Lois Weaver is an artist, activist and part time professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary University of London. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theatre, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. Lois was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in 2014 and is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.
She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980. Recent work includes: Miss America (2008); Lost Lounge (2009) and RUFF (2012). Split Britches’ collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theatre and Performance Community.
Lois received a NYFA Fellowship and an OBIE for her ensemble performance in Belle Reprieve in 1990. She continues to collaborate with a California-based company, Curious, on projects such as ‘On The Scent’, an intimate one to one performance on the relationship between smell and memory and ‘Getting On: The Backstage Tour’, a published template for working with seniors on the subjects of age and fear.
As part of Staging Human Rights, Lois taught in women’s prisons in Brazil and the UK and in 2006 became Artistic Director for Performing Rights, an international festival on the themes of performance and human rights held in London, Vienna and Glasgow. She was principal artist on Democratising Technology, a research project that uses performance techniques to initiate conversations on technology and participatory design.
Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement Public Address Systems include the Long Table, Porch Sitting, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy has recently collaborated with elders across the world, including during a week-long residency in Zagreb, and throughout the ongoing tour of What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old And Having Sex in New York, Poland, and throughout the UK. Spring 2016 will also see Lois/Tammy working with residents of a London senior care home as part of a Magic Me Artist Residency.
Lois’s performance practice and history has been documented and illustrated in The Only Way Home Is Through The Show: Performance Works of Lois Weaver, eds. Lois Weaver and Jen Harvie, published in 2015 by Intellect and the Live Art Development Agency.