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People

Annecy Lax

Deputy Dean (Postgraduate Research Training) and Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
 Annecy Lax
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872635

  • Location

    5NW.4.7, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Thursday 3-5pm Or by request

Profile

Biography

My research interests are in applied theatre, performing testimony, trauma in performance, the body performing protest and representations of ethics. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was Co-I on a successful AHRC GCRF bid to create a residency and practice-exchange forum with female theatre-makers in conflict and post-conflict zones. I am also working on drawing together philosophical, cultural and socio-legal definitions of dignity in dialogue with performance work around displacement, diaspora and disfigurement, particularly in relation to performance art, live art and other non-drama based performance actions. I have received University awards for my teaching practice, and recognition for my research innovation and impact, winning the Faculty of Humanities, Research Champion Award in 2019, and as Supervisor of the Year for the Faculty of Humanities in 2020. Following on from an AHRC GCRF funded residency, I am currently working on research outputs with six global partners on women theatre-makers who use their practice to promote social justice dialogue in conflict and post-conflict zones. My doctoral thesis, ‘Performing Human Rights’, explores applied and political theatre companies which address human rights abuse, and rights capacity-building through performance. My doctoral research uses critical theory and performance philosophy to examine a number of contemporary companies and contextualise these case-studies against the problematics of defining human rights, the ethics and aesthetics of staging factual material, and the performativity of human rights protest and resistance. I offer PhD supervision in research connected to applied theatre and political theatre, currently working with students looking at questions of consent, chronic pain, autism and FGC/M in their theatre making practices. I mostly supervise practice research projects, working with students to mount festivals, deliver community arts programmes, drama in educational settings and to work with organisations as writers in residence. I also supervise theatre artists making new work, particularly where questions of autobiography are involved. I continue to work as a playwright and creative producer with ice&fire theatre, including a recent ACE funded installation piece on the UK’s involvement in the arms trade, and via a long-standing partnership with Amnesty International to develop a succession of performance provocations and new short films.

Appointments

University of Essex

  • MA Director, Literature Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (1/10/2016 - 1/10/2018)

  • Director of Employability and Development, Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (1/10/2018 - 30/9/2019)

  • Director of Impact, Literature Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex (1/1/2019 - 30/9/2019)

Research and professional activities

Current research

Ariadne: Women making theatre for social change

Co-I on a successful AHRC GCRF bid in 2017 creating a residency and practice-exchange forum with female theatre-makers in conflict and post-conflict zones.
More information about this project

Performance as Protest: Protesting through Performance

I continue to work as a playwright and creative producer in my current collaboration with ice&fire theatre and Teatro Vivo on a new installation piece on the UK’s involvement in the arms trade
More information about this project

British Theatre and Human Rights discourse

‘Performing Human Rights’, explores applied and political theatre companies which address human rights abuse, and rights capacity-building through performance. My doctoral research uses critical theory and performance philosophy to examine a number of contemporary companies, and contextualise these case-studies against the problematics of defining human rights, the ethics and aesthetics of staging factual material, and the emergent performativity of human rights protest and resistance.

Performing Testimony and Trauma

I continue to expand my research interests in applied theatre, performing testimony, trauma in performance, the body performing protest and representations of ethics, via a multiple commission from Amnesty International to develop a succession of performance provocations and new short films.

Performing Dignity

Drawing together philosophical, cultural and socio-legal definitions of dignity in dialogue with performance work around displacement, diaspora and disfigurement. Particularly in relation to performance art, live art and other non-drama based performance actions.

Conferences and presentations

Conflicts in Listening: Taking testimony for ice&fire theatre

Invited presentation, Performance and Conflict II : LISTENING, PERFORMANCE, AND CONFLICT, Performance and Conflict II : LISTENING, PERFORMANCE, AND CONFLICT, Montreal, Canada, 5/11/2019

Arming the World: Artivism and Creative Resistance

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Human Rights Centre Speaker Series, Human Rights Centre, Colchester, United Kingdom, 6/11/2018

You Don't Have to Accept the Caution: Arming the World

Theatre and Performance Research Association, Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom, 6/9/2018

Ariadne: Women making theatre for social change

Palestinian Performing Arts Network conference, Palestinian Performing Arts Network conference, 30/11/2017

Tales of Winter and Spring

Post-Colonial Research Group, Post-Colonial Research Group, Centre for Colonial and Post-Colonial Studies, Canterbury, United Kingdom, 9/11/2017

To beg the tender question: dignity and surrogacy in performance art

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), Utrecht, Netherlands, 10/7/2017

Dignity through performing ritual: an examination of ritual and death through the play The Nine O’Clock Slot

