Dr Zoë Svendsen

Lecturer in Drama and Performance at Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

Lecturer in Drama and Performance, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

Zoë Svendsen is a theatre director, dramaturg and translator. Her PhD, completed in 2009, was on the relationship between the conditions of practice and aesthetics in theatre, exploring space and translation at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London.

Drawing on her extensive professional theatre experience, Zoë’s current practise-based performance research focuses on dramaturgy and the concepts of ‘rehearsal’ and ‘attention’. With Dr. Raphael Lyne (English) and Dr. Greg Davis (Experimental Psychology) she is currently developing a research project exploring the relationship between visual attention, subjectivity, text and spatiality in Renaissance drama, using a practice-based approach.

Zoë is Artistic Director of Metis Arts, an Associate Artist with Company of Angels, and a script reader in the literary department at the National Theatre. Zoë’s performance projects utilise small spaces to create immersive audience experiences. These have focussed on contemporary political subjects such as capitalism and poker; climate change; the relation between the real and the virtual. Directing/writing projects include 3rd Ring Out (UK tour 2010-11), which received a TippingPoint Commission Award and was nominated for a Total Theatre Award for innovation and experimentation in 2011; The Difference Engine (The Gate, Dance Umbrella); Discombobulator (Venice Biennale, Dance Umbrella); and Four Men and a Poker Game (Northern Stage, The Tron). Zoë is also a translator of plays from German – her translation of Lutz Hübner’s Respect was premiered at Birmingham Rep in April 2010. As dramaturg she recently worked with Joe Hill-Gibbins on Middleton’s The Changeling (Young Vic), which is transferring to the Young Vic’s main house in Autumn 2012.