Nicholas Wood, BA, PGCert, MA

Job title

Senior Lecturer, Course Leader MA/MFA Advanced Theatre Practice

Profile

I am a writer, director, and visual artist – who spent my earliest years in the dressing-rooms of various repertory theatres. I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, where I acted, and directed Caligula by Albert Camus. I was a Playground Leader in North Kensington, before becoming an Assistant Director at the Royal Court, where I worked with Bill Gaskell and Lindsay Anderson. Later, my directing credits included a UK tour with the improvisation group ‘Theatre Machine’ (the group started by Keith Johnstone at the Royal Court).

My first teaching experience was in an Art School environment (now Kingston University) – teaching design students by making new work – an approach I have continued to this day.

In 1994, I was appointed Lecturer in Dramaturgy at Central, where I was a Convenor of Dramaturgy: A User’s Guide Conference (1999), Edward Gordon Craig Colloquium (2002) and founder (with Mischa Twitchin) of the Dramaturgy Forum (2000). I also joined the MA Advanced Theatre Practice as Writing and Dramaturgy Tutor, and the development of this course as a home for future theatre-makers has become key to my work at Central. As Course Leader of the MA Advanced Theatre Practice, I travel widely – supporting the work of its students and graduates at festivals and theatres around the world – as well as undertaking related roles such as Judge for the Oxford University New Writing Festival and for the Total Theatre Awards at the Edinburgh Festival.

Courses

Advanced Theatre Practice, MA/MFA

Teaching Areas

  • Collaborative Practice
  • Writing
  • Directing
  • Improvisation

Areas of Expertise

  • Space and Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Contemporary Directors
  • Contemporary Theatre Artists

PHD Supervision

  • Recent Theatre History in the UK

Key Publications

2010. ‘ANTI – a Visual Diary’, Total Theatre Magazine, 22.1 (Spring).

2006. 'Flatness and Depth: Reflections' in The Potentials of Spaces, edited by Alison Oddey and Christine White (Bristol: Intellect Books), pp 61-68.

2006. 'Off-Centre Stages: Fringe Theatre at the Open Space and Roundhouse 1968-1983', Modern Drama, pp.411-413

Practice

After University, I wrote plays for the Hampstead Theatre, Orange Tree, Kings Head, BAC as well as B.B.C. Radio. I wrote science books for young children and drew a regular children’s story for children’s television. I wrote articles for Artscribe, the Independent, and Total Theatre. I was a founder member of the ‘Equality Group’ - exploring non-hierarchical approaches to making theatre - which performed at the ICA.

My first stage play Country Life (Hampstead Theatre) was written while travelling in Italy, and this connection between looking at paintings and imagining new work has remained a constant interest. My first conference paper 'Flatness and Depth' Scenography International Symposium Loughborough University (2004), considered the application of painterly values to performance work. Recently I have led a number of Walks, including a Short Walk in the City (Forest Fringe, Edinburgh Festival, 2010) and culminating in A Short Walk in the National Gallery - considering how space and our understanding of perspective might lead to the generation of a new performance work. My new workshop – ‘Building the Storyboard through Improvisation Techniques’ (New York and Royal College of Art, London, 2016) - sets out to introduce drawing as a component of improvisation.

I have recently begun a series of interviews with contemporary directors and their creative teams, including Katie Mitchell and Joe Hill-Gibbins. My latest play - Flatness and Depth – the Play (Reading, Embassy Theatre, 2014) - imagines a group of elder actors, with various disabilities, exploring the darker recesses of the Hampstead Theatre, and their shared misrememberings of the past.

Register of Interest

Nothing to declare.

E-mail

nick.wood@cssd.ac.uk