I join TFTI in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the pilot project ‘Staging History at York Theatre Royal: Archives and the History Play’ and the follow on project, ‘The History Play and New Writing in English Regional Theatres: Creating a Network for Impact’ led by Dr Benjamin Poore. I have since become a Lecturer in Theatre at the university and teach theory, practice, and project supervision across all year groups on the BA programme.
Previously, I completed an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded PhD at the University of Exeter in 2017 and went on to become an Associate Lecturer in Drama at Exeter teaching across lecture, seminar, and studio based modules. In addition, I have teaching experience from Oxford Brookes University and Bath Spa University.
Experience as a theatre practitioner and dramaturg, specialising in devised theatre and textual adaptation, shapes my research and teaching of both theory and practice.
My research explores how history is used within contemporary society and the gender politics of representations of the past, with a particular focus on new playwriting, theatre institutional identity, and acts of commemoration.
I am currently working on my first monograph titled Feminism, Dramaturgy and the Contemporary British History Play contracted to be part of Bloomsbury’s Engage series. Building on my PhD research, the book is a feminist intervention into the dramaturgy of newly written history plays in contemporary British theatre investigating work produced at major theatres from 2000-the present. In addition, my research interests include performance and commemoration particularly concerning the Suffrage Movement and contemporary acts of remembrance connected to the First World War. On this topic, I have a chapter forthcoming in the Cambridge Companion to First World War Theatre.
My research interests also include questions of pedagogy and in 2019 I was a co-investigator on a pedagogical research project titled ‘Reinventing the Lecture Using a Creative Practice Model’ funded by the University of York’s Strategic Learning and Teaching Fund. The project investigated how theories of theatre studies can be used to explore lectures as a live event in order to create more inclusive and interactive learning environments.
Benzie, R. (2020) 'Take Time Out Today to Remember', Western Morning News, 11th November.
Benzie, R. and Poore, B. (2020) ‘Team Teaching: academic practice in action’, Forum Learning and Teaching Committee, University of York, issue 47, pp. 10-11.
Benzie, R. (2019) ‘Try Not to Make a Mess When You Smash That Window In Protest.’ In: Williams, N. (ed.) Staging Gendered Violence, Howlround Theatre Commons [Online].
Benzie, R. (2018) ‘In the Engine Room: Representation vs Reality of the Female Whip.’ In: Inchley, M. and Vice, J. (eds.) Amending Speech: Women's Voices in Parliament, 1918-2018, London: Hansard.