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Suzanne Little profile photo

Head of Programme, Theatre Studies
Associate Professor

Tel +64 3 479 5084

Research interests

Suzanne's research interests include:

  • Framing and critical theory
  • Witnessing and performance
  • Care ethics and performance
  • Refugee representation in theatre and performance
  • Representation and the ethics of trauma and violence in performance
  • Actor training
  • Repetition and mobilities in performance
  • Practice as Research (PaR and PARIP) and Practice Research
  • Reflective Practice
  • Performance analysis
  • Documentary and verbatim theatre

Suzanne has additional qualifications and experience in the visual arts and film and has worked also as an actor, director and production designer. Suzanne is director of the interdisciplinary 'Performance of the Real' University of Otago Research Theme. As part of that role, Suzanne convenes conferences as well as presenting her research at international conferences. Suzanne serves on a number of national boards, including the Theatre in Health Education Trust which specialises in using applied theatre to deliver sexual health programmes to schools throughout Aotearoa. Her research has been published in international journals such as Performance Research and Theatre Research International as well as in a number of books. Her forthcoming Routledge book – Performance, Resistance and Refugees is co-edited with Caroline Wake and Samid Suliman.

As a director, actor and/or designer, Suzanne's productions include: William Shakespeare's As You Like It, King John, Twelfth Night and multiple compilation shows such as Caryl Churchill's Vinegar Tom; the group devised clown show Who Nose Romeo and Juliet and Arthur Schnitzler's Anatol and La Ronde.

Suzanne is the co-founder of two ongoing Australian theatre companies – Vena Cava and The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble where she served as co-artistic director before taking up her current position in New Zealand. She was awarded a PhD at The Queensland University of Technology for her thesis "Framing Dialogues - towards an understanding of the parergon in theatre" – an exploration and development of framing theory specific to theatre.

For further information, view Suzanne's profile on


  • PhD via Practice as Research, “Cinematic Theatre / Theatrical Cinema – a blending of processes,” Ross Brannigan, Auckland University of Technology
  • MFA in Theatre Studies, “Dark Matter,” Martyn Roberts
  • Masters in Theatre Studies - “Violence in the Theatre and Film of Martin McDonagh” – Orion Carey-Clark
  • Masters Studio Project - Darling Girl: A Performance As Research Exploration Of Wendy Darling From J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan; Or, The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up – Beth Waite


Little, S. (2023). Refugees, visual culture and theatre. In S. Little, S. Suliman & C. Wake (Eds.), Performance, resistance and refugees. (pp. 19-34). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003142782-3

Little, S., Suliman, S., & Wake, C. (Eds.). (2023). Performance, resistance and refugees. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 191p. doi: 10.4324/9781003142782

Little, S. (2022, June). Procession: Caring through documentary. Docalogue [Invited documentary conversation]. Retrieved from

Little, S. (2022). Australasia. In R. Nelson (Ed.), Practice as research in the arts (and beyond): Principles, processes, contexts, achievements. (2nd ed.) (pp. 139-146). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-90542-2_8

Mullen, M., Willis, E., Hyland, N., Little, S., & Hazou, R. (2021, December). Decolonising teaching and research. Keynote presentation at the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) Conference: Performers, Makers, Methodologies, [Online].

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