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Stephen Hodge

Stephen is an artist-academic-curator whose work falls within the territories of live art and interdisciplinary spatial practices. As well as working with Wrights & Sites, he generates Practice-as-Research across a range of contexts, e.g.:
Where to build the walls that protect us, ACE-funded, Kaleider commission (2013-14), reiterated through a commission for Compass Festival, Leeds (2016);
4 x 4 Screens, Live Art Development Agency commissioned DVD (2013);
The Master Plan, Book Works/Situations co-publication, launched at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2012);
SLarristokaupunki, ANTI Festival commission, Finland and Second Life (2009);
• Exeter A-Z, Year Of The Artist commissioned digital interventions aboard Exeter's bus fleet (2000);
• 2^6, 5 days of live art inspired by John Cage’s diary, funded by ACE and hosted by Spacex Gallery, Exeter (1997);
• for piano solo, National Review of Live Art performance inspired by the work, life and environs of Erik Satie, Glasgow (1994).

Stephen is Professor in Live Art + Spatial Practices at the University of Exeter, where he is an active member of the Centre for Contemporary Performance Practices. He was Head of Drama (2012-2018) and the University's Academic Director of Arts and Culture (2016-2021), responsible for co-authoring and delivering the institution's Arts and Culture Strategy. He is an adjunct faculty member of the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, India, and has contributed to the BA Architecture course at Plymouth University.

Stephen has a history of deep connections with the creative industries, for instance:
• as a resident at the Kaleider studio in Exeter, 2013-present;
• as a trustee of Bristol’s In Between Time, 2017-present;
• as a former Co-Director of REACT (Research & Enterprise in Arts & Creative Technology), one of four £4million-funded AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy (a collaboration between UWE, Watershed, and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter), 2013-16;
• as the former Theatre, Dance and Live Art Curator at Exeter Phoenix, 2001-12;
• as a former member of the New Theatre Architects, an ACE-initiated think-tank that sought to challenge artists and organisations to think about new models of making and supporting theatre in England, 2003-09;
• as a former board member, critical friend or associate to numerous organisations (e.g. Live Art UK, New Work Network, Spacex Gallery, Wide Awake Devon, b-side festival, Theatre Alibi and Exeter and Devon Arts Centre).

> personal website


Simon Persighetti

Simon is a Doctor of Ambulant Investigations. As an artist, performance-maker and writer, his practice lives in the re-imagining of cities, towns and landscapes through an active and playful engagement with people and place. His performances, walking and relational arts projects have been commissioned by partners including Compass Live Art, Live Art Development Agency, Plymouth Arts Centre, Spacex Gallery, Live@LICA, and B-Side Festival.

Simon is an experienced educator, lecturing in site-specific performance and devised theatre at Dartington College of Arts (1997-2008) and Falmouth University (2009-15). He completed a PhD, Mis-Guided Exploration of Cities in 2008 and currently mentors practiced-based researchers. He ran a series of public Leaving the Building walks in Exeter, Bristol and Prague supported by Falmouth University (2015). This Research and Innovation project was devised to complement the current architectural focus being applied by Wrights & Sites.

Selected recent projects, collaborations and publications include:
• Personal Shopper exploring the network of personal relationships between shoppers, food and traders at Leeds Kirkgate Market, with Katie Etheridge. 3 year project commissioned by Compass Live Art (2014 - 2016).
• Connected Communities Mapping project with Falmouth University Architecture Students and Penryn Town Team working together to explore the town and propose sites for interventions that might promote the growth of a sustainable and vibrant High Street (2016).
• DIY 12: University of DIY Workshop investigating the potential of Free Universities and nomadic art schools, with Katie Etheridge. Hosted by Contact, Manchester and commissioned by Live Art Development Agency (2015).
• In Polsethow shall habitations, or marvellous things, be seen animating, awakening, and mapping an 'invisible' building in the 750th year of it’s founding (Persighetti & Etheridge, Penryn Arts Festival 2015).
• Porous City investigating the textures, histories and viewpoints of the places we pass through daily (Persighetti & Etheridge 2011-14).
• A Mis-Guide Walks to the Shoe Museum photo-essay with Tommy Sussex. Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 17:2, 139-140 (2012).
• A Sardine Street Box of Tricks a handbook for making mis-guided tours. With Phil Smith (Triarchy Press, 2012).
• Signs & Wonders commemorating the 1612 Lancashire Witch Trials, a walking and multi-sited project in Lancaster and Pendle. Collaboration with Phil Smith and Katie Etheridge, commissioned by Live@LICA and Green Close (2012).


