Joanna Donehower

Joanna Donehower is a doctoral candidate (PhD in Humanities – Performance/Theatre Studies, Playwriting, and Cultural Studies) at Concordia University, under the supervision of Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux (English and Études françaises), Dr. Andre Furlani (English), and Dr. Ted Little (Theatre).  She holds an M.A. in English- Creative Writing – Drama from Concordia, and a B.A. – First Class Honours in English-Cultural Studies, Drama and Theatre, and Socio-Cultural Anthropology from McGill University.  Her current doctoral research is a joint academic dissertation and creative playwriting project which engages place, space, geography, and scenography as “third characters” in contemporary site-specific theatre practice and dramaturgy.

She began her professional theatre career at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she served as a dramaturgy intern during the ’05-’06 season, and later as a dramaturg for the 2007 Humana Festival of New American Plays.  A portion of her latest play adrift: petites histoires/little stories for children and lovers and renegades of the american revolution was staged in March as a site-specific piece in Griffintown, and toyed with figures and features of melodrama, vaudeville, historical re-enactment, and Southern shame.   This was her second artistic adventure in Griffintown, the first a performance installation and collaboration with Greg MacArthur, Alan Reed, and Chad Dembski for Urban Occupations Urbaines at New City Gas (curator Shauna Janssen, sponsored by Playwrights' Workshop Montreal). Her third Griffintown project— darlingArcade— is an installation in collaboration with 2boystv and invited guest artists for Journées de la culture at the Darling Foundry.

At Concordia, she is a playwright and dramaturg with the FQRSC-funded "Hypertext and Performance: A Resonant Response to Joanna Baillie's Witchcraft" (Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux), and is a member of the SSHRC Working Group on Melodrama (Dr. Marcie Frank) and the Working Group on Cirque du Soleil.  As a student member of the Working Group, she has been involved in compiling a comprehensive bibliography and archive of circus-related publications.   Over the next few years, she is interested in further exploring her knowledge of physical theatre and performance training, and considering the possible intersections of theatre performance, narrative structures, and circus dramaturgy in the development of a new work, and in collaboration with the Working Group’s circus scholars and practitioners.

cirque circus group


Members of the group are regular collaborators engaged in an ongoing conversation. They regularly attend Working Group meetings in Montreal or elsewhere and are expected to give at least one talk a year or to act as respondents to colleagues' papers.


Graduate Students

Regular participants, working with Working Group members or working on circus-related scholarly topics:

  • Dr. Tracy Zhang
    post-doctoral fellow, Concordia University; supervisor Norma Rantisi
  • Joanna Donehower
    doctoral candidate, PhD in Humanities, Concordia; supervisor: Louis Patrick Leroux
  • Lyn Charland
    doctoral candidate, PhD in Humanities, Concordia; supervisor: Louis Patrick Leroux
  • Sue Proctor
    MA in SIP, Concordia; supervisor: Louis Patrick Leroux
  • Johanna Tzountouris
    MA, Laval University
  • Katie Lavers
    PhD Candidate through WAAPA (Edith Cowan University, Australia)


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