Open-air Performance and Environment Network (O-P-E-N.)



A space for discussing and researching open air performance.

OPEN to all forms and genres of performance taking place under the sky.

OPEN to multiple disciplines, including performance studies, earth sciences, cultural studies, tourism studies, history and more.

OPEN to artists, researchers, programmers, curators, audiences.

OPEN to questioning the category, the practices, the boundaries, the politics of outdoor work.

OPEN to the blurring of boundaries and opening of access offered by digital communication.

OPEN has been established in summer 2021 in response to the upsurge in outdoor arts following the covid-19 pandemic, to bring together all those interested in open air performance, including walking practices, open air Shakespeare, site-specific performance, street performance, performance in gardens, safari tourism performances, histories of popular performance, socially-engaged work and more. What unites these disparate practices is that they are open to the sky and weather, something that has felt more significant during and after lockdown. We are working across disciplines and internationally, and are joined in this discussion by colleagues from diverse contexts and perspectives, as well as by artists with multiple approaches.


Evelyn O’Malley

Cathy Turner

Giselle Garcia

Chloe Preedy

Tony Lidington

Peter Stott

Stephen Hodge

Michael Pearce

Konstantinos Thomaidis


(Network members are listed. We acknowledge the work of our colleagues on these projects – please follow links for details.)

O’Malley, Turner, Garcia: ‘Outside the Box: Open-air Performance as Pandemic Response’

Preedy, O’Malley: ‘Atmospheric Theatre: Open-air Performance and Environment’

Stott, O’Malley: Climate Stories

Turner: ‘The Politics of Performance on the Urban Periphery in South India’

Lidington: ‘Outdoor Arts in Exeter: A Pandemic Compliance Report’

Hodge, Turner: Wrights & Sites

Pearce: Fourth World Productions

Thomaidis: Listening Back: Towards an Archaeology of Greek Theatre

%d bloggers like this: