Performance as Treaty; the (En)treaty of Gesture

Conveners: Natalie Alvarez, Stephen Johnson, Beatriz Pizano and Trevor Schwellnus

This work group brings together researchers and artists to investigate how performance makes manifest the complex ways in which gestures, in their migration from body to body and witness to witness, are instantiations of the “treaty” in the Americas. We position “treaty” in newly configured, expanded, and imagined ways as an embodied, performative negotiation and testimony of mutual responsibility between peoples and between the land and its people. We will ask how bodily movement and gesture serve as implicit pacts, transmissions of testimony and responsibility to the past, present, and future.


Natalie Alvarez is Associate Professor of Theatre Praxis in the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University. She is the editor of the first two books on Latina/o Canadian theatre and performance and her work on contemporary performance has been published in a number of periodicals as well as national and international essay collections.

Stephen Johnson is Director of the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto (see for further information). He researches past and present popular performance and the performance of race.

Trevor Schwellnus is Artistic Producer of Aluna Theatre, where he created Nohayquiensepa (No one knows), and produces panamerican ROUTES | RUTAS panamericanas: a Festival of Theatre for Human Rights. He is studying multidisciplinary and intercultural practices with a focus on the dramaturgy of design. Upcoming: What I learned from a decade of fear.


Beatriz Pizano
Dani Phillipson
Diane Roberts
Helen Gilbert
Jarvis Brownlie
Jimena Ortuzar
Julia Barbosa Landois
Michael Minor
Myrto Koumarianos
Rosemary Georgeson
Sasha Kovacs
Ulla Neuerburg-Denzer