Stephen Farrier is an academic and theatre maker whose work focusses on queer performance, popular performance forms and the ethics of research. Through a long-lasting fascination with the representation of identity, he is drawn to lesser told narratives. His research focusses on creating space for erased, invisible and silenced voices and the prominence and accessibility of queer performance. He has published widely on queer performance and has presented academic work extensively in international settings.
Stephen’s work in ethics has seen him active in the sector in several ways and he is often invited to present about ethics and performance research. Stephen has extensive experience of successful PhDs supervision in the areas of gender, sexuality, queerness and identity and is regularly called on by a range of institutions to support PhD work in this area.
He helps sustain the health of his area by supporting projects and theatre companies alongside peer review and editorial work for a large range of international scholarly journals and publishers. He makes small scale work for fringe festivals, particularly collaborating with solo performers in the traditions of queer performance.
Currently Stephen is open to approaches for PhD supervision in broad areas related to queer, gender, and popular performance. He has successfully supervised to projects in the areas of:
Simon Dodi Camp: Performativity through performance (2021)
Helen Evans Participatory Theatre: About Turn (2020)
Joseph Parslow When The Lights Are Shining On Them: Drag performance and queer communities in London (2020)
Lazlo Pearlman Stripping Bare and Telling Lies: Strategies for creating productive disruption via ‘autobiographical’ and ‘confessional’ solo performance (2019)
Hannah Ballou hoo:ha: illuminating and exploiting a dissonance between funniness and sexiness with the female comic body in performance (2016)
Phoenix Thomas Fabricating Alternative Realities: The craft of queering costume design (2016)
Joseph Mercier Fucking With Ballet: Performing queer negativity (2014)
Nando Messias Towards a New Sissiography: Reinscribing the Sissy in body, abuse and space in dance-theatre performance (2012)
Broderick Chow How To Do Things With Jokes: Relocating the political dimension of performance comedy (2010)
Currently involved in PhD projects working in the areas of:
· Queer Dramaturgy
· Gender theory and performance analysis
· Queer nightlife
· Queer scenography
· Camp performance
· Drag performance
· Cripqueer performance
PhD University of North London. Thesis: Queer Reading Queer Reading: Towards A Queer Reading Praxis
MA Modern Drama Studies, University of North London
BA (hons) Combined Studies Humanities, Nene College, Leicester University
Theatre and Performance Research Association
International Federation of Theatre Research
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2021 External Examiner, PhD, Salford University
2020 External Examiner, PhD, Leeds Beckett University
2019 External Examiner, PhD, University of Toronto
2013 External Examiner, BA Applied Theatre, University of Northumbria
2012 External Examiner, MA Creative Industries, London Metropolitan
2011 External Examiner, PhD, Glasgow University
2008 External Examiner, BA Applied Drama and work-based learning module at University of Wales, Newport
2007 External Examiner, BA Performing Arts, London Metropolitan University
Other selected sector roles
2021 Chair, Conservatoires UK Research Ethics Committee
2020 With Professor Maria Delgado, invited by UK Research and Innovation as an advisor from the small specialist arts sector for the development of a policy to establish a national Research Integrity Committee
2020 Steering committee member for Staging Australian Women’s Lives: Theatre, Feminism and Socially Engaged Art (Australian Research Council Discovery Projects initiative) Monash University, Australia
2020 Associate artist with WreckedALLprods, an international queer theatre company
2019 Steering/Queering Group of [email protected], Queen’s University, Belfast
2017 Invited to consult on the early and subsequent development of Wretched Theatre, a company working with refugee/migrant actors, mentor to the AD
2015 Invited as a specialist advisor for a PhD project on camp in performance, Goldsmiths College, University of London
2013 Invited as honorary member of Matters of the Body Research Cluster at Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
2010-2013 Co-convenor of the Performance, Identity and Community Working Group at Theatre and Performance Research Association
Milk Presents Theatre Company
Advisory Board member Contemporary Theatre Review
Editorial Board member Studies in Theatre and Performance
Books, Edited and Authored
Britain, J. Rotterdam, edited by Stephen Farrier, Bloomsbury 2021.
Campbell, A. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer. London: Palgrave, 2015. Shortlisted for the TaPRA Editing Prize 2017.
Edward, M. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Contemporary Drag Practices and Performers. Drag in a Changing Scene Vol 1. London: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2020.
Edward, M. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Drag Histories, Herstories and Hairstories. Drag in a Changing Scene Vol 2. 2020.
