John  Keefe Author of Evaluating Organization Development

John Keefe

Dr, Senior Lecturer
London Metropolitan University

Between 1966-73, a cartographic draughtsman Between 1973-19 am ature student in Edinburgh, Coventry and Leeds. From 1979, a lecturer in theatre and film, a performance dramaturge, theatre director (and some video). A description of 'theatre bricoleur' would cover research, various events in UK and other parts of Europe, work with "Total Theatre", and other activities. Subjects include the physical in theatres, the ethics and dramaturgy of spectatorship.


John has worked as a theatre director, performance dramaturge and academic since 1979.


    PhD, Kingston University, London, 2013

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Physical theatres/the physical in theatres (the theatre body and staging), ethics in/of theatre, the text in/as performance, issues of the new and recycling


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Physical Theatres (2ed) - Keefe - 1st Edition book cover


What would you have done? Explorations of ethics in film studies, ed. Jacqui Miller

The film spectator as 'bricoleur'; an ethics of viewing and poaching.

Published: Jan 01, 2012 by What would you have done? Explorations of ethics in film studies, ed. Jacqui Miller
Authors: John Keefe

The spectatorial dramaturgy underpins the cinematic experience accepting fiction as-if real, looking/watching and being looked at/watched by others sharing the experience. The spectator’s phenomenological position as inveterate poachers and nomads by which socialised agents use, rework what is known. I develope ‘Boltanski’s dilemma’ by suggesting such fictions put us ‘in position’ to feel and imagine the circumstances of others with its attendant moral tensions and dilemmas.

Performing Ethos, 1:1

A spectatorial dramaturgy, or the spectator enters the ethical frame

Published: Jan 10, 2010 by Performing Ethos, 1:1
Authors: John Keefe

This article developed ‘an ethos of spectatorship’ in relation to a presented mise-en-scène and the always-present spectator’s actions within the ‘weave’ of the theatre event. I also discussed emerging paradoxes: that the implications of ‘looking-being looked at’ (opposed here to ‘gazing’) essential to our ‘being among others’; that agency becomes ‘qualified agency’); that the theatre requires the presence of both actor and spectator in an uneasy alliance.

Art History and Criticism, 6

Play(ing) it again; recycling as theatres, histories, memories

Published: Jan 01, 2010 by Art History and Criticism, 6
Authors: John Keefe

This article allowed me to emphasise that cultural recycling is at the heart of our being as agents in a social and cultural nexus from inheritances that are genetic, material, social and cultural. With respect to theatre, the knowing spectator draws on, is reminded of, and consequently mediates what they are watching, in the light of what has gone before. We bring our own ghosts - personal, cultural, social - to what we see and experience as agents inhabiting a shared world.

Recycling in Arts, Education and Contemporary Theatre

Recycling sources and experiencing physical theatre in educating professionals

Published: Jan 11, 2009 by Recycling in Arts, Education and Contemporary Theatre
Authors: John Keefe

It argued against re-using in the sense of repeating or re-iterating of things (offering a nominal claim of ‘newness’). Instead, re-use becomes a re-working that allows some ‘different’ artifact or understanding to be seen, of ‘re-cycling’, to challenge, to interrogate? To rework Brecht; does the familiar remain familiar and the strange remain strange or should the familiar be made strange and the strange made familiar so that we re-look at what we think and feel we know?

Literary London Journal

Berkoff's 'Londons': Staging psycho-geographies of the feared and the ecstatic

Published: Jan 09, 2009 by Literary London Journal
Authors: John Keefe

The article looked at Berkoff’s ‘London’ plays through the perspective of ‘physical theatres’. I suggested Berkoff ‘physicalises‘Londons’ by playing with London as sites of the body, sites of memory, sites of seduction. As ‘agons’ of real- and psycho-geographies of the feared and the ecstatic, so the spaces become ‘blended spaces’ of the (knowing) spectator’s recognised and imagined experiences.

Moving into Performance

Moving into Performance

Published: Jan 07, 1995 by Moving into Performance
Authors: John Keefe

As dramaturge for the event I was responsible for a dramaturgical structure by which the four reference themes could be explored in facilitated peer-exchange workshops concerned with processes not outcomes. I devised a ‘forensic process’ as a methodology and model predicated on the creative deconstruction and reconstruction of the material presented, the new material emerging from the process becoming the basis for a new cycle.