Ms Alexandra Suzanne Bonham
MA (Hons), MA (Cantab)
I trained as an actress in London after graduating with a BAHons in Law and many happy memories of the ADC and Footlights Club from Cambridge University. I combined performing with publishing through my twenties, starting as a literary agent's assistant before becoming an editor at Hodder & Stoughton. I have nine years trade publishing experience where I specialised in structural edits of commercial fiction.
I left publishing in July 2010 to have two children. Since then I directed the play Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, my first professional theatre production, in June 2012, Oh What a Lovely War in 2014,and Grounded in 2015. I also assisted Michael Hurst on A Midsummer Night's Dream in early 2015 and will direct a street theatre version of Two Gentlemen of Verona in 2018. I have recently completed a Masters in Drama at the University of Auckland, graduating with first class honours in 2016 and began my PhD study in July 2017.
I am a member of Women in Urbanism Aotearoa and am a guide with Auckland Free Walking Tours which is a surprisingly rich avenue of narrative enquiry encompassing historical, geographical, sociological research, performance and storytelling. My play personality is explorer/storyteller. I also enjoy cycling, singing, dancing, board games, banter and books.
Research | Current
I am in my first year of a practice-led PhD with creative component, exploring the concept of a playful city, considering how the public may co-produce, and so transform the city, through play. I am considering play spaces, the potential to play in and with spaces, and whether there is permission to play in the city. I am taking a theatrical mindset to new urbanism that is also shared with leading figures in Panuku Auckland. I wonder about the connection between play, the social fabric and community resilience, the intersections between intersubjectivity through play, trust, and a more democratic and kinder process of urban development.
At the moment I am working on The Children's Path - a theatrical placemaking intervention raising questions on children's independent mobilities in the city. I spoke on this project at the 8th Symposium on Mobilities hosted by the University of Otago's School of Physiotherapy in November 2017.