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Andy Houston earned his BA in Drama and Sociology from the University of Guelph (1989), where he was awarded a College of Arts Medal; in 1992 he completed a MA at the University of Alberta, with his thesis focusing on the dramaturgy and theoretical paradigms of playwright Howard Barker. In 1994 he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK), where he completed a dissertation on postmodern dramaturgy in the work of three companies, DV8, Forced Entertainment, and Brith Gof in 1999. Since completing his studies, Andy has taught and created performances across Canada and in Europe. In 2002, he and Kathleen Irwin started Knowhere Productions Inc., a company devoted to the exploration of site-specific and site-responsive performance; in the last fifteen years, he has directed and dramaturged several large-scale site-specific, intermedia productions. As a scholar, he has published broadly in his field and edited a Canadian Theatre Review issue on site-specific performance, as well as a collection of writings on environmental and site-specific theatre in Canada, published by Playwrights Canada Press.
Significant research contributions
Here Be Dragons (A multi-media, site-specific mapping performance. This work is part mp3-led soundwalk and part site-specific performance that took its audience on a journey of displacement; a mythogeographical mapping of queer, Asian-Canadian identity in downtown Kitchener. Produced by Knowhere Productions, MT Space, and UW Drama, Kitchener, as part of the IMPACT Festival, Sept. 2011. Listen to the soundwalk.
Legion of Memory (a multi-media, site-specific performance exploring war memorial and the displacement of war refugees in the location of the former Legion, Kitchener, Ontario – Tapestry Festival, June 2006 and Open Ears Festival, April 2007.
Crossfiring / Mama Wetotan (a multi-media, site-specific performance exploring the historical and cross-cultural relationship of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people to the land in Southern Saskatchewan. Claybank Brick Plant National Historic Site, Claybank, Saskatchewan. Watch the video.
The Weyburn Project (a multi-media, site-specific performance based on the historical edifice of mental healthcare – and the shadow of madness – in Saskatchewan, at the Souris Valley Extended Care Centre, Weyburn, Saskatchewn.
“Dis-ing the Main Drag and Walking toward the Public Good in Here Be Dragons: Mapping Queer, Asian-Canadian Identity in Kitchener, Ontario,” Theatre Research in Canada, ed. Yana Meerzon, Volume 36, No. 2, Fall 2015, pp. 274-289.
“Collaborating with Audiences in the Creation of Site-Specific Performance, or Transgression, Endurance and Collaboration in Windblown / Rafales,” About Directing, Edited by Anna Migliarisi (Toronto: Legas Publishing, 2014), pp. 65-83.
“A Parasite in the Monument: Performing the Surplus Value of the Brickmakers of Claybank in Crossfiring /Mama Wetotan," SightingCitingSiting: Crossfiring /Mama Wetotan Anthology, eds. Kathleen Irwin and Rory MacDonald. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Institute, 2009, pp. 111-128.
“The Thirdspace of Environmental and Site-Specific Theatre,” in Environmental and Site-Specific Theatre: Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, Vol. 8. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2007, pp. vii-xix.
“Deep-Mapping a Morning on 3A: The Found and the Fabricated of The Weyburn Project,” in Environmental and Site-Specific Theatre: Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, Vol. 8. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2007, pp. 130-142.
Environmental and Site-Specific Theatre: Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English, Vol. 8. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2007, 196 pp.
Theatre Research in Canada: feature issue on Space and Subjectivity, Vol. 29, No. 1, Fall 2008 (co-edited with Laura Levin), 178 pp. Canadian Theatre Review, on Site-Specific Performance. No. 126, Spring 2006 (co-edited with Laura Nanni), 133 pp.
Canadian Theatre Review, on Theatre and the Question of Disability. No. 122, Spring 2005 (co-edited with Michelle deCottignies), 97 pp.