Phil Smith

Phil comes from a background in performance and music theatre, working as a writer and dramaturg with many companies including TNT (Munich) of which he is a founder member and with whom he continues to work as company dramaturg, with over a hundred of his plays and libretti performed professionally.

From site-specific performance-making with Wrights & Sites in 1998 Phil began to explore the possibilities of walking as a performance and writing practice. Among the companion pieces to his walking he has written and performed The Crab Walks (2004) and Crab Steps Aside (2005), in South Devon beach huts, lidos, tea shops and other unconventional settings, a mis-guided tour for the Beaminster Festival (2006), and with Simon Persighetti A Michael Chekhov Mis-Guide at Dartington Hall (2006), Rescued From The History Hut (2007, with Katie Etheridge and Anoushka Athique), The Fabulous Walks at Teign Village (2008, with Nicola Singh, Katie Etheridge and Fumiaki Tanaka), Exe-Pedition (2009), three walks at A la Ronde (2007-9), A Yarn Around the West End (2011, Plymouth), Spaces (2012, Weymouth, b-side Festival), and a Signs & Wonders walk (2012, at Newchurch-in-Pendle with Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti). The texts of the 'crab' shows are published by Intellect in Walking, Writing and Performance: Autobiographical Texts by Deirdre Heddon, Carl Lavery and Phil Smith, edited by Roberta Mock.

Phil is the author of Counter-Tourism: The Handbook (Triarchy Press, 2012), Counter-Tourism: A Pocketbook (Triarchy Press, 2012), A Sardine Street Box of Tricks [a handbook for making mis-guided tours] with Simon Persighetti (Triarchy Press, 2012) and Mythogeography (Triarchy Press, 2010).

Phil is an Associate Professor (Reader) in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts  at the University of Plymouth. He has published papers in Studies In Theatre and Performance Research, Cultural Geographies, Performance Research, Research in Drama Education and New Theatre Quarterly.


Cathy Turner

Cathy is Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on Dramaturgy and Site, including Dramaturgy and Performance (2008, co-author Synne Behrndt), with translations into Polish, Slovenian and Arabic. Her articles have appeared in Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review, New Theatre Quarterly, Studies in Theatre and Performance and other peer-reviewed journals. Her monograph, Dramaturgy and Architecture: Theatre, Utopia and the Built Environment, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. She was principal investigator on an AHRC network grant researching the politics of interactive and site-based dramaturgies, and was on the steering group of a further AHRC network into walking art. For updates on research, see her blog site. Cathy’s early experience was as a playwright with commissions from The Common Players, Orchard Theatre, the Northcott Theatre and Paines Plough, but her practice has shifted through her work with Wrights & Sites and her investigation of performance writing and dramaturgy (the focus of a practice-based AHRC research project in 2008).

Selected relevant recent publications:
• Hodge, S. and Turner, C. (due 2012) 'Site: Between Ground and Groundlessness', in Heddon D. and Klein J. (eds), Histories and Practices of Live Art. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 90-120.
• Turner, C. and Heddon, D. (2012) 'Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility'. Contemporary Theatre Review, 22.2.224-236.
• Turner, C. and Heddon, D. (2010) 'Walking Women: Interviews with Artists on the Move'. Performance Research, 'Fieldworks', 15.4, 14-22.
• Turner, C. (2010), 'Mis-Guidance and Spatial Planning: Dramaturgies of Public Space'. Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp.150-162.
• Turner, C. and Behrndt, S. (2008) Dramaturgy and Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
• Turner, C. (2004) 'Palimpsest or Potential Space? Finding a Vocabulary for Site-Specific Performance'. New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. XX, Part 4, No. 80, pp.373-390.