Dr Tom Cornford, BA, PhD, FHEA

Job title

Lecturer, Theatre and Performance

Profile

I’m an academic and a director and dramaturg. At Central, I’m a lecturer in the Drama, Applied Theatre and Education team and supervise PhD students working on a range of projects exploring processes of theatre-making and their relation to contemporary politics and culture. Before taking up this job, I was a Lecturer in Theatre at the University of York.

After an English degree at Cambridge, I studied acting at LAMDA and worked as an actor before moving into directing. I was a trainee director under Erica Whyman at the Gate Theatre and with Katie Mitchell at the National Theatre Studio. While working freelance, I taught in drama schools including LAMDA, Rose Bruford, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Guthrie Theater/University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I was also a Course Director for undergraduates and postgraduates at Shakespeare’s Globe and regularly taught students at the Centre for Theatre Pedagogy based in Lingen in Germany. After a period as Artist-in-Residence at the CAPITAL Centre at the University of Warwick, I went on to doctoral study there, writing my thesis about the Theatre Studios of Michael Chekhov and Michel Saint-Denis.

I have given public lectures about my research at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Arizona State University and at Shakespeare’s Globe. I have also published articles in a wide range of journals and collections. I am currently working on a monograph for Routledge called Theatre Studios: Practices, Philosophies and Politics of Ensemble Theatre Making and co-editing with Cass Fleming Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-first Century: New Pathways, for Methuen. I’m also working on a research project with colleagues at the University of York to develop interactive video systems for use in rehearsal, and I continue to make theatre as both a director and a dramaturg.

Courses

Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, BA

Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)

Teaching Areas

  • 20th Century Theatre History
  • Acting and Actor Training
  • Contemporary Theatre Making
  • Directing and Dramaturgy
  • Playwriting
  • Theatre and Politics

Research Areas

  • Contemporary Theatre Practice
  • Acting and Actor Training
  • Directing and Dramaturgy

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising PhD projects on: contemporary play-commissioning and play-development processes in UK theatres, actor training for musical theatre, and working as an actor in immersive theatre contexts.

Key Publications

2016. ‘Jacques Lecoq and the Studio Tradition', in The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq, edited by Mark Evans and Rick Kemp (Abingdon: Routledge), pp. 43-50.

2015. 'Acting, Skill and Artistry', in Shakespeare Studies, vol. 43, pp. 88-98.

2015. ‘Training in a Cold Climate: Edited Transcript of Roundtable Discussion with Catherine Alexander, Alison Andrews, Tom Cornford, Matt Hargrave, Struan Leslie, Kylie Walsh’, Maria Kapsali, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 5.2, pp. 219-232.

2014. 'Michael Chekhov: the Spiritual Realm and the Invisible Body', in Theatre and Ghosts: Materiality, Performance and Modernity, edited by Mary Luckhurst and Emilie Morin (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp. 178-198.

2012. 'A New Kind of Conversation': Michael Chekhov's 'Turn to the Crafts', Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4:2, pp. 189-203.

2012. 'The Importance of How': Directing Shakespeare with Michael Chekhov's Technique, The Shakespeare Bulletin, 30.4, pp. 485-504.

Practice

I was an embedded researcher with Secret Theatre at the Lyric, Hammersmith between 2013 and 2015 and curated public events and discussions about their work. I am a co-director of Common Ground Theatre, based in York, and work as a director and dramaturg with the company, creating performances mainly in non-theatre spaces. Our most recent production, The Lumberjills (2016), was made in partnership with The Forestry Commission and explored the work of the Women’s Timber Corps. I also work regularly as a dramaturg with the dance company Made by Katie Green.

Register of Interest

Nothing to declare.

Website

www.tumblr.com/blog/tomcornford

E-mail

tom.cornford@cssd.ac.uk

Twitter

@TomCornford