History and Bio

2B4A7440 cropped

Julia Gray

I am an award-winning scholar, writer and artist.  I recently completed a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellow at Bloorview Research Institute, at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Canada.  My work is interdisciplinary and intersectional, drawing on theatre, dance and performance studies, critical disability and age studies, queer and feminist phenomenology and aesthetic philosophy.  I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts from York University’s Department of Theatre, and attained my PhD from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto, which was supported by a CIHR‐STIHR Doctoral Fellowship in Health Care, Technology, and Place.  I am currently a Visiting Scholar at Sensorium, a research centre embedded in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University, and also an Academic Fellow at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto.

I have worked in professional theatre for 20 years in a number of capacities, including artistic work, administration, education and production – this includes companies such as Canadian Stage Company, Young People’s Theatre, Mirvish Productions, Tarragon Theatre, The Charlottetown Festival, and many Toronto-based independent theatre companies.  Since 2005, with the development of After the Crash: a play about brain injury which was commissioned by Toronto Rehab and University of Toronto, I have been working with health researchers, community members and clinical practitioners integrating the arts in disability, aging and health research and practice.  In 2008 I launched Possible Arts.

I have published many articles in peer-reviewed, professional and social media forums, in addition to six peer-reviewed book chapters. I also recently produced an edited collection aimed at providing creative spaces for imagining difference called ‘ReView: An Anthology of Plays Committed to Social Justice’ (Brill-Sense Publishers, 2017, editor).  I have published and presented across disciplines, including theatre and performance studies, age studies, disability studies, literature, education, social science, rehabilitation science, public health, recreation and leisure studies and nursing.

I have created many research-informed theatre projects in the area of disability, aging and health . Most notably, I am the primary playwright for the collectively created After the Crash: a play about brain injury (Ruckus Ensemble / Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) and co-wrote the play Seeing the Forest (York University), a play about patient safety culture, with Dr. Gail Mitchell.  My most recent project, co-produced by Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance at University of Waterloo, is called Cracked: new light on dementia, and challenges how dementia is understood as irrevocably tragic.  Cracked was filmed in 2017, and is available for download at http://www.crackedondementia.ca

I am also a founding member of both Ruckus Ensemble, a theatre company committed to producing After the Crash, and The Question Company, a company dedicated to the creation of new, innovative theatre pieces, with a particular focus on physical work.

photo credit: Lisa MacIntosh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s