Dr Nicola Abraham, BA, MA, PhD, PGCert TLHE, FHEA | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Dr Nicola Abraham, BA, MA, PhD, PGCert TLHE, FHEA

Job title

Lecturer, Applied Theatre Practices


I am a lecturer and Applied Theatre and Theatre and Media for Development (TMfD) Practitioner. At Central, I currently lecture on the BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, MA Applied Theatre (Theatre in the Community and Drama Education) and (Theatre and the Criminal Justice System) programmes in addition to undertaking PhD student supervision. Over the past 10 years, I have designed and implement applied theatre projects in a range of community settings within the UK and abroad. As a practitioner, I have had the privilege of working with many different community groups including: Camden Carers, Arts for Dementia, KAYAK youth club, an Orphanage in Zmiaca Poland, Pupil Referