It’s the Skin You’re Living In: Ecological Anthropomorphism?, Animal Encounters: Performance, Animality & Posthumanism, Roehampton University.

2014 The Bio-Urban in PerformancePerformance, Place, Possibility, University of Leeds.

2014 Where We Live: The Aesthetics of Home in Ecological Performance, Intersections, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

2013 Trans-Plantable: Growing Speed from Seed through Trans-national Performance” (with Bronwyn Preece), TaPRA, University of Glasgow.

2013 Nature and the Urban in Performance, IFTR, Barcelona.

2013 Ecological Time and Sensorial Space in ‘Speed of Light’, 
Performance Studies International, Stanford University.

2013 Bioremedial Performance: The Blurring of Art and Ecology, 
Colloquium of Performance Research, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.

2012 Message in the Water: The Ecological Aesthetics of Site-based Performance, ASTR, Nashville.

2012 Being Well in Nature: dwelling, attending, performing, 
TaPRA, Applied and Social Theatre Working Group, University of Kent.

2012 Dwelling, Relating, Performing: A Nature-based Lecture, 
Environmental Utterance Conference, University of Falmouth.


2014 Ecodramaturge, Sea Change, Julie’s Bicycle, The Proud Archivist, London.

2013 Artist, Trans-Plantable Living Room, World Stage Design, Cardiff, Wales and Collisions, London.

2012 Artist, The Celebrated Trees of Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville.

2012 Ecodramaturge, Message in a Bottle Phakama, Regent’s Canal, London.

2010 Director, Forest trails & Urban Tales, King Henry’s Walk Garden, Green Stage, London

2010 Director, Unplugged, Camden Green Fair Regents Park & Spitalfields City Farm, Green Stage, London.