Denise Kenney, MFA

(She, Her, Hers)

Associate Professor

Creative Studies, Theatre
Office: CCS 167
Phone: 250.807.9632

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Devised Theatre, Physical Theatre, Art and Social Practice, Eco-Art, Performance Art, Interventionist Performance, Experimental and Documentary Digital Media.

Courses & Teaching

Devised Theatre, Art and Social Practice, Performance Art, Community Engagement, Improvisation, Spoken Word, Live Art and Digital Media, Film, Documentary Production, Narrative Short Film Production, Interdisciplinary Studio Practice.


Denise Kenney has worked as a performer, creator, and director in devised performance and has written, directed and produced experimental, narrative and documentary film and television.  She produces work for indoor and outdoor public spaces using live and digital art.  Her community engagement is designed to reconfigure habitual experience in order to cultivate connection and belonging. She is Co-Artistic Director of Inner Fish Performance Co. and The Eco Art Incubator.



Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Masters of Fine Arts. Studied at Ecole Jacques Lecoq (Paris).

Selected Publications & Presentations

“Site-specific Performance and the Art of Not Leaving.” Choreographic Practices (Spring 2018): Performing Ecologies in a World in Crisis. Guest edited by Sondra Fraleigh and Robert Bingham. (Kenney & Holmes)

Eco-Art Incubator Cyprus: Sites Embodied/ Catalogue, Curriculum Contemplations. Lake Publishing, 2018. (Kenney & Holmes)

“The Eco Art Incubator and the Ethics of Belonging.” The Ethics of Art: Ecological Turns in the Performing Arts. Ed. Guy Cools and Pascal Gielen. Antennae, Valiz, Amsterdam: Arts in Society, Fontys School of Fine and Performing arts in collaboration with the Modul-Dance Project of the European Dance House Network, 2014.

“Ground Rules: Live Performance and Eco Art.” Canadian Theatre Review 144 (Fall 2010): 48-53.


Live Performance and Community Engagement (Selected)
Co-Producer, Pony Cabaret, Kelowna, 2015-2019
Performer, 27th Intl Ornithological Congress, Vancouver, 2018
Co-Facilitator, Cyprus: Sites Embodied, Cyprus, 2017
Writer/Performer, Handheld Devices: Body Politic, Montreal/Vancouver, 2016/2014
Performer, Town Criers (Theatre Replacement), Vancouver, 2015
Performer, Peep Show, Kelowna, 2015
Director/Performer, We Can’t Hear You , On-Line, 2014
Co-Producer, Daylighting the Classroom, Kelowna, 2013-2014
Co-Producer, Terroir, Peachland , 2013
Co-Producer, Turf the Turf, Kelowna, 2014
Performer/Director, Social Potluck, Port Townsend, WA 2012
Co-Producer, Vivarium: Scar Sites, Kelowna, 2012
Performer/Creator, Green Fuse, Kelowna, 2012
Co-Writer/Director, Green Space, Edmonton, 2012
Director, Soundcan: Art of Public Noise Tour, Europe, 2011
Performer/Co-Creator, The House at the End of the Road, Vancouver, 2010
Performer/Co-Creator, Inner Fish, Kelowna, 2009
Performer/Co-Creator Ground Rules, Kelowna, 2008

Film and Television (Selected)
Director/Editor, The Common Fag, Experimental Short, 2018
Writer/Director/Editor, Living Building, Documentary, 2018
Director/Editor, Taaloo Zorouna Syrian Refugee Project, On-line Series, 2017
Writer/Director/Editor, Bee Line , Experimental Short, 2013
Writer/Director/Editor, Chainsaw Ballet, Experimental Short, 2013
Writer/Director/Editor, Eulogy, Dramatic Short, 2006
Writer/Director/Editor, Other Eyes, Documentary, 2002
Writer/Director, The Shopping Bags (7 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 2003-20004
Writer/Director, Weird Homes (23 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 1999-2002
Writer/Director, Weird Weddings (10 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 2002-2003
Writer/Director, Weird Wheels (15 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 2000-2002

Selected Grants & Awards

Collaborator: SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant (2018): Open Works. Open Works addresses a historical and current problem facing Inspired Word Cafe concerning how to negotiate competing and often incongruent forms of access within its community, particularly between the access needs of disabled community members, and the economic limitations of other community members.

Co-Investigator: Equity & Inclusion Grant (2018): Queer Culture Creation. UBC Creative Studies faculty work with various non-profit LGBT groups to present queer cultural events significant to that community, and which promote positive health benefits for the community.

Co-Investigator: SSHRC Creation Grant (2011): The Eco-Art Incubator. Drawing on the idea of technology or business incubators, The Eco Art Incubator provides support for eco art in this valley by fostering a network of artists, collaborators, and contacts so that Okanagan conservation programs will benefit and that students , local artists and community members will participate in this growing field of fine arts and ecological activism.

Principal Investigator: UBC-O Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Research Grant (2009): Inner Fish.

Principal Investigator: Grant-In-Aid (2013): New Monaco.

Co-Investigator: City of Kelowna Arts, Culture and Heritage (2012): Vivarium.

Principal Investigator: Hampton Research Grant (2011): The Soundcan European Project.

Awards & Distinctions

Community Engagement Award, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, 2017.

Honorable Mention Teaching Innovation, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, 2013.

Kelowna Impact Award, 2013.

Mountain Film Awards: Seven Summits Award, 2012.

BC Television Leo Award Best Director in Lifestyle Series, 2001.


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