Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Kovacs

Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Kovacs
Assistant Professor
Office: Phx Rm 109

PhD (University of Toronto), MA (University of Toronto), BAH (Queen’s University)

Area of expertise

Theatre History: theatre and performance history, historiography, Canadian theatre, theatre archives, devised performance, dramaturgy

Areas of Research and Creative Activity:

Canadian theatre history, theatre historiography, performance archives, performance theory, material theatre culture, devised theatre, experimental dramaturgy, geographies and flows of cultural production


Thea 414: Canadian Theatre History

Thea 314: Studies of Ancient Theatres

Thea 500a: Methods and Materials of Theatre Research

Thea 409: Theories of Acting


Dr. Alexandra Kovacs received her BA (Honours) in Drama and English from Queen’s University, and both her MA and PhD from the University of Toronto Graduate Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. Following her doctoral studies she began a postdoctoral fellowship at York University in Toronto.

Kovacs’ research focuses on Canadian theatre historiography, with a specific interest, to date, in the construction of the performance history of late Mohawk (Kanien'kehá:ka) Six Nations woman E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake). Her most recent essay related to Johnson, published in Playwrights Canada Presses collection Canadian Performance History and Historiographies (2017; Edited by Heather Davis-Fisch), was awarded the prestigious 2018 Canadian Association for Theatre Research Richard Plant Award for the best English-language article on a Canadian theatre or performance topic. Kovacs’ research work has also been published in Performance Research, Shakespeare International Yearbook, Canadian Theatre Review, and the collection Space and Place: Cultural Mapping and the Digital Sphere. She is a co-Investigator on the SSHRC Partnership project titled “Gatherings: Archival and Oral Histories of Canadian Performance,” a co-organizer of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Performance History Working Group, and a member of the Jackman Humanities “Deep Time” working group.  She has shared her passion for theatre history in her years of teaching at the University of Toronto Mississauga, the University of Toronto Scarborough, and at the Ryerson School of Performance. Her teaching methods are informed by her research into performance based teacher training with the University of Toronto Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation, where she served as a peer-trainer for graduate student instructors.

Alongside her research and teaching work, Kovacs sustains a commitment to arts practice.  She develops her own theatre projects with the international and interdisciplinary performance collective Ars Mechanica. Previous performances developed with this company include SISI (Harbourfront Centre/HATCH series, May 2016), Show and Tell Alexander Bell (Summerworks Theatre Festival, Toronto, 2013), Telephoney (The Great Hall, Toronto, as part of the Long Winter Performance Series, 2012). Further, as a former arts manager and programmer, Kovacs has designed community building arts programs for children, adults, and seniors. Highlight projects include: Organizer and Producer, The Donnelley Project (2016); Curatorial Visioning and Event Design, No Vacancy Exhibition in partnership with Myseum Toronto (2017); Curatorial Visioning, Yearbook exhibit in partnership with Scarborough Archives and Scarborough Arts (2016); Producer, Scarborough Arts’ Art in the Park Festival (2017).

When Kovacs is not researching, making, or writing about performance she is exploring the world with her new daughter, Greta, her husband, Laird, and their extended family that now lives in the Victoria area.

Selected Publications:

Kovacs, Alexandra. “Pauline Johnson: Poet and Performer.” Canadian Plays and Performance Documents, 1606-1967. Eds Lindgren, Allana, Glen Nichols and Tony Vickery. University of Alberta Press. Expected publication 2018 (forthcoming).

Kovacs, Alexandra (Sasha). “Beyond Shame and Blame in Pauline Johnson’s Performance Histories.” Canadian Theatre Histories and Historiographies. Ed. Davis-Fisch, Heather. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press. Spring 2017.

Kovacs, Alexandra. Review of Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama by Jordan Tannahill. Theatre Research in Canada. 38.1. Spring 2017.

Kovacs, Alexandra (Sasha). “It Comes in Waves: Performance in Toronto’s Harbour at the 2015 PanAm Games.” Performance Research. Special Issue: On Sea/At Sea. Eds. Sam Trubridge and Richard Gough. Vol 21. No 3. May 2016.

Kovacs, Alexandra (Sasha) and Jennifer Roberts-Smith, Shawn DeSouza-Coelho, Teresa Dobson, Sandra Gabriele, Omar Rodriguez-Arenas, Stan Ruecker, Stéfan Sinclair. “An Interactive, Materialist-Semiotic Archive: Visualizing the Canadian Theatrical Canon in the Simulated Environment for Theatre (SET). Space and Place: Cultural Mapping and the Digital Sphere. Ed. Ruth Panofky and Kathleen Kellett. Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 2015.  

Kovacs, Alexandra (Sasha). “Performance as Treatment in the James Bay Treaty No. 9.”  Canadian Theatre Review. Eds. Natalie Alvarez, Sasha Kovacs, Jimena Ortuzar. Issue 161 (Winter 2015)

Canadian Theatre Review. Issue 161. Performance and Human Rights in the Americas. Eds. Natalie Alvarez, Sasha Kovacs, and Jimena Ortuzar. University of Toronto Press, Winter 2015.

Jennifer Roberts-Smith (lead), Shawn DeSouza-Coelho, Teresa Dobson, Sandra Gabrilee, Omar Rodriguez-Arenas, Stan Ruecker, and Stéfan Sinclair; Alexandra (Sasha) Kovacs and Daniel So. “SET Free: Breaking the Rules in a Processual, User-generated, Digital Performance Edition of Richard the Third.” Shakespeare International Yearbook 2013: Digital Shakespeares. Eds. Brett D. Hirsch and Hugh Craig. Ashgate Press, 2013.