Tessa Buddle of Suitcase Ensemble


The Suitcase Ensemble is a collaborative theatre company who work in both theatre and non-theatre settings to explore art’s power to transform lives and societies for the better. Tessa Buddle is a practice-as-research PhD student at The University of Glasgow, undertaking an AHRC-funded studentship researching utopianism in contemporary theatre. Tessa has been exploring utopian theatre-making for all of her professional career, working with such utopians as The People Show and Welfare State International when she was an emerging artist at Hope Street Limited, and going on to be a founding member of Liverpool-based theatre collective The Suitcase Ensemble, with whom she has been a core performer/deviser and dramaturg for 8 years.


Reclaiming Utopia

This 20-minute paper proposes that it would be of benefit to radical theatre makers to gain agency over the word utopia, reclaiming it as a positive descriptor for a practice that, as Dolan asserts, communicates ‘an alternative experience’ more immediately than any other artfor.