Bruce Barton is a performance maker and research/creation scholar located in Calgary, Alberta. His stage and radio plays have been produced across Canada, celebrated with regional and national awards, and anthologized. He works extensively as a director, playwright, dramaturg, and designer with numerous devising and intermedial performance companies across Canada and internationally. He is also the Artistic Director of Vertical City, an interdisciplinary performance hub. Recent Vertical City projects include YouTopia (Toronto 2013), All Good Things (Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary 2013-16), 2YouTopia (Toronto 2014), The Rogue Show (Co-created with Kaeja d’Dance in Toronto 2014), the award-winning Trace (Toronto 2014), Taste (co-created with Ghost River Theatre in Calgary, 2015), Close Relations (Calgary, 2015; Toronto, 2016) and tiny (co-created with Zuppa Theatre in Halifax, in development).
Bruce has published in a wide range of peer-reviewed and professional periodicals, including Performance Research, TDR, Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Theatre Research in Canada, and Canadian Theatre Review. He is a former general editor of Theatre Research in Canada and has several times been issue co-editor of Canadian Theatre Review (“Theatrical Devising,” “Memory,” “Dance and Movement Dramaturgy”). He has contributed articles to numerous international essay collections and is the author or editor/contributor of seven books, including Performance as Research: Methodology, Knowledge, Impact (2017), At the Intersection Between Art and Research (2010), and Collective Creation, Collaboration and Devising (2008).
Bruce is a core member of the Performance as Research Working Groups of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT) and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), as well as a founding member of the Artistic Research Study Circle of the Nordic Summer University (NSU). He is also the founder and co-ordinator of the “Articulating Artistic Research” Seminar at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research, which he began in 2012. Bruce has also been a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada for over 15 years.
International keynote/plenary presentations include “Engineered Affect in Posthuman Performance: Vertical City’s YouTopia” at the 2014 ASTR conference in Baltimore, MD, and “Interactual Dramaturgy: Interdisciplinary Strategies for Collaborative Performance Creation” at the VIII Congresso da ABRACE (2014) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Bruce’s interdisciplinary orientation runs deep: he holds two Honours Bachelor degrees, one in Literature and one in Fine Arts (Painting) from the University of Guelph. His Masters degree, also from the University of Guelph, is in Drama, and he received his Doctorate in Theatre and Film from the University of Toronto. Bruce taught performance creation, dramaturgy, intermedial performance, and practice-based research at the University of Toronto between 2001 and 2014. In January 2015 he became the first Director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary, where he also teaches Performance-Creation and Directing.