PhD Dissertation via creative production and exegesis:

Faux Queens: an exploration of gender, sexuality and queerness in cis-female drag queen performance.

This research explored the cultural implications of cis-women performing as drag queens; focusing on straight-identified performers.


The exegesis and creative production examine intersections between heterosexual and queer identities, and whether straight-identified faux queens may be queered by performance practice. Drawing on practice-led research, autoethnography and in-depth interviews, the thesis explores tensions in negotiating cis-gender iterations of drag and discusses ways that faux queen performances maintain the challenge of queer and resist reincorporation.

This research project negotiates the subject positionality of faux queens (particularly those who are straight identified) and explores the cultural implications of cis-women performing female drag. Faux queens are cisgendered women, of various sexual identities, who perform in queer spaces as drag queens.

The research employs queer feminism and uses autoethnography, indepth interview and creative practice as research to explore the queer potentiality of straight faux queens, and the cultural implications of their appearance in the performance mode of drag. Creative outputs related to this work include – a web based space for performance and performativity, WerqSF – a web based documentary series, and Agorafaux-pas! – a scripted piece of cabaret theatre



Honours Dissertation via creative practice and exegesis: 

Experience, Confidence & Anxiety: Solidified & Emergent Leadership Hierarchies in Collaborative Devising


The primary purpose of this research project was to investigate how leadership and control might function in a theoretically non-hierarchical method of theatre-making. The key objectives of this project where to:

-Investigate and define collaborative devising as a model for creative practice.
-Develop an understanding of the tensions involved in collaborative devising.
-With a small cast, collaboratively devise a piece of physical theatre.
-Draw conclusions regarding how leadership roles might be influenced and established in a devising process.

Collaborative devising, as a production method, was investigated, and a model for creative process was adapted from relevant literature. After recruiting four undergraduate Performance Studies students from Curtin University, the devising model was then implemented over 14 rehearsal sessions. The rehearsal sessions culminated in a piece of physical/dance theatre, based on a section of text from Arthur Miller‟s The Crucible entitled A Hangin’ Error. In addition, interpretations of Miller’s The Crucible were investigated via literature search.


The solidified leadership role of project facilitator is demonstrated within the creative component of this Honours thesis. Through a Process of Discovery is an annotated guidebook, written from the facilitator’s perspective, which provides a step by step guide to the method used when devising A Hangin’ Error. The exegesis reflects lived experiences throughout the 14 rehearsal sessions, examining a leadership hierarchy which emerged among the volunteer participants.

This dissertation received first class Honours.


Curtin University Performance Students David Valent, Laura Collier & Shannon Toyne in rehearsal for “A Hangin’ Error” 2011.