Invited presentation, Interdisciplinary Workshop - Performing Dignity, Interdisciplinary Workshop - Performing Dignity, Durham, United Kingdom, 29/4/2016

The Test of Testimony: or how to avoid ethical paralysis

TAPRA Working Group Participation as Research, TAPRA Working Group: Participation as Research, London, United Kingdom, 14/7/2015

The Test of Testimony: or how to avoid ethical paralysis

TAPRA Working Group Participation as Research, TAPRA Working Group: Participation as Research, London, United Kingdom, 14/7/2015

Performing Asylum Monologues: changing communities and shifting scripts

Asylum and Displacement conference, Asylum and Displacement conference, London, United Kingdom, 7/8/2013

Performing Asylum Monologues: changing communities and shifting scripts

Asylum and Displacement conference, Centre for International Theatre and Performance, Egham, United Kingdom, 6/8/2013

Room for humanity: memory, truth and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of South Africa

Theatre and Performance Research Association (TAPRA) Annual Conference 2012, TAPRA Annual Conference 2012, Canterbury, United Kingdom, 6/9/2012

Together we tell the story – models of participation in human rights theatre

Things Unspeakable: Theatre and Human Rights conference, Things Unspeakable: Theatre and Human Rights conference, York, United Kingdom, 8/10/2011

Ethical potential for other people’s stories

Life Writing and Human Rights: Genres of Testimony, Life Writing and Human Rights: Genres of Testimony, Kingston-Upon-Thames, United Kingdom, 12/7/2011

The politics of spectacle and sensitising the space: Jericho House theatre

New Methods, Old Tricks conference, New Methods, Old Tricks conference, York, United Kingdom, 20/7/2010

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Research Methods in Literary and Cultural Analysis (LT901)

  • Introduction to Theatre Studies (TH141)

  • Gender in Performance: Sexual Politics and the Stage (TH245)

  • Theatre and Human Rights (TH343)

Previous supervision

Judith Ann Johnson
Judith Ann Johnson
Thesis title: Hand-In-Hand? A Playwright's Journey Into Learning-Disability Theatre
Degree subject: Theatre Studies (Playwriting)
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 15/6/2020
Penelope Claire Simpson
Penelope Claire Simpson
Thesis title: 'Bone Seeds: The Creation of a Novel From an Interdisciplinary Writing Practice, in Dialogue with Walter Benjamin's Denkbild, to Reimagine Narratives of Aftermath.'
Degree subject: Creative Writing
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 24/7/2019
Francesca Gray
Francesca Gray
Thesis title: The Artist Interrogates Violence: A Practice as Research Project Considering the Efficacy of Different Forms and Styles of Theatre Through a Portfolio Approach Which Articulates and Animates Narratives of Violence in Private and Public Domains.
Degree subject: Theatre Studies
Degree type: Master of Arts (by Dissertation)
Awarded date: 3/7/2019
Grace Lily Durbin
Grace Lily Durbin
Thesis title: Speaking the International Language of Art: A Practice as Research Study to Explore the Legacy of Theatre for Development in Making a New Play for a Social Justice Theatre Festival in Post-Conflict Rwanda.
Degree subject: Theatre Studies
Degree type: Master of Arts (by Dissertation)
Awarded date: 24/6/2019
Fabiana Sforza
Fabiana Sforza
Thesis title: '10:31, Mcr: a Practice-As-Research Project That Investigates Ethical Dramaturgical Approaches to Politically Sensitive Theatre-Making with and for Young People.'
Degree subject: Theatre Studies
Degree type: Master of Arts (by Dissertation)
Awarded date: 17/6/2019

Publications

Journal articles (1)

Lax, A., (2021). ‘To be creative is to exist’: rejecting resilience, enacting Sumud in the cultural resistance of ASHTAR theatre. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 26 (1), 153-170

Other (6)

Lax, A., (2019).The Game is On Again,Amnesty International

Lax, A., (2019).50 Ways to Be An Activist - Performance Workshop for Amnesty International

Lax, A. and Kuti, E., (2018).Theatre. Conflict. Change.,University of Essex

Lax, AC., (2017).Dear Children, Sincerely,Ariadne project, Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Lax, AC., (2016).Ethical Drift in Re-performances of Testimony,Amnesty International

Lax, AC., (2016).Voices of the Great War,University of Essex

Grants and funding

2016

Tales of Spring and Winter: Gender, Histories and Intergenerational Exchange in Global Theatre

Arts And Humanities Research Council

Contact

alax@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 872635

Location:

5NW.4.7, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Thursday 3-5pm Or by request