I am a Senior Lecturer in Drama and Arts Management and Associate Director for Social Responsibility in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester.
I am interested in the way theatre and performance engage people with ideas and how the arts more broadly affect society. This is reflected in my research into collaborations between artists, communities and scientific experts. It also influences my teaching about drama in education, activist performance, arts management and contemporary performance practice.
A lot of my research has emerged from my experience of working with creative practitioners in a variety of contexts. I am currently working with Contact Theatre on their development of health and science programming. This work builds on my time as a board member of the theatre (2011-2018) helping to embed such themes within their work. I recently spent some time exploring the role of performance in developing understandings of dementia with Louise Wallwein, Jaydev Mistry, Manchester Camerata and Dr Helen Pusey. This resulted in the Dementia Voices project and the award-winning performance Hidden by Louise Wallwein. In the past I have worked on the role of theatre in science education with Theatre of Debate.
Before coming to Manchester, I worked at the charity The Wellcome Trust (2002-2009) where I developed a range of national and international programmes promoting public and community engagement with biomedical research. I have taught at Royal Holloway University of London and University of Klagenfurt (Austria) as well as managed and evaluated a number of arts and education projects across the UK and Europe. I have a BA in Modern Languages (Nottingham), MA in Text and Performance Studies (King’s College London / Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), and a PhD in Drama (Royal Holloway University of London).