Joanna Evans


Joanna Evans

Joanna is a South African theatre artist, playwright and performance scholar based in Brooklyn. Their research is moved by improvised and ensemble performance practices, decolonial exigency, material animacy, queer intimacy, communal knowledge, and the permeability of Their working methodology is to listen close, breathe deep, and stick around for things to get weird. Joanna’s plays have toured throughout South Africa, as well as to international festivals in Italy, Germany, Iran, Hungary, Réunion and the United States. These include Four Small Gods, King Kong What What, Patchwork, and The Year of the Bicycle. Joanna is a co-founder of Pillow Fort Theatre, one of South Africa’s first Theatre for Early Years companies, which conducts experimental research into performance for pre-verbal audiences. Their article Unsettled Matters, Falling Flight was winner of the 2017 TDR: The Drama Review Student Essay Contest, and was published in the journal’s Fall 2018 issue.

Why PS @ NYU?

Performance Studies is a sanctuary for 'side-winding' thought; for generous theoretical, political and artistic engagement that doesn't settle or territorialize; for working in commons and from the heart.


New York University

Ph.D. Candidate - Performance Studies

New York, New York


New York University

Master of Arts - Performance Studies

New York, New York


University of Cape Town

Bachelor of Arts with Honors - Theatre and Performance 

Cape Town, South Africa

Awards & Distinctions

• TDR: The Drama Review Student Essay Contest Winner, 2017
• Leigh Odom Memorial Award for Distinguished Masters Student, NYU, 2017
• ‘Best Cutting Edge Performance’ nomination for 'The Year of the Bicycle,' Naledi Theatre Awards, 2017
• 'Best Emerging Director’ nomination, Naledi Theatre Awards 2016
• ‘Best Emerging Voice’ (Nomination), Naledi Theatre Awards, South Africa, 2016
• Best International Performance Award, Patchwork, 22nd Iranian International Festival of Theatre, 2015
• Best International Performance Award, Hamedan, Iran, 2015
• Imbewu Trust Scribe Award for Playwriting, South Africa, 2014
• Imbewu Trust Scribe Award for Best Original Script, Four Small Gods, 2014
•Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award, South African National Arts Festival, 2013
• Most Promising Student Director Award, South African National Arts Festival, 2012


• Evans, Joanna. Unsettled Matters, Falling Flight: De-colonial Protest and the Becoming-Material of an Imperial Statue. TDR/The Drama Review. 2018.
• Evans, Joanna. The Year of the Bicycle. Junkets Press. 2016.