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Barry Freeman

Contact: barry.freeman@utoronto.ca
Phone: 416-287-7136
Office Hours: *On Leave until July 1, 2017*

Assistant Professor, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Program Director, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
Executive Editor, Theatre Research in Canada
Associate Editor, Canadian Theatre Review


M.A., Ph.D, University of Toronto


Research Areas

Canadian Theatre, Globalization, Interculturalism, Ethics, Applied Theatre, Theatre & Education


Staging Strangers: Theatre and Global Ethics. McGill-Queen’s UP, Montreal, forthcoming fall 2016.

This monograph combines archival research and performance analysis to offer a fresh critique of contemporary theatre in Toronto. Whereas in the past, theatre in Toronto was often concerned with cultural identity and marginalization, it has in recent years also been concerned with daunting global issues such as human rights, poverty, illegal immigration, and ecological crises. Staging Strangers draws on ethical philosophy and the sociology of globalization to present a fresh perspective on the goals, methods and aesthetics of this theatre today (Recipient of a SSHRC Award to Scholarly Publication).

In Defence of Theatre: Aesthetic Practices and Social Interventions. (co-edited with Kathleen Gallagher). U of T Press, Toronto, 2016.

This edited collection brings together a diverse and accomplished group of academics, educators, and artists from across the country to consider the question: why theatre now? In recent years, processes of globalization, political shifts, local material realities, and evolving cultural interests have had a great impact on the kind of theatre that is imagined and produced in classrooms, in communities, and on stages. What is it about our own moment that makes theatre–as an aesthetic form, a social intervention and a political power–worth doing?


Recently Convened Residencies

“Youth and Revolution,” an Artistic Residency with Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu (funded by the Equity and Diversity in the Arts program in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media, University of Toronto Scarborough), Spring 2015.

“Rebel Acts: La Pocha Nostra’s Activist Performance Pedagogy,” one-week residency of Guillermo Gomez-Pena and the performance group La Pocha Nostra at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (co-organized with Shelley Liebembuk and Jimena Ortuzar), (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Fall 2014.


Articles and Book Chapters

2016 “Joey Walks the Old Lost Land in Artistic Fraud’s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams,” Canadian Theatre Review 166: 50-53. (3,200 words)
2016  “Education as Arts Talk? Canada’s National Arts Centre and Praxis Theatre’s SpiderWebShow,” written with contributions from Michael Wheeler. In Education and Theatres: Innovation, Outreach and Success. Michael Anderson and Michael Finneran, eds. Springer Press. (forthcoming)

2016 “Prague’s Studio Ypsilon Theatre in the Tradition of the Czech ‘Liberated Theatre’,” in Alternative Theatres in Eastern Europe. Diana Manole and Vessela Warner, eds. University of Iowa Press. (forthcoming)

2016  “Theatre for a Changeable World, or Making Room for a Fire,” in In Defence of Theatre: Aesthetic Practices and Social Interventions. Barry Freeman and Kathleen Gallagher, eds. University of Toronto, 2016. 21-34.
2015 “Rethinking the Virtues and Values,” Canadian Theatre Review 161: 80-82.

2014 “Aesthetic Diversities in Acting Training,” Canadian Theatre Review 160: 15-20.

2014 “On the Road with the Global Savages: An Interview with Debajehmujig’s Joe Osawabine and Ron Bertie.” Canadian Theatre Review 157.

2013 “Finding a Place Beyond Place in the Rouge Park Project.” (co-authored with Natalie Frijia) Applied Theatre Research 2.1 49-50.

2013 “Between Biblical Tradition and Contemporary Audiences: Jewish Theatre Practice in Toronto,” Canadian Theatre Review 153 : 8-12.
2012 “The Social Neuroscience of Empathy in the Theatre of Global Ethics,” Performing Ethos: An International Journal of Ethics and Performance 2.1: 41-54.
2011 “Humanizing strangers near and far: ethics and irony in The Middle Place and A Taste of Empire.” Canadian Theatre Review 147 : 113-116.

2011 “Multi-site ethnography, hypermedia, and the productive hazards of digital methods: a struggle for liveness.” Ethnography and Education 6(3), 357-373.

2010 “Fear of Flight, Fear of Fright: Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland and Eight ‘Trans-Canadian’ Playwrights Touch Down at Factory Theatre.” Canadian Theatre Review 142.

2010 “‘It could have been so much better’: The aesthetic and social work of theatre.” Research in Drama Education: Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 15.1: 5-27.

2009 “Navigating the Prague-Toronto-Manitoulin Theatre Project: A postmodern ethnographic approach to collaborative intercultural theatre.” Theatre Research in Canada. 30 : 58-81.

2008 “The Geopolitics of Invisibility in Ahmed Ghazali’s The Sheep and the Whale.” Alt.theatre 6.4: 29-34.

2008 “Beyond Reaching Out: De-Ba-Jeh-Mu-Jig Theatre Group and Native Youth.” Canadian Theatre Review 133. : 11-16.

Book Reviews

Of Erin Hurley’s Theatre of Affect, in the Journal of Contemporary Drama in English (forthcoming).
Of Linda Burnett’s Theatre in Atlantic Canada, in The University of Toronto Quarterly, 2013.

Of Alice Rayner’s Death’s Double and the Phenomena of Theatre, in Divadelní Revue (Czech Theatre Review), 2013.

Of Tobin Nellhaus’s Theatre, Communication and Critical Realism, in Divadelní Revue (Czech Theatre Review) 23(3), 128-131.

Recent Conference Papers and Seminars

“On the Virtue of Theatre in Canada in the New Millennium,” (with Kathleen Gallagher), The Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators,” Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada (forthcoming).

“On the current state of applied theatre practice, training and research in Canada,” (With Kathleen Gallagher and Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta). Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Calgary AB, Canada, 2016.
“Strange Encounters: Intimacy and Indifference in Participatory Performance,” Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English, Barcelona, Spain, 2015.

“Dark Threats and White Knights: on the New Melodrama of Globalization,” Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Ottawa, 2015.

“Radical Unstructuring in Debejehmujig’s The Global Savages.” In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization, International Conference,  London, UK 2013

“Theatre and Mentorship for Youth in Canada: Toronto’s Paprika Festival in Context,” Turkish State Theatre’s International Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences, Ankara, Turkey, 2013. (KEYNOTE)

“Going Far Away: The ‘Journey Narrative’ in the Theatre of Global Ethics in Toronto,” The Viewing of Politics and the Politics of Viewing International Conference on Theatre & Globalization, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2013.

“Verbatim Theatre in a Pedagogy of Global Ethics,” (with Natalie Frijia) International Drama-in-Education Research Institute, Limerick, Ireland, 2012. (Emerging Scholars KEYNOTE)

“Verbatim Theatre in a Pedagogy of Global Ethics,” (with Natalie Frijia) Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Waterloo, Canada, 2012.

“Empathy in the Theatre of Global Ethics: The Good and Bad News from Social & Cultural Neuroscience,” American Society for Theatre Research, Montreal, Canada, 2011.

“Lepage among the Huronne-Wendat: an(other) Aboriginal treatment of La Tempête,”World Shakespeare Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 2011.


Toward a Postmodern Ethnography of Intercultural Theatre: A Case-Study of the Prague- Toronto-Manitoulin Theatre Project
Supervisor: Kathleen Gallagher, Canada Research Chair and Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


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