I am a Professor in Drama based in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Following a period working as a theatre practitioner in the criminal justice system and in non-mainstream education, I took up a series of research posts on projects exploring aspects of applied theatre and mental health provision, leading on initiatives with the National Association of Youth Theatres, NCH (now 'Action for Children'), the Wellcome Trust and TIPP. I worked as the Research Associate on the award-winning In Place of War project from 2004 until 2007, and was appointed to Lecturer at the end of that period.
I am Co-Investigator on an AHRC funded research project on 'creative towns' (with Professor Helen Nicholson - Royal Holloway, University of London). 'Civic Theatres: A Place for Towns' aims to support a national conversation about the civic role of theatres in towns, asking challenging questions about the resurgence of the 'civic ideal' in an era of ongoing economic austerity and social fragmentation. Follow us on twitter @creativetowns
The Creative Towns project builds in part on an earlier Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship exploring theatre, performance and economic precarity (2014 - 2016). Examining the relationships between theatre and poverty across various historical and geographical junctures, with a starting point of the New Poor Law (1834), the research generated a series of publications and a research website, including a free online database with more than 200 items relating to theatre and economic justice projects in the UK and internationally. The database and more information from the research can be accessed here – www.manchester.ac.uk/poortheatres
From 2014 to 2015 I worked on a research project (with my colleague Dr Simon Parry) called 'Theatre, performance and activism: gestures towards an equitable world'. For more information, see a special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review (2015, 25:3) and the collaborative blog available here - http://activistperformance.wordpress.com
I welcome enquiries from PhD applicants interested in researching the following areas: the relationship between theatre, poverty and precarity; theatre and economic justice; theatre, performance and politics, including activist theatre and protest performance; aspects of applied theatre, especially theatre with young people living with risk.
Editorial Board member, RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance
Board of Trustees, Common Wealth Theatre
Advisory Board member, Contemporary Theatre Review