Tessa Buddle

Research title

Utopia on Tour: exploring a contingent dramaturgy of utopia in contemporary touring theatre

Research summary

The research considers theatre and utopia as mutually dependent quests to model better alternatives to the present.

Via collaborative devising and touring practice, Tessa is investigating a dramaturgical model that could be considered ‘a search for utopia’; a practice that seeks to discover better ways of being in the world, and is in turn influenced by the principles underpinning such a better way.




  • 2017, SGSAH Student Development Fund, for ‘Touring Experiment’ fieldwork and training
  • 2017, School of Cultural and Creative Arts Research Committee Student Award, for attendance at annual IFTR conference
  • 2017, College of Arts Research Training Support Grant, for attendance at annual IFTR conference
  • 2016-2019, SGSAH Doctoral Training Partnership AHRC Studentship


  • 2017, ‘Touring Theatre as Mobile Utopia’, Mobile Utopia: Pasts, Presents, Futures, Lancaster: Lancaster University, November 2017
  • 2017, ‘Contingency and Utopia in Collaboratively Devised Performance’, International Federation of Theatre Research, Sao Paulo: Universidade de Sao Paulo, July 2017
  • 2016, ‘Reclaiming Utopia’, Rediscovering the Radical, Liverpool: Collective Encounters/ Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, September 2016
  • 2016, ‘Curating Utopia, or How to Resolve Disputes over Fossil Fuels and Fences’, Expanded Practice and Curation as Creative Process, Crewe: Axis Arts/ Manchester Metropolitan University, March 2016

Additional information


  • 2018, ‘Travelling Show’, touring venues in UK
  • 2015-2016, ‘How to Resolve Disputes over Fossil Fuels and Fences’, collaboration with Tim Anderson, touring venues in North West England
  • 2014, ‘Yuletide Paradise’, The Suitcase Ensemble (company), touring venues in North West England