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Department of Theatre, Film and Television drama professor wins prestigious international scholarship.

Posted on 25 May 2012

Professor Mary Luckhurst is one of the first academics in the country to be awarded an international scholarship under a new scheme launched by the Higher Education Academy.

Professor Mary Luckhurst

Professor Mary Luckhurst is one of just 14 academics in the UK to receive the award, which allows academics to research innovations in overseas practice and scholarship with the aim of assimilating new knowledge into the UK.

Professor Luckhurst, together with Professor Michael Cordner, is a co-founder of the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television. She has pioneered one of the UK’s most ambitious theatre programmes at York, combining academic research excellence with cutting-edge, industry-led training. She is in international demand as a speaker and demonstrator and has presented at many world-leading universities, drama schools and theatres. In 2006, the HEA awarded her a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding achievements.

Professor Luckhurst has secured a year of successive high-profile research fellowships at City University New York, and the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne for 2012-13, which will allow her to observe specialist teaching and to conduct her own research into actor training techniques in the USA and Australia. She will then import best practice into the UK through workshops, demonstrations and publications.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the York-based Higher Education Academy (HEA), said: “The award winners will work closely with the HEA over the coming months and years to help us to make a real difference to the learning experience of potentially thousands of students.

“The landscape of UK higher education continues to change at a rapid pace and it’s vital that we can share learning, not just from the UK but from around the world, if we are all to continue to meet the diverse needs of our students and those who teach them. I look forward to working with our award winners as they develop and carry out their projects.”

Professor Luckhurst said: “This research will allow me to make major interventions in extending our knowledge of the practices of improvisation and physically led theatre techniques, both of which are currently under-explored in our conservatoires and universities. The international collaborations are an exciting opportunity for transformative dialogue between all parties.”

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