Photo of Janne Cleveland

Janne Cleveland

Degrees:B.A. (Mount Saint Vincent University); M.A. (York Univerity); PhD (Carleton University)
Office:1913 Dunton Tower

Research Interests:

  • Contemporary drama and performance
  • Theatre history
  • Puppets!
  • Critical theory
  • Psychoanalytic theory and performance
  • 21st century satire as political performance

Theatre projects:

  • Creation in progress, working title Good Grief! (2017)
  • Associate Director, The Railway Children (OLT 2014)
  • Assistant Director, East of Berlin (GCTC 2012)
  • Director, A Fateful Meeting of Les Femmes Fatales (Arts Court Theatre 2011)
  • Director, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Arts Court Theatre 2010)
  • Assistant Director, Swimming in the Shallows (Arts Court Theatre 2010)

Professional Associations:

  • Canadian Association of Theatre Research (CATR)
  • Canadian Theatre Review (CTR)
  • New Ottawa Critics (NOC), Advisory Board
  • Prix Rideau Awards (PRA), jury member

Current Research:

The 21st Century has ushered in an overwhelming landscape of anxieties at    both personal and social levels, locally and globally: post-9/11 security concerns, climate change, the international refugee crisis, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in Canada, the effects of global economic crises, and now the uncertainties brought on by the 2016 US election and Brexit. Against this psychosocial background, my current research explores the innovative collaboration of theatre and dance presented in the production of Betroffenheit (2015). Created by Canadian performance artists Jonathan Young (theatre) and Crystal Pite (dance), this production stages the negotiations of personal trauma that is linguistically inexpressible. Drawing on psychoanalytic theory and performance theories, I argue that this combination of narrative (theatre) and movement (dance represents the effects of, and the attempts to mitigate, trauma that goes beyond the personal, and further, that this melding of performance tactics effectively signals contemporary coping mechanisms for inhabiting the anxious sociopolitical worlds that often threaten to overtake us.


  • “Mourning Lost ‘Others’ in Ronnie Burkett’s Happy”. Selves and Subjectivies: Reflections on Canadian Arts and Culture. Eds. Manijeh Mannani and Veronica Thompson, Athabasca University Press. (2012)
  • “Telling an Old Story in a New Way: One Reed Theatre Devises an Alternative Perspective of a Conflicted History”. Canadian Theatre Review Vol. 135. (2008)
  • “Beyond Kids’ Stuff: a Review of Mermaid: A Puppet Theatre in Motion by Alice Walsh (Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2005); Provenance by Ronnie Burkett (Toronto: Playwrights Press Canada, 2005). Canadian Theatre Review Vol. 128 (Fall 2006)

Conference Presentations:

  • Puppetry and Postdramatic Performance: An International Conference on Performing Objects in the 21st Century; University of Connecticut, Storrs Presented: “‘As a Witness and a Warning’: Politicizing the Audience in Tinka’s New Dress” (2011)
  • Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities Carleton University (Ottawa), CATR Presented: “Enacting National Identity: (Re)Visiting a Cross-Cultural History” (2009)
  • Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities Carleton University (Ottawa), Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English Presented: “Staging Blood Ties: Negotiating Abjection in the Family” (2009)