Peter Eckersall
Position: Professor, Theatre and Performance
Executive Officer, Theatre and Performance
Program: Theatre and Performance
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Phone: (212) 817-8876
Degrees/Diplomas: 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
Research Interests: Japanese Theatre, Asian Theatre, Dramaturgy, Contemporary Performance, Politics and the Arts, Performance and Media

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.