Campbell, A. Cohen, M., Farrier, S. and McCann, H. ‘Embracing feral pedagogies: Queer feminist education through queer performance’ in P. J. Burke, J. Coffery, R. Gill, and A. Kani, Gender and education in an era of post-truth populism: struggles, challenges and strategies. London: Bloomsbury, 2022 pp. 193-210.
Campbell, A. & Farrier, S. ‘Crip/Queer Performance: A Dialogue with Margrit Shildrick and Robert McRuer’ in Campbell, A. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer. London: Palgrave, 2016 pp. 263-278.
Edward, M & Farrier, S. ‘Drag: Applying Foundation and Setting the Scene’, Edward, M. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Contemporary Practices and Performers. Drag in a Changing Scene Vol 1. London: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2020 pp. 1-17.
Farrier, S. ‘Not a cock in a frock, but a Hole story: Drag and the mark of the ‘bioqueens’’ Edward, M. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Contemporary Practices and Performers. Drag in a Changing Scene Vol 1. London: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2020 pp.103-115.
Farrier, S. ‘Kinging the Stage – Drag Kings, Historical Narratives and the Slap of the Popular’ Edward, M. & Farrier, Drag Histories, Herstories and Hairstories. Drag in a Changing Scene Vol 2. London: Bloomsbury Methuen, 2020 pp.57 – 68.
Farrier, S. ‘Re-membering AIDS, Dis-membering form’, in Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century. Campbell, A. & Gindt, D. (Eds) London: Palgrave, 2018, pp. 155-172.
Farrier, S. ‘That Lip-Syncing Feeling. Drag Performance as Digging the Past’ in Campbell, A. & Farrier, S. (Eds) Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer. London: Palgrave, 2015, pp. 192- 209.
Farrier, S. ‘It’s About Time, Queer Utopias and Theatre Performance’ in A Critical Inquiry Into Queer Utopia. Jones, A. (Ed.), Palgrave, 2013, pp. 47-68.
Busby, S. & Farrier, S. ‘Kane & Queer: The Fluidity of Bodies, Gender, Identity and Structure’ in Alternatives Within the Mainstream II: British Postwar Queer Theatres. Godiwali, D. (Ed) Cambridge Scholars, 2007, pp. 142 – 159.
Campbell, A. Farrier, S. & Kumarswamy, M.G. (Eds) ‘What’s Queer About Queer Performance Now?’ a special edition of Contemporary Theatre Review, Due 2023.
Farrier, S. ‘International Influences and Drag: Just a Case of Tucking or Binding?’, Theatre, Dance and Performer Training, Vol. 8, no. 2, July 2017, pp. 171-187. DOI 10.1080/19443927.2017.1317657.
Farrier, S ‘Then and Now. Joe Orton: Sticky Stories, Queer History, Queer Dramaturgy’, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol.37, no. 2, 2017, pp184-204. DOI: 10.1080/14682761.2017.1320066.
Farrier, S. ‘Playing With Time. Gay Intergenerational Performance Work and the Productive Possibilities of Queer Temporalities’, Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 62, no. 10. November 2015, pp. 1398-1418. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2015.1061361.
Campbell, A. & Farrier, S. ‘Queer Practice as Research, A Fabulously Messy Business’ in Theatre Research International, vol. 40, no. 1. February 2015, pp. 83-87. DOI:10.1017/S0307883314000601.
Farrier, S. & McNamara, C. (Eds.) ‘Editorial’ Research in Drama Education The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Vol. 18 No. 2 May 2013, pp. 111-119.
Farrier, S. ‘Approaching Performance Through Praxis’ Studies in Theatre and Performance, Vol.25 No. 2 2005, pp. 129-144.
Farrier, S. ‘Theater, Queer’, Global Encyclopaedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2019, pp 1573-1581 (6000 words).
Blog post: https://www.stagingdecadence.com/blog/sniffing-out-a-past With Nando Messais (2021 – 7500 words).
Edward, M. & Farrier, S. ‘Drag culture may be mainstream but its forms are constantly evolving’ for The Conversation, October 2019.
Farrier, S. Review of Queer 1950s, Journal of the International Network of Sexual Ethics and Politics Vol. 4, Issue 1/2016, pp. 117–120.
Selected Conference Papers/Panel Membership
2022 ‘Intention/in-tension. Some reflections on the where of queer performance’. IFTR Reykjavik University, Iceland.
2022 Invited – ‘Research ethics in practice research’ – United Kingdom Research Integrity Office (UKRIO)
2021 ‘Exclusion, Inclusion, Evolution: A proposal for a history of drag performance’. TaPRA, online
2021 ‘Spreading Fertiliser and Cooking up Feral Queer Camps’. With Alyson Campbell IFTR, online
2021 Invited – (With Alyson Campbell) Feral Queer Camp, a series of virtual workshops for Midsumma Queer Arts Festival, Melbourne. Funded by Midsumma
2021 Invited –- ‘solo queer performance practice and decadence’ (with Nando Messias), Goldsmiths, London
2020 Invited – ‘Shared roots and shared fruits. Drag, historical perspectives and performance practice’. Queen Mary University of London
2020 Joint chair with Alyson Campbell – ‘What’s Queer and Queer Performance Now?’, public discussion with Krishna Istha, Julie McNamara, Lachlan Philpott, Lou Wall and Tahlee Fereday, Theatre Works, Melbourne
2020 Invited – (With Alyson Campbell) Feral Queer Camp, a series of workshops for Midsumma Queer Arts Festival, funded through the University of Melbourne
2019 Invited – panel member on Global Queer Voices, new writing, Arcola Theatre, London
2019 Invited – (With Alyson Campbell) Feral Queer Camp, a series of workshops for Outburst Queer arts festival, Belfast
2019 Invited – ‘Drag: Surviving and Thriving’. Public Seminar, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
2019 ‘Dragging identities – or how to make drag even queerer’ Theatre and Performance Research Association, Exeter University
2019 ‘The Mark of Bio-Queens, Female drag performance in urban settings’ International Federation of Theatre Research world congress, Shanghai Theatre Academy, China
2019 ‘Queer Dramaturgy and Sticky Stories: Making Messy Sense’ Analysing Plays in the Twenty-First Century: A Critical Conversation for the Centre for Contemporary British Theatre, Goldsmiths College, London
2019 Invited – panel member post show discussion for Outbox’s And The Rest Of Me Floats, at the Bush Theatre, London
2018 (With Alyson Campbell) Feral Queer Camp, a series of workshops for Outburst Queer arts festival, Belfast
2018 Panel Member – ‘Forms of Resistance, Resistance to Form’. Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Boston, USA
2018 ‘Speaking Across Borders. Connecting International Queer Performance’. International Federation of Theatre Research world congress, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia
2018 Invited – panel member speaking on queer dramaturgies for the launch of London Southbank University’s Centre for Digital Storymaking, ATOM-R performance group, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
2017 ‘Kinging the Theatre – Popular Drag and the Slap of Commercialisation’ Theatre and Performance Research Association, University of Salford, UK
2017 ‘Passing Performance: Unstable Histories and the Economy of Intergenerational Knowledges’, with Ben Buratta, International Federation of Theatre Research world congress, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
2017 Invited – in conversation with performer and artist Nando Messias at the launch of thier film Shoot the Sissy, Live Art Development Agency, London
2017 Panel member ‘Drag Training’, Manchester Drag Symposium, Manchester Central Library
2016 ‘Joe Orton, queer histories and thinking the queer theatrical past’ International Federation of Theatre Research world congress, University of Stockholm
2015 Invited – chair of panel discussion on HIV, AIDS and performance. Panel members were a mix of academics, activists and theatre makers, Queens University, Belfast
2015 ‘Sticky stories. Queerer histories and troubling narratives in gay intergenerational theatre’, with Ben Buratta, Outbox LGBT Theatre, Queer at Queens (part of Outburst queer arts festival), Queens University, Belfast
2015 Invited – Chair of a discussion panel on ‘Making Queer Spaces’ at the Canadian High Commission
2015 ‘Are We Done Yet? Queer Temporalities, Gentrification, Vanishment’. TaPRA, University of Worcester
2015 Invited – ‘Talking About Time: Intergenerational Performance and the Connective Tissue in Queer Temporality’. For the research seminar Contested Communities: communality, dissonance and belonging, Theatre Applied Research Centre, RCSSD
2015 ‘Sisters (and brothers) are doing it for themselves! Theorising popular drag as queering inheritance and transmission’, with Simon Dodi and Joe Parslow for a panel entitled; ‘Bona To Vada Your Dolly Old Eek. Queer Lineages, Campiness and Popular Performance’. At Theorising the Popular, international Conference, Liverpool Hope
2014 Invited – ‘Lip Service. Drag performance – digging the past and serving the future’, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
2019 Kissing Annie Lennox, Devised, Brighton Fringe
2018 Buckets, Adam Barnard, Central School of Speech and Drama
2016-2017 Hetty The King (and Other Women I Have Loved). Devised, Brighton Fringe, (Brighton Fringe Award Nominee 2016)
2015 Ginger: A Small Show About The Big C. Devised, Basement, Brighton Fringe
Email: [email protected]