Eleanor Bishop makes socially engaged performance


Eleanor bishop


Eleanor Bishop is a writer and director who makes socially engaged performances that seek to untangle complex systems of oppression through active participation by audiences. Her pieces often blend canonical plays, text from media coverage, documentary interviews, live camera and sustained personal engagement with an ensemble of actors and designers.

Her latest project is Jane Doe, a participatory piece about rape culture that has evolved over three years with participation from multiple colleges campuses in the United States. Developed at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama it has subsequently toured to 11 college campuses in the US, and continues to tour. It was recently presented in New Zealand in the Auckland Fringe Festival (Winner of Social Impact Award) and is touring to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. 

In 2016 she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA with an MFA in Directing where she studied as a John Wells Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar and a NZ Federation of Graduate Women Fellow. She has worked as an assistant director for The Builders Association (Elements of Oz), the conceptual artist Taryn Simon (Occupation of Loss at the Park Avenue Armory) and as a directing intern at The Wooster Group (Early Shaker Spirituals, Pinter’s The Room).

Before her graduate study in the US, she worked in New Zealand as a freelance director, and co-director of acclaimed New Zealand theatre company The PlayGround Collective (with Eli Kent & Robin Kerr) whose work across site-specific, new writing and participatory forms toured to arts festivals and venues nationally, including The Intricate Art of Actually Caring (by Eli Kent) Tinderbox and Like There's No Tomorrow. She received her BA in Theatre (Honors) at Victoria University of Wellington.

New work Body Double will premiere at BATS Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand in November as the 2017 STAB Commission. Co-written with acclaimed theatre and performance artist Julia Croft and in collaboration with two US designers - scenic designer Lucy Pope and Kevin Ramser

She currently divides her time between her native Aotearoa-New Zealand and New York. 

Resume available here



Jane Doe (Edinburgh Fringe)
Written and Directed by Eleanor Bishop
August 3 - 28, 2017, 3pm
Assembly George Square Studio Two, Edinburgh
Part of
Tickets available here

Jane Doe (Duquesne University)
Written and Directed by Eleanor Bishop
September 21, 2017, 7 PM
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Body Double
Co-written by Eleanor Bishop & Julia Croft
Directed by Eleanor Bishop
November 10 - 25, 2017
STAB Commission from BATS Theatre and Creative NZ

Jane Doe is still taking bookings for more US college touring - visit for more info





For enquires relating to Jane Doe US touring please contact Jess Klein, Education & Outreach Co-ordinator on or visit

For all other enquires please e-mail