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Kate Valentine

PhD by Creative Practice



Dual Carriageway - digital storytelling along the Great North Road

As part of my PhD by Creative Practice which focuses on digital storytelling, I am producing the project Innovating - an audio drama trail around York’s historic coaching inns. The trail evokes the sounds and stories of these places of hospitality for weary travellers on their journey along the Great North Road. Available in site-specific locations and online as an interactive map, the project celebrates the golden age of coaching through audio technology.

Co-created with community volunteers, the hybrid online and in-person workshop production process includes archival research, devising and script development workshops, as well as rehearsal and recording of the binaural audio trail. This will be listened to by a local audience as part of York Festival of Ideas 2022 and also internationally via an interactive online map. As part of my PhD research, I shall be designing a manual to enable other communities to use the production methodology to create their own immersive audio experiences.



I am a director and educator who is passionate about enabling people to tell stories through theatre and multimedia. I have a wide experience of the arts in many forms; as a theatre director (including National Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), BBC Radio Drama Producer, and university lecturer.

As founder and director of Digital Drama, we work with theatres, arts organisations, museums, charities and community groups to connect people through creative projects. I have won numerous awards including Best Multi-Media Producer at the Audio Production Awards and Gold at the New York Festivals for directing Peace in Our Time.


Research Interests

My research is a combination of my passion for finding and telling stories and my experience of being a director, dramaturg and creative producer. In particular, I like to focus on stories from the community that have had less exposure, that are told from a different angle or give voice to those seldom heard. My PhD Creative Practice project Innovating will capture stories of past and present generations, linking communities along the Great North Road; one of legendary highways of the UK, used by travellers and trade since the Romans first dug Ermine Street to link London and York. The practical element will evoke 200 years of travel along this ancient route, focusing on the exchange of people and stories within communities in both the golden age of coaching and our modern age of digital communication highways. The outcome of the PhD will be a framework for future large-scale community projects, exploring local heritage through digital performance, combining professional and non-professional writers and performers with digital creators.

At the University of York, I have been co-chair of the Interactive and Immersive Story-telling Research Cluster, Post Graduate Representative on the TFTI Ethics Committee and I was the lead producer of the School’s research symposium “Embracing Change’ in 2021.

I am a New Scholar with the Bristol + Bath Creative R + D ​​PhD & Early Researcher Fellowship Scheme, which has enabled me to meet a network of fellow creatives and financially support my PhD practical research.

I am currently studying to become an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy via the York Learning and Teaching Award and have taught at Undergraduate and Masters level in theatre studies and leadership in the creative and cultural industries.

External Activity

External Activity

I am the founder and director of Digital Drama, working with theatres, arts organisations, museums, charities and community groups to connect people through creative projects.

As a director I have directed many plays for stage and radio including:


Fast by Kate Barton. (Park Theatre, London, Purple Playhouse, Brighton & theSpace, Edinburgh Fringe) :

Deeds Not Words, (Swiss Church, Covent Garden): Immersive, promenade drama telling the story of the first hospital run by women in WW1.

Mirandolina - Goldoni, Grimm Tales – Carol Ann Duffy, Hard Times – Stephen Jeffreys. Staff director for Alan Ayckbourn on Two Weeks With the Queen. (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough)

Staff director on Two Weeks With the Queen. Education Director / Workshop leader on tour for Staying On. Judge, BT National Connections. (National Theatre)


Peace in Our Time by Noel Coward’s  – 8 part series - Winner of Gold Award New York Festivals 2016

Positive in Prison – Docu-drama commissioned by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

  • Bayeux Tapestry, BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour
  • Clarice Cliff, BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour
  • Frederick and Augusta Radio 4 Women’s Hour
  • Lolita, BBC Radio 3
  • Tiananmen Square, BBC Radio 4 Friday Play
  • Westway – Series Producer - BBC World Service




Creative Oral History Symposium, University of Greenwich (2022): ‘Positive in Prison’ – from oral history to verbatim audio drama

International Federation of Theatre Research Conference (2021) Paper and Presentation : A Word in your Ear - going digital with community performance in Dual Carriageway

TFTI Postgraduate Symposium, University of York (2021) A Word in your Ear - going digital with community performance in Dual Carriageway

Contact details

Kate Valentine
Postdoctoral Researcher
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
University of York