Professor Anna Furse B.A, P.G.C.E, PhD, F.R.S.A
Anna is a practising artist-academic, published author and award-winning director/ writer/ originator of over 55 touring productions. Head of Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London (2011 -15), she Directs the MA in Performance Making, Co-Director of The Centre of the Body, Curator/Chair of The Performance Research Forum and Editorial Board member of Goldsmiths Press. She is Artistic Director of Athletes of the Heart, founded in 2003 with funding from the Wellcome Trust for the first of her projects on subfertility and reproductive technologies under the overarching The Art of A.R.T.
Originally training with the Royal Ballet through the 1960’s, she assisted at Peter Brook’s International Centre for Theatrical Research in Paris (1971) and participated in ‘paratheatre’ with Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium (1975/6). Through the 1980s she was a New Dance writer/activist with X6 collective, and co-founder of Chisenhale Dance. Artistic Director of Paines Plough (1990 – 1995), her Time Out Award-winning Augustine (Big Hysteria) (1991) was featured in Channel 4 TV’s Are Women Mad? A video installation of Augustine (Big Hysteria) was curated by Dawn Kemp for the Mad, Bad, Sad exhibition, Freud Museum (2013 – 2014). Her most recent residencies include Beijing, Delhi, Palermo and Bogota. Among her many works with Repertory Theatres, Young Peoples’ Theatre (Theatre Centre), disabled theatre GRAEAE, the RSC, BBC radio, and touring/co-production internationally, her puppetry play for The Little Angel Theatre, The Peach Child was selected for the National Theatre New Connections 2008, staged at the NT Cottesloe Theatre and internationally, and published by Faber. Her Methuen anthology Theatre in Pieces, Politics, Poetics and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (2011) includes her Don Juan.Who?/Don Juan.Kdo? co-produced with Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana, (2008). Sea/Woman with Dah Teatar’s Maja Mitic, played Belgrade, the UK and Beirut, (2011). When We Were Birds premiered at Cantieri Culturali Zisa, Palermo (2013) and played Live Collision Festival, Dublin and GIFT Newcastle (2014).
Consistently interested in the body socially, politically, medically, conceptually, and as an agency of meaning in performance, following her works on hysterias, reproduction and medical imaging, Anna is currently commissioned by Create Ireland as part of CAPP, a transnational programme co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of the EU for her performance lecture Anna Furse Performs an Anatomy Act, a Show and Tell (Live Collision Festival and Chats Palace 2016), and her forthcoming digital artwork I Am Not A Piece of Meat that draws on and extends research into Anatomy Theatres. These fall under her overarching project The Theatre of Our Bodies, that includes the Wellcome funded Interiority talks.