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 Film.

Courses & Teaching

Acting, Improvisation, Playwrighting, Devised Theatre, Art and Social Practice, Performance Art, Community Engagement, Spoken Word, Narrative and Documentary Film, Interdisciplinary Studio Practice, Sustainability.


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 is Co-Founder of The Eco Art Incubator, a project designed to foster eco art in the Okanagan valley and Inner Fish Performance Co., a performance company that presents and creates original work to challenge the boundaries of live performance and cultivate connection and belonging.



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)
Writer/Producer/Performer: Canary, Living Things Festival (Kelowna); Ignite the Arts Festival (Penticton), 2024.

Dramaturge/Movement & Mask Director: Malleus Maleficarum, Tempest Theatre (Penticton), 2023.

Performer: The Half Life of Marie Curie, Tempest Theatre, 2023.

Performer/Deviser: Manual (with Montreal artists Willes & Kinner), Living Things Festival, 2023.

Writer/Director, Designer: New Moon, Key City Theatre, Port Townsend, Washington, 2022.

Producer/Director: Our Wicked Problem, Tempest Theatre; Black Box Theatre (Kelowna), 2021.

Co-Director/Devisor/Performer: What a Mess, Tempest Theatre, 2021.

Performer, Director: Walk of Terror, Caravan Farm Theatre (Armstrong), 2018, 2019.

Co-Producer: Pony Cabaret (Kelowna), 2015-2019.

Performer, Devisor: 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.

Co-Producer: Turf the Turf (Kelowna), 2014.

Performer/Director: Social Potluck (Port Townsend), WA 2012.

Co-Producer: Vivarium: Scar Sites (Kelowna), 2012.

Co-Writer/Director: Green Space (Edmonton), 2012.

Director/Performer: Soundcan- Art of Public Noise Tour (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands), 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, Short, 2018.

Writer/Director/Editor: Living Building, Documentary, 2018.

Director/Editor: Taaloo Zorouna Syrian Refugee Project, On-line Series, 2017.

Director: Bananaphone; I Like It Saucy; Dust Pan, Music Videos, 2018, 2019, 2023.

Writer/Director/Editor: Bee Line , Short, 2013.

Writer/Director/Editor: Chainsaw Ballet, Short, 2013.

Writer/Director/Editor: Eulogy, Short, 2006.

Writer/Director/Editor: Other Eyes, Documentary, 2002.

Writer/Director: The Shopping Bags (7 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 2003-2004.

Writer/Director/Field Producer: Weird Homes (23 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 1999-2002.

Writer/Director/Field Producer: Weird Weddings (10 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 2002-2003.

Writer/Director/Field Producer: Weird Wheels (15 Episodes), Lifestyle Series, 2000-2002.

Selected Grants & Awards

FCCS Research Fellowship Award (PI): Canary- a one-person show (with musician) combining the poetic and imaginative possibilities of physical theatre, object theatre, and audience participation with the “Ted Talk” aesthetic, 2022.

EXETER HUMS, FCCS & IKBSAS Collaboration Fellowship: Performance Devices: Teaching (the) here and now from and beyond the pedagogy of Lecoq, 2020.

SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant: Open Works (CI). 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, 2018.

Equity & Inclusion Grant: Queer Culture Creation (CI): 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, 2018.

SSHRC Creation Grant: The Eco-Art Incubator (CI): 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, 2011.

Grant-In-Aid (PI): New Monaco, 2013.

Public Arts Grants (PI), City of Kelowna: Turf the Turf, 2013.

City of Kelowna Arts (CI), Culture and Heritage: Vivarium, 2012.

Hampton Research Grant (PI): The Soundcan European Project, 2011.

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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