Peter Eckersall

Peter Eckersall

Research Interests

  • Japanese Theatre, Asian Theatre, Dramaturgy, Contemporary Performance, Politics and the Arts, Performance and Media


  • M.A. in Asian Studies from Monash University, Australia
  • Ph.D. in Japanese Studies (theatre) from Monash University, Australia
  • B.Ed from Rusden, Deakin University, Australia

Peter Eckersall teaches in the Ph.D. program in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, City University of New York and is a Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne. Recent publications include: Machine Made Silence (ed. with Kristof van Baarle, 2020), The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics (ed. with Helena Grehan, 2019), New Media Dramaturgy (co-authored with Helena Grehan and Ed Scheer, 2017), and Performativity and Event in 1960s Japan (2013). He was co-founder/dramaturg of Not Yet It’s Difficult. Recent dramaturgy includes: Everything Starts from a Dot (Sachiyo Takahashi, LaMama), Phantom Sun/Northern Drift (Alexis Destoop, Beursschouwburg, Riga Biennial).

Awards and Grants

  • 2021-2023, Australian Research Council (ARC) ‘discovery’ project grant (Eckersall, Varney, Tait, et al.) ‘Evaluating Australian Ecological Theatre and Performance’.
  • 2020, Project development grant (Eckersall, Varney, et al.) ‘Evaluating Australian Ecological Theatre and Performance’.
  • 2017-18, CUNY PSC Collaborative Research Opportunity Grant, (Eckersall and Bertie Ferdman) ‘Theatre in the white room: How dramaturgy and curatorial practices are intersecting in the contemporary arts.
  • 2016-19, Australian Research Council (ARC) ‘discovery’ project (Eckersall, Grehan, et al.), Power and Performance: Revaluing Theatre in the 21st century.
  • 2011-14, Australian Research Council (ARC) ‘discovery’ project (Eckersall, Grehan and Scheer) New media dramaturgy: how new media transform the composition and reception of live performance

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • American Society for Theatre Research
  • Australasian Drama Studies
  • Association Federation of International Theatre Research
  • Performance Studies international
  • International House of Japan

Courses Taught

  • Dramaturgy and the reinvention of contemporary theatre
  • Introduction to Theatrical Theory
  • Japanese theatre and performance


Scholarly Book Chapters

  • 2020, ‘Kris Verdonck’s UNTITLED: Actor Machines and Dismal Work’, in Machine Made Silence: The Art of Kris Verdonck Peter Eckersall and Kristof van Baarle (eds), Aberystwyth: Performance Research Books, 57-66.
  • 2020, The Poor Old Sun: A Note on Kris Verdonck’s DETAIL’, in Machine Made Silence: The Art of Kris Verdonck Peter Eckersall and Kristof van Baarle (eds), Aberystwyth: Performance Research Books, 89-91.
  • 2020, ‘Between Contemporary Art and Performance: Dramaturgy and Flow’, in The Methuen Drama Companion to Performance Art, Bertie Ferdman and Jovana Stokic (eds) London: Bloomsbury,104-119.
  • 2019, ‘Radically Dead Art in the Beautiful End Times’, The Routledge Companion to Performance and Politics (co-edited with Helena Grehan), London and NY: Routledge, 308-310.
  • 2018, ‘Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich and the Ideal of Convenience in Japan’, Globalization and Modernity in Asia: Performative Moments, Edited by Chris Hudson and Bart Barendregt, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 57-70.
  • 2018, ‘Butoh’s remediation and the anarchic transforming politics of the body in the 1960s’, The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance, Bruce Baird and Rosemary Candelario (eds.), London and New York: Routledge, 150-157.

Journal Articles

  • 2019 ‘Embodied Histories and Overlapping Memories in the Body’, ASAP Journal, 4:1, 74-76.
  • 2019, ‘Correspondence and the Parallax View’, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, 41:1, 44-48.
  • 2018, ‘On Dramaturgy to Make Visible’, Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 23: 4-5, 241-243.
  • 2016, ‘Nihon ni okeru posuto guro-baru engeki to gendai no ni jûhihyô’ (‘Post-global’ theatre in Japan and the double critique of the contemporary moment, translated by Haho HIDAKA), Theatre Studies: Journal of Japanese Society for Theatre Research. Number 63, pp. 22-30.