Judaica Project Team


Ben Spatz (Project Leader) is Senior Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Huddersfield; Arts & Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow (2016-2018); and author of What a Body Can Do: Technique as Knowledge, Practice as Research (Routledge 2015). They convene the Embodied Research Working Group within the International Federation for Theatre Research and edits the Journal of Embodied Research, a peer-reviewed video journal that launched in 2017 from Open Library of Humanities. Recent invited talks and workshops include ‘What is a song?’ (The British Library), ‘Beyond Performer Training’ (University of Kent), ‘An Epistemic Context for Martial Arts’ (University of Cardiff), ‘Decolonizing Song-Action: A Laboratory Report’ (Maynooth University), ‘Re-Reading Grotowski in the Anthropocene’ (University of the Arts Helsinki), and ‘Future Documents: Video Epistemology and Embodied Research’ (University of Manchester).

Nazlıhan Eda Erçin (Researcher) is a theatre/performance artist, social researcher and educator, teaching Physical Auto [Biographical] Performance at the University of Exeter. She holds a BA degree in Sociology with a Minor in Political Science from Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey), an MA degree in Performance Studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (USA) as a Fulbright Alumni, and is currently a PhD candidate in Performance Practice at the University of Exeter (UK) funded by College of Humanities International Studentship. She has worked with critically acclaimed contemporary theatre ensembles in and outside of Turkey including ODTU Oyuncuları / METU Players, Ankara Sanat Tiyatrosu / Ankara Art Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company (LA) and Double Edge Theatre (Massachusetts). Her current practice as research, which lies at the intersection of gender, performance studies, auto-ethnography and physical theatre, looks at the notion of virginity as a daily female intercorporeal performance with a focus on contemporary Turkey.

Agnieszka Mendel (Researcher) is a singer, actress, ethnologist, voice and theatre teacher. She is fascinated by the possibilities of the human voice and uses songs from many cultures to search for vocal techniques and emotionality. She has trained in Hindustani Vocal Music at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in New Delhi and at the Natural Voice Perfection Institute. For 15 years she was closely associated with the Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices in Poland where she played leading roles in the performances Metamorphosis, Elektra, Ifigenia in A…, Ifigenia in T…, and Pythian Oratorio, and conducted many workshop sessions for actors and singers from around the world. Poet and composer, co-author and performer of her own music and theater projects, she is the beneficiary of several artistic scholarships and awards for achievements in the arts and the protection and promotion of cultural goods.


Maiada Aboud (Guest Artist) is a visual/performance artist whose work deals with ways that social and religious structures interconnect and influence the individual. Using endurance art, Maiada’s interest in social and religious issues draws on a unique and personal perspective. A Palestinian Christian Israeli, she graduated from Haifa University and received further education in the UK, where she completed her Masters at Coventry University and her PhD at Sheffield Hallam University. Her study attempts to connect the social cultural analysis to the individual’s experience by way of using performance and relating it to culture and social life. The intention is to investigate cultural identity using endurance art with the objectives to establish if these performances are linked to collective identities.

Garry Cook (Photographer/Videographer) is a writer and photographer. He has contributed articles to over 40 national and international newspapers and magazines. His documentary photography work focuses on social issues, ranging from leisure to war. He completed a Masters in Photography at the University of Bolton. His projects have been delivered in various formats, from exhibitions and in book form, plus more unconventional approaches such as publishing documentary photography Christmas cards and as theatre performance. This theatre-based practice, which included a commission by Fuel Theatre to produce photo-based performance Northern World, has come from a desire to show photography to new and more diverse audiences. He uses performance, verbatim text, spoken word, music and video to create a unique live experience in viewing photography.


Project Leader
Ben Spatz

Laboratory Phase (2017)
Nazlıhan Eda Erçin
Agnieszka Mendel

Performance Art (2017)
Maiada Aboud

Dybbuk version (2014-2016)
Sióbhán Harrison
Jennifer Parkin
Sobhia Jones
Nicola Fisher
Karoliina Sandstrom

Aleph version (2013)
Bruce Steinberg

Steampunk version (2012)
Margot Bassett


Recent talks and workshops
Aarhus University
University of Winchester
Nucleo de Investigación Artística, Chile
University of Gothenburg
University of California, Davis
Somatische Akademie Berlin
University of Leeds
University of Kent
Leeds Beckett University
Leiden University
Zurich University of the Arts
Trier University, Germany
Lithuanian Academy of M&T
American Society for Theater Research
Int Fed for Theatre Research
Cultural Studies Association
a2ru National Conference
Middlesex University, London
University of Zagreb, Croatia
University of Ghent
University of Brighton
University of Bedfordshire
Northwestern University
University of South Wales
Maastricht University
University of Anbar, Iraq
Dans Brabant, Netherlands
University of Aberdeen

Laboratory Phase (2017)
Center for Jewish Studies, CUNY
Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków
Goldsmiths, University of London
Grotowski Institute, Wroclaw
ISSJ, Philadelphia
JW3 Community Center, London
LABA Lab for Jewish Culture, NYC
Leimay Ensemble, NYC
Massolit Books, Krakow
Martin E. Segal Center, CUNY
New York University
NN Theatre, Lublin
Panoply Performance Lab, NYC
POLIN Museum, Warsaw
RCSSD, London
SITI Company, NYC
Tufts University, Boston
University of Kent
University of Manchester
Wesleyan University, Connecticut
White Stork Synagogue, Wroclaw

Performance Art (2017)
Actformance, Huddersfield
Awkward Bastards, Birmingham

Chorus (2017-2018)
Holocaust Memorial, Huddersfield

Dybbuk version (2014-2015)
Performing the Jewish Archive
University of Huddersfield

Aleph version (2013)
Performance Mix Festival, NYC

Steampunk version (2012)
Movement Research, NYC
Earthdance, MA
Triskelion Arts, NYC

2017 Lab Details

Team Members
Travel Calendar
List of Songs
IP Statement

Research Funding and Support
Arts & Humanities Research Council
University of Huddersfield