Dr Fiona Graham has been a theatre maker for forty years working as an actor, director, writer, producer and dramaturge. This work has included new writing, dramaturgy, feminist theatre, site specific performance, verbatim theatre, community theatre, theatre in education, interdisciplinary practice, dance and physical theatre.
This body of practice informs her role as Programme Director for the MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance and she also teaches across the BA Drama and Theatre Arts. Her practice research in New Zealand is documented in 'Performing Dramaturgy' (Playmarket, 2017).
Fiona is currently writing 'The Dance' which builds upon her trilogy of plays 'Triptych: Three Plays Inspired by the Art of Paula Rego' (Aurora, 2019). She is also working as a dramaturge with Talking House Theatre Company and Alleyne Dance Company.
- PhD Theatre, Auckland University 2014
- MA Production Process, Goldsmiths, London University 1992
- PGCE Drama, Goldsmiths, London University 1982
- BA (Joint Honours) English and Education, Oxford Brooks University 1981
Teaching and Supervision
Graham’s practice research has analysed the role and methodologies of the dramaturge in performance development and investigated New Zealand practice. It explores how the dramaturge’s ways of working have evolved in response to external and internal influences including nationalism, post colonialism, feminism and multiculturalism. This detailed focus on dramaturgy in New Zealand provides a lens for exploring development strategies of international relevance. She discusses how the role of the dramaturge has developed in New Zealand, how dramaturgical thinking can be inspired by Māori ways of knowing and how new frameworks can facilitate innovative collaborations. By shifting the analytical focus from the macro to the micro and back again, she imagines what a regional Pacific/New Zealand dramaturgy might look like and what it can offer the world.
Building on 'Performing Dramaturgy' (Playmarket, 2017), Fiona is now researching how a dramaturge can best be prepared for performance development drawing upon her role as Programme Director of the MA Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance. She is also collaborating with colleagues at Otago University to investigate how verbatim theatre practice can provide strategies for social and political change.
Publications and research outputs
Graham, Fiona and Brown, Carol. 2017. 'The Pā Collective: Developing Dramaturgical Intersections, Collaborations and Performing Layers of Place Post-Empire'. Contemporary Theatre Review, 27(2), pp. 263-274. ISSN 1048-6801
Graham, Fiona. 2009. 'Dramaturge as Midwife: The Writing Process within a New Zealand community theatre project'. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 2(2), pp. 209-216. ISSN 1753-5190
Graham, Fiona. 2019. Triptych: Three Plays for Young People Inspired by the Art of Paula Rego. London: Aurora. ISBN 978-1-921430-23-9
Graham, Fiona. 2017. The Nomadic Dramaturge: Negotiating Subjectivity, Multicultural Translation, and Dramaturgical Composition. In: Emer O'Toole; Andrea Pelegrí Kristić and Stuart Young, eds. Ethical Exchanges in Translation, Adaptation and Dramaturgy. Leiden; Boston: Rodopi. ISBN 9789004346338
Further profile content
Trustee for PATINA, Artist Residency Project in Lewes, East Sussex.
Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups
Practice Research Group
Conferences and talks
Keynote speaker at The UNESCO Playwrights Festival, University of Otago, Dunedin.
The Pa Collective: Developing Dramaturgical Intersections
Paper for the Dramaturgy and Translation panel, The International Federation of Theatre Conference, Stockholm
The Dramaturge as Kaiarataki: Navigating the Flow
The Pacific Biennale, Auckland University of Technology
A Nomadic Practice: The work of the dramaturge in performance development
Workshop paper for the Practice Research Working Group at The International Federation of Theatre Conference, Barcelona
Intercultural performance and transformation in Auckland
Presentation at Australian Association for Theatre Drama and Performance Studies Conference, 28th June – 1st July, Monash University, Melbourne
The Role of Dramaturge: Facilitating a New Zealand community theatre project
presentation at Australian Association for Theatre Drama and Performance Studies Conference, Monash University, Melbourne