Gianna Bouchard

Colleges, School and Institutes


I originally trained in musical theatre at the Italia Conti Academy in London, followed by a number of years teaching drama, classical ballet and modern dance. Going to university led me to my PhD at the University of Roehampton and a change in focus to theatre and performance.

My PhD was titled ‘Performing the Anatomised Body’ and initiated my interest in the connections between medicine and performance. My research has been published in Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review and a range of edited collections. I have also edited a special edition of Performance Research on medicine and a Methuen book titled Performance and the Medical Body.

My teaching has included a wide range of theoretical and practical modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including those focused on performance studies, politics and performance, dance theatre, live art, and devising performance.

Research interests

My research focuses on exploring specific medical discourses and practices, such as anatomical dissection, in order to analyse contemporary performance practice. My work has examined constructions of power and knowledge, visuality, spectatorship and theatricality in the work of ORLAN, Marissa Carnesky, Kira O’Reilly and the Bodyworlds Exhibition, for instance, and has been published in a number of journals and edited collections, including Performance Research and Contemporary Theatre Review. In February 2016, my co-edited book Performance and the Medical Body (with Dr Alex Mermikides) was published by Bloomsbury Methuen.

I am currently working on a monograph titled Performing Specimens: Biomedical Display in Contemporary Performance, to be published in 2019 by Bloomsbury Methuen. This explores the staging and the display of the ‘body as specimen’ in contemporary performance practice and within wider visual culture. I have recently completed a book chapter for Live Art in the UK: Contemporary Performances of Precarity, on the live artist Martin O’Brien, which explores some of these issues around specimenhood.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

I am interested in supervising postgraduate projects in any aspect of performance and medicine, in live art, in the politics of identity and in contemporary performance practice. I am currently co-supervising the following practice-as-research PhD candidates:

Kelly Green: Chav Ballet: Developing a working-class female aesthetic through performance
Mehrdad Seyf: Interdisciplinarity as Cultural and Spatial Practice