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I joined the department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media as a full-time Lecturer in 2017, having previously completed a Masters and PhD in Theatre at the department, and having worked here as an Associate Lecturer for a number of years. From 2016 to 2017, I worked at the University of Salford as a Lecturer in Drama.
My PhD thesis developed my research interests in writing and devising in contemporary theatre, focusing on the processes behind long-running companies Forced Entertainment and Frantic Assembly. The project involved extensive archive work on both companies, and the collection of new interview material from several major practitioners.
During my time in York I have also directed several productions, most recently meet me at dawn (2019), with colleagues from the department. My 2014 production of Twelfth Night for the York Shakespeare Project brought together students from the University of York and performers from the local community, and played to full houses at the York Theatre Royal Studio as well as in Stratford as part of the RSC’s Open Stages festival. I have directed a range of new writing and assistant directed large-scale shows within the TFTI department. I was the dramaturg for 2015’s staff-directed production of Demons, a devised adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novel, and for 2016’s The Lumberjills, a site-specific production in Dalby Forest.
I also regularly review theatre and am the Yorkshire editor for the British Theatre Guide.
I teach across a range of modules throughout the undergraduate and MA courses. I have supervised practical projects and dissertation work at BA, Masters and PhD level, and have greatly benefited from lively and informed discussions and student work on gig theatre, community theatre, devising and a whole host of other topics.
My research interests include: devised and physical theatre; community theatre; the interplay of writing, directing and devising; performance and social media.
My PhD research focused on contemporary British theatre, especially theatre described as ‘devised’ or ‘physical’. In particular I explored ways in which the creative processes behind such works interact with processes of writing. I have recently developed this thinking in my co-authored book on the company Frantic Assembly, published by Routledge in 2021.
Other recent research interests include community theatre, and I am particularly interested in interrogating the exchanges and processes behind community performances on large scales. I have recently organised workshops and practitioner networks exploring the possibilities of large-scale community theatre, and have a particular interest in the community plays staged at the York Theatre Royal, beginning with 2012’s Mystery Plays.
Selected publications and papers
Frantic Assembly, co-authored with Mark Evans (Routledge, 2021)
‘Performances in Footnote Form: While You Are With Us Here Tonight’, in Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 20: 6 (2015), pp. 106-113
‘Clare Finburgh, Watching War on the Twenty-First Century Stage: Spectacles of Conflict’ in New Theatre Quarterly, 34: 2 (2018)
‘Duška Radosavljevic, Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century’ in Platform, 8: 1 (Spring 2014)
‘Possible futures for a radically open community theatre’, Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) Applied and Social Theatre Working Group, September 2019
‘Rhetorics of writing and devising’, invited guest lecture/seminar, Coventry University, January 2019
‘Archaeology and the Postdigital: Livestreamed spectatorship and Twitter as second-order performance’, TaPRA Performance and New Technologies Working Group, September 2017
‘Large-scale community involvement in regional British theatre: politics, economics, aesthetics’, British Theatre in the 21st Century Conference, Paris-Sorbonne University, October 2016
‘Group Hug Retweet: Second screening and a sense of community with Forced Entertainment’, Live Theatre Broadcast symposium, University of York, June 2015