The mission of Urban Research Theater is to forge new interdisciplinary, international, intersectional solidarities through critical embodied practice. Since 2004 it has served as an umbrella organization for artistic projects created by Ben Spatz and associates.
Urban Research Theater was founded in 2004 in Wroclaw, Poland, as ‘Badawczy Teatr Miejski‘. Since that time it has organized several hundred private and public events in the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, and elsewhere.
Ben Spatz is a nonbinary researcher and theorist of embodied practice. They are the author of What a Body Can Do: Technique as Knowledge, Practice as Research (Routledge 2015); Arts & Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow (2016-2018); and Senior Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Huddersfield. Ben edits the videographic Journal of Embodied Research published by Open Library of Humanities and the new Advanced Methods imprint from Punctum book, as well as co-convening the Embodied Research Working Group within the International Federation for Theatre Research.
Recent talks and workshops include a series of performative research presentations with Nazlıhan Eda Erçin and Agnieszka Mendel at University of Leeds, University of Manchester, University of Kent, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Centre at CUNY, NYU Performance Studies, and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London; as well as solo invited talks and workshops at the Universities of Manchester, Leeds, Kent, Bedfordshire, Aberdeen, Cardiff, and Ghent; University of the Arts Helsinki; Northwestern University, New York University, and City University of New York; and the Grotowski Institute, Galicia Jewish Museum, and POLIN Museum in Poland. Recent and forthcoming articles are in the journals Performance Research, Performance Philosophy, Contemporary Theatre Review, and South African Theatre Journal.
Nazlıhan Eda Erçin (Judaica Project Team)
Agnieszka Mendel (Judaica Project Team)
Sióbhán Harrison (Artistic Associate)
Ilona Krawczyk (PhD Student)
Francesca Placanica (Visiting Research Fellow)
Jennifer Parkin, Artistic Associate (2014-2015)
Karoliina Sandström, Guest Artist (2014)
Susan Oetgen and Peter Sciscioli, Guest Artists (2013)
Margot Bassett, Guest Artist (2012-2013)
Massimiliano Balduzzi, Associate Director (2008-2012)
Malgosia Szkandera, Guest Artist (2011)
Michele Farbman, Artistic Associate (2006-2009)
Beata Zalewska and Izabela Mlynarz (2004-2005)
Ania Boratyn and Malgorzata Przedzak (2005)
Bartek Bulanda, Kasia Donner, Daniel Jastrzebski, Marek Konopczak, Monika Kuszewska, Barbara Pawlic, Szymon Struzik, and Izabela Walkowiak (2004)
Previous phases of work can be traced back through 15 years of websites:
• Urban Research Theater 2016
• Urban Research Theater 2012
• Urban Research Theater 2009
• Urban Research Theater 2008
• Urban Research Theater 2007
• Urban Research Theater 2006
• junk river productions 2004
• junk river productions 2003