Dr Göze Saner came to Theatre and Performance from a background in philosophy and theatre practice. Upon graduating from university in the United States, Göze returned to her hometown and joined experimental theatre company Bilsak Tiyatro Atölyesi (Istanbul, Turkey) where she trained and performed until coming to the UK to pursue a practice-based PhD on acting and archetype. Göze continued her training and performance practice with The Quick and the Dead led by Alison Hodge and The New Winds led by Iben Nagel Rasmussen while establishing her own company, cafila aeterna, and developing a solo and socially engaged theatre practice. Göze’s research continues to focus on a philosophical and practical investigation of the work of the actor, specifically within the context of laboratory theatre (to which her first company, Bilsak, also belongs) but expanding to include traditions such as commedia dell’arteand clown. Most recently, Göze’s research into the social potential of solo performance has led to projects such as Enactive Encountersthat interrogates how actor training tools can be disseminated in innovative ways to enable accessible, independent, ‘at home’ acting and devising practices.
- PhD, Theatre and Performance, University of London, UK
- BA, Philosophy, Bryn Mawr College, PA, USA
Göze contributes to a number of modules across the undergraduate curriculum and lecture on a variety of topics ranging from Turkish Shadow Puppet Theatre to Feminist Approaches to Samuel Beckett. She also teaches modules specifically based on her research, such as Theatre Making 3: Acting and Solo Performance and Questions of Performance: Audience and Memory.
Göze recently completed Göçmen Adımlar / Migrant Steps, a community theatre project in collaboration with DayMer and the North London Community House. Funded by Arts Council UK Grants for the Arts and Goldsmiths University Enterprise Fund, the project engaged Turkish-speaking migrant women living in the UK (and later in Europe) as participants and facilitated a collaborative devising process that drew on practices ranging from psychogeography to embodied autobiographical training and performance. Göçmen Adımlarwon an interdisciplinary award (Walk21 Jury Prize in Walking and the Arts) and led to an exciting international commission with Laqup and Alma Teatro (Spazio Teatro, Turin, Italy).
- archetype and archetypal psychology
- philosophy and performance
- actor-training, specifically
- Stanislavski, Grotowski, Barba
- commedia dell’arte, ancient pantomime, clown
In her practice-based PhD Göze addressed elementary questions such as “What does an actor do?” or “Who is an actor in performance?” through the concept of archetype. Bringing together psychology, mythology, and critical theory, archetype becomes a useful tool in deciphering moments of ‘truthfulness’ in performance and in addressing the indefinable contact between actor and spectator. It provides insight into the organism of the actor as a body, mind, and psyche and offers methodologies of training and acting which seek to trigger psycho-physical processes through which the actor can achieve ‘archetypal moments’ and engage the spectators to partake in them. While archetype is the means by which Göze aims to develop a methodology and a language whereby the actor’s work on herself can be recognized and articulated academically, it also helps demystify and expand upon the Grotowskian approach to acting and training by drawing links with popular forms of performance such as ancient pantomime, commedia dell’arte, and clown.
The truth about the tyrant focused on the archetype of the tyrant and explored notions of physical action, character, space, score, and the relationship between actor and spectator while weaving the journey of a clown/tyrant in a solo promenade performance. In 2010, Göze developed this project further with a group of performers in what happened to the tyrant and explored how an archive of the tyrant can be created through performance.
Areas of supervision
Göze currently supervises students undertaking practice-based PhDs on theories and practices of acting and actor training. She welcomes projects on: acting and actor training (particularly in the laboratory context), solo devising/actor-led performance (including clown), socially engaged performance (particularly performance and the city and walking performance), performance and philosophy (particularly with reference to acting and philosophy), performance and psychology (particularly with reference to archetypes/dreams/work on oneself), and practice as research/embodied research.
Saner, Göze and Robinson, Scott. 2019. Designing Performer Training: Digital Encounters with Things and People. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 10(2), pp. 250-269. ISSN 1944-3927
Saner, Göze. 2017. Orozco Lourdes and Parker-Starbuck Jennifer, ed. Performing Animality: Animals in Performance Practices Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave, 2015. 225 p. £55.00. ISBN: 978-1-137-37312-0. [Review]. New Theatre Quarterly, 33(2), p. 195. ISSN 0266-464X
Saner, Göze; Kokkali, Alexia; Walker, Liz and Roberts, Brian. 2015. Training Grounds: Answer the Questions 'What are your/the tools of training?'. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 6(3),
Saner, Göze. 2018. An Actor’s Attempt at Sisyphus’ Stone: Memory, Performance, and Archetype. In: Katja Hilevaara and Emily Orley, eds. Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138674837
Saner, Göze. 2017. Containers of Practice: Would you step into my shell? In: Bruce Barton; Annette Aarlander; Melanie Dreyer-Lude and Ben Spatz, eds. Performance as Research: Knowledge, Methods, Impact. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138068711
Saner, Göze and Dedeoğlu, Saniye. 2017. Turkish/Kurdish Women’s Migrant Steps in London: Public Walks/Personal Returns. In: Gülçin Erdi Lelandais and Yıldırım Şentürk, eds. Identity, Justice and Resistance in the Neoliberal City. London: Palgrave, pp. 171-196. ISBN 978-1-137-58631-5
Conference or Workshop Item
Saner, Göze. 2011. '‘Memory, Performance and Archetype: Sisyphus’ Stone’'. In: Camilllo 2.0 PSi-17 Conference. Utrecht, Netherlands.
Saner, Göze. 2009. '‘Attuning the Eyes to the Dark: In Search of an Archetypal Mode of Agency in Performance’'. In: Research Seminars on the Theory, Practice and History of Performance, Goldsmiths, University of London. London, United Kingdom.
Saner, Göze. 2009. '‘Remembering the Archetype: Mask and the Subtle Body in Ancient Pantomime and Commedia dell’Arte’'. In: 33rd Comparative Drama Conference, Loyola Marymount University. California, United States.
Saner, Göze. 2006. '‘Iconography in Training and Performance: A Work-Demonstration’'. In: The Body’ in the Reception of Ancient Drama, 6th Annual Postgraduate Symposium, Oxford University and Royal Holloway. University of London, United Kingdom.
Saner, Göze. 2005. '‘Archetypal Action in Training: An Exercise in Focus’'. In: Research Day, Department of Drama and Theatre, Royal Holloway. University of London, United Kingdom.
Saner, Göze. 2005. '‘The Archetype of Acting, Acting Archetypes: Greek and Roman Pantomime Today’'. In: New Perspectives on Ancient Pantomime, APGRD Symposium. Oxford University, United Kingdom.