ANNA BIRCH (PhD) is Lecturer, Research at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow and
Artistic Director and founder member of Fragments & Monuments performance and film
Her most recent publication is:
Barton, B., Dreyer-Lude, M., Birch, A. (eds.) 2013, and Mediating Practice(s): Performance as Research and/in/through Mediation. Experiments and Intensities Series, Volume 3, Winchester: Winchester University Press, www.experimentsandintensities.com (volume page weblink to follow upon publication) ISBN 978-1-906113-12-4.
Recent Academic Invites – Birch, A ‘Not the final word….’ Invited speaker at The Making of Performance: Stories of Performing Physicalities, Glasgow University, College of Social Sciences, 22 June 2013,Gilbert Scott Conference Suite Room 356 Symposium
World Stage Design (2013) in Cardiff Prof. Kathleen Irwin (scenographer University of Regina, Canada) and Dr. Rachel Hann (Edgehill University, UK) and Birch are invited to explore the performative aspects of the Internet as a way of expanding a local creative practice and a mechanism to link and archive the work of artists around the world. Here the focus is the politics of food – within both an historical and contemporary context. This research will examine local and individual rituals surrounding food and how these reflect and critique global networks of production and delivery. Birch will focus in particular on the food and eating rituals of the Suffragettes that includes the politics of force-feeding now and in the past in the context of food and feeding as a critical and pressing global concern.
Anna has produced and directed a series of projects in public spaces, theatres and galleries, which focus on how site- specific performance and film can develop and challenge gender vocabularies. By using iterative performance and film, book publishing and Internet broadcast since 2000 this work has resulted in an on-going and living monument to Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797). She is interested in how this use of multimedia in her projects provides an essential link to the performativity of a particular site.
Her work is found in libraries, museums and specialist archive holdings as evidence of the hidden histories of women’s achievement. The Wollstonecraft Live Experience! (January – March 2010) for Hackney Museum, London featured A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) from the Hackney Archive and a specially produced companion volume “ The Wollstonecraft Live Experience!” (ISBN 978-0-9568008-0-0) by Anna Birch and Taey Iohe (2010) funded by Hackney Museum. Awarded Time Out critics choice listing.
As a practice-led researcher, publishing includes co-editing Site-Specificity and Mobility, Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol 22, Issue 2 (Routledge) and a collection entitled Performing Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice which includes her latest essay ‘Repetition and Performativity: Site-Specific Performance and Film as Living Monument’ (Palgrave, 2012) both with Prof. Joanne Tompkins (University of Queensland, Australia).
She is co – convenor for Practice as Research Working Group, International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR / FIRT) with Mark Fleishman, Head of Drama, University of Cape Town, South Africa from 2009 and implementing a new online presence www.performanceasresearch.com to connect this international research cohort
Anna’s first productions of plays by April de Angelis and Marina Carr made her early career in developing, directing and producing new writing notable. She trained as a director under Max Stafford-Clark and was the first winner of the Gerald Chapman Award at the Royal Court Theatre, London. She applies her experience of script development with playwrights and working as a director with actors in the professional theatre to her research. In 2011 she directed the performance and film A Pageant of Great Women (by Cicely Hamilton, originally directed by Edith Craig, 1909) for an international conference (convened by Prof. Katherine Cockin, Hull University, UK) to celebrate 100 years of The Pioneer Players film and DVD- to be duplicated and disseminated with an ISBN number to relevant archives and holdings as a reference DVD.
Anna is leading on a partnership project with Glasgow Women’s Library where A Pageant of Great Women is the vehicle for a social engagement project in Bridgeton, Glasgow. The G.W.L .is moving into a disused and now repurposed library in this neighbourhood and want to engage local people in the activity of the library and pave the way for a sustainable theatre and performance delivery at the new library premises. This iteration of A Pageant of Great Women will show case Glasgow women of achievement drawn from the G.W.L. archive and a large-scale procession onto the nearby Glasgow Green a site recognised for its importance in suffragette history.
Anna’s work in knowledge exchange focuses on diversity and inclusion matching the Conservatoire strategic strategy and was recently funded by the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity at Saint Andrews University, I.C.C. also funded her to work with Solar Bear on their artistic excellence with mental health learning cohorts. The Scottish Funding Council funded her to consult on the documentation for Pathways to the Profession Symposium with Scottish Dance Theatre. She was awarded a Higher Education Association small grant to design and deliver a symposium in April 2013 on Inclusive Arts Practices attended by delegates from throughout the UK and showcasing the Conservatoire’s contribution to inclusive arts practice. See:
She continues to work closely with Solar Bear on the deaf theatre actor training initiative at the Conservatoire.