Prof Jenny Hughes

Senior Lecturer

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I am a Senior Lecturer in Drama and a member of the applied theatre research cluster in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Following a period working as a theatre practitioner in the criminal justice system and as a support worker 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, 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 was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship in 2014, to facilitate a research project exploring theatre, performance and economic precarity (2014 - 2016). The research examined the relationships between theatre and poverty across various historical and geographical junctures, with a starting point of the New Poor Law (1834). A research website sharing materials from the research can be accessed here –

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 -

Further information

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. 

I convene the Professional PhD in Applied Theatre, which engages experienced professionals interested in interrogating and extending their practice in advanced reseach. Here, experienced professionals conceive, develop and carry out an advanced research project in their place of work.


External positions

Points and Practices editor, RIDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance

Board of Trustees, Common Wealth Theatre

Advisory Board member, Contemporary Theatre Review

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