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Space & Place Research

An investment in exploring space and place underpins all Alex Halligey's practices (theatre, research, Alexander Technique). This page is organised around her research outputs, which articulate the concepts and methodologies for these explorations.


Participatory Theatre and the Urban Everyday in South Africa: Place and Play in Johannesburg, Routledge, 2020. 


Collaborative Conversations: Celebrating Twenty-one Years of The Mothertongue Project, Modjaji Books, 2021, co-edited with Sara Matchett.        
'Embodying City Writing: Theatre as Bridge between the Literary and the Urban in Johannesburg' in The Routledge Companion to Literary Urban Studies, Routledge, 2022, edited by Lieven Ameel.
‘Cross-Community Professional Theatre as Socio-Spatial Activism in Breathing Space’ in Collaborative Conversations: Celebrating Twenty-one Years of The Mothertongue Project, Modjaji Books, 2021, co-edited with Sara Matchett.    
'Systems for Recognising Practice as Research in South Africa' in Practice as Research in the Arts (and Beyond): Principles, Processes, Contexts, Achievements, co-authored with Katherine Low, Palgrave Macmillan, 2022, edited by Robin Nelson.
(Forthcoming) ‘Making meaning, creating in community: an international dialogue on community art education within early childhood contexts’ in Community Arts Education: Transversal Global Perspectives. co-authored with Geralyn Yu and Judith Browne. Intellect Books, 2022, edited by Ching-Chiu Lin, Anita Sinner and Rita L. Irwin.



'Emplaced Sounding: Vocalizing as Placemaking Practice in Zadie Smith’s NW' in Cultural Geographies, 2022.

“Dark” cities: the role of interdisciplinary work in learning and supporting marginal city spaces in Urban Studies, 2020.

“Home is Home”: Journeying and Living from Ethiopia to Johannesburg’ in Studies in Theatre and Performance Journal,  special issue on Housing, Activism and Performance, 2020.

‘Layering mobilities: charting place-making through performance in Johannesburg’s inner-city suburbia’ in Anthropology Southern Africa, 2019.

‘Re-inventing mythologies: arguments towards cultural identity in “Medea” and “Rain in a Dead Man’s Footprints”’ in South African Theatre Journal, 2005.


Liveability and Vitality: An Exploration of Small Cities in Bangladesh' in Cities, co-authored with Hanna Ruszczyk, Mohammad Feisal Rahman and Istiakh Ahmed, 2023. 

Space for Haunting: Site-specific Theatre as Method for Engaging with the Complexity of Heritage Sites' in South African Theatre Journal, co-authored with Tamara Guhrs, 2023.


(Forthcoming) 14 entries on South African theatre directors in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stage Directors and Directing, edited by Maria Delgado and Simon Williams.


‘Ethics as Negotiated and Emergent in a Study of Liveability in Small Cities’ in Sentio, co-authored with Istiakh Ahmed, Feisal Rahman, Hanna Ruszczyk and Sumaiya Sudha, 2020.

'Making and knowing: how theatre helps to explore a city’s identity' in The Conversation Africa, 27 December 2018.


(Forthcoming) review of the monograph Opposing Apartheid on Stage: King Kong the Musical by Tyler Fleming in Canadian Journal of African Studies.



Practice Note on Including Children in Spatial Planning and Design Development Processes policy guideline document for South African urban planners and civil society on the participation of children in planning and design process. Editing commissioned by Philip Harrission, South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning, 2022.

Dissemination reports, curation of photographs and documentary video for the Liveable Regional Cities in Bangladesh Project, 2020.

Knowing and activating Johannesburg city streets with children: open streets and Reggio Emilia inspiration, research report on 2019 Open Streets, Auckland Park event, 2019.



'Space for Haunting: Site-specific Theatre as Method for Engaging Complex Heritage Sites’, co-authored with Tamara Guhrs, The International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) annual conference, Reykjavik, 2022.


'Performativity, theatricality and corporeality in the durational memorial projects of Senzeni Marasela and Paul Emmanuel,  South African Visual Art Historians annual conference, online, 2021.

'Heterotopic theatrical experiences in the digitally streamed productions of The Encounter and Swimming Home',          The International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) annual conference, online, hosted by National University of Ireland, Galway, 2021.

'Theatre as a participatory research tool in the Liveable Regional Cities in Bangladesh Project', Southern African Cities Studies Conference, online, 2020.

'Being, Belonging and Becoming in Africa' Panel, African Studies Association, Boston/online, 2019.


'Participatory site-specific performance', The International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) annual conference, Shanghai, 2019.

'Arts methodologies in research', European Conference for African Studies, Edinburgh, 2019.

Academy of Science of South Africa and British Academy Early Career Researcher Urban Lives Symposium, Johannesburg, 2019.

British Academy Governing for Urban Inclusion writing workshop, hosted by Richard Ballard from the Gauteng City Region Observatory and Charlotte Lemanski from Cambridge University, Johannesburg, 2019.

Presented on PhD research, The International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) annual conference, Sao Paulo, 2017.

Summer school on Urban Africa – Urban Africans: Emerging Spaces and Multiple Representations, hosted by the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS), Cagliari, Sardinia, 2016.

Presented on PhD research, International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) annual conference, Stockholm, 2016.

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