I am an academic and playwright with a strong interest in new writing and verbatim and testimonial performance practices. After graduating from Middlesex University, my first job was as a teacher of dance and drama at a secondary school in Haringey, London. I then worked freelance, as an applied theatre practitioner and spent a year as the education coordinator at the Royal Court Theatre. It was the young people and the different communities I worked with during this time that ignited my passion for new writing, and my belief in its capacity to give a voice to sections of society which are often excluded or unrepresented by mainstream culture.
At Central I have continued to actively explore theatre’s relationship with its wider social context. In 2010, I received funding from the Performing Arts Learning and Teaching Innovation Network to research innovative forms of collaboration between higher education and its industry partners. In 2011 I was awarded a Teaching Development Grant from the Higher Education Academy and led a project called Care and Partnership: Applied Theatre and Social Enterprise, and in 2013 my verbatim play about child sexual abuse, From the Mouths of Mothers (Aurora Metro Books 2013), was performed in 2013 at The Pleasance Theatre London. As a result of these projects, I developed a training workshop for nurses at Kings College University London and established a long term collaboration with the social work department at Royal Holloway University of London, where I am currently leading a small-scale collaborative research project with the social work department.
In 2014, my research was selected as one of the school’s impact case studies for REF 2014, with a project entitled: Breaking the Silence: Using Testimony and Theatre to improve the Practice of Care.
My current research has two areas of focus: care and performance. I am currently working on a monograph engaging with the dramaturgy of verbatim and testimony theatre and a co-edited book (with James Thompson, University of Manchester) exploring the relationship between performance and care. My research has been published in journals such as: TDR, Studies in Theatre and Performance, Performance Research, Performing Ethos and Research in Drama Education and I regularly review articles for these and other international journals.
I currently supervise PhD projects in the areas of: crip theory, blindness and acting, theatre making and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and dramaturgy and trauma.
2016. ‘Imagining Theatre in Auschwitz: Performance, Solidarity and Survival in the Works of Charlotte Delbo’ in Duggan, P. and Peschel, L. (eds.) Performing (for) Survival: Theatre, Crisis, Extremity, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, pp. 78-99.
2015. ‘A Choreography of Words: Reflections on Justitia’ in Johnson, P., Dobkowska, S. and Vardimon, J. Justitia: Multidisciplinary Readings of the Work of the Jasmin Vardimon Company (Bristol: Intellect), 133-143.
2015. (with Leonard, K., Gupta, A. & Low, K.) ‘From the Mouths of Mothers: Can Drama Facilitate Reflective Learning for Social Workers?’, Social Work Education, 22.10,pp.1 - 14.
2013. From the Mouths of Mothers in Plays for Today by Women, edited by C. Robson and R. Gillieron (London: Aurora Press), pp. 55 – 112.
2011. 'That's who I'd be, if I could sing': reflections on a verbatim project with mothers of sexually abused children' Studies in Theatre and Performance, 31.2, pp. 193 - 208.
2011. 'Trauma, Authenticity and the Limits of Verbatim', Performance Research, 16.1,pp. 112-122.
2011. with Mackey, S. 'Theatre Applications: Location, event, futurity', Research in Drama Education, 16.3,pp. 357-364.
2017 – 2019 Leader Evaluator, ‘Embrace’ for Little Fish Theatre Company
2016 – present Performing Care and Social Resilience, in partnership with Cleve Jackson, Social Work Department Royal Holloway, University London.
2013 Writer, From The Mouths of Mothers ( Aurora Metro Books)
2013. Writer and Director, Glorious Food: A verbatim theatre play
2012. Writer and Director, Who Will Carry The Word, An Adaptation of Charlotte Delbo’s Play
Little Fish Theatre Company (CIC) - Trustee