Doctoral research project

"The Improvising Trickster" by Stacey Sacks

Researcher: Stacey Sacks

Whilst doing the doctoral project ‘The Improvising Trickster’, Stacey Sacks interrogates notions of entitlement, authority and exclusion. Through intra-disciplinary experiments, the project attempts to dissect the distinct politico-historical moment in which we currently find ourselves, and to inhabit the neo-colonial in a critical way as a means of processing with humour the tragedies of our contemporary age. Stacey is a doctoral student in performing arts.

Goal & purpose

Through an auto-ethnographic excavation of whiteness, privilege and entitlement, the project is an improvised investigation of the politics of representation, exclusion and remnants of coloniality. Via clown, mask, stop-motion animation and film, it thinks through current post/neo-colonial narratives and recurring cycles of victimhood and abuse, whilst viscerally exploring the ontology of character and the agency of objects.

Research questions

Is it possible to push back white supremacy through critical engagement and play? How can playfulness be construed as dissent/resistance/transgression? How do performers’ and spectators’ bodies, objects, the rehearsal space, animation laboratory and performance arena cross-sensitize? What is an improvisatory impulse and what does it mean to be ’on’ the moment?

This is how the research will be carried out

The project oscillates between experiments of immersion and detachment, exploring notions of (dis)embodiment and (im)materiality. With the explicit aim of dismantling and re-arranging hegemonic boundaries that create unequal power relations based on binary oppositions such as ‘us/them’, ‘civilized/barbaric’ and ‘human/non-human’, the research engages with current critical discourse via improvisatory collisions within the trans/hyper-disciplinary practices mentioned above.


50% seminar - autumn 2017. Disputation 2019.

Final Presentation

A final exposition of the research will be presented in multiple forms – performance, animation, film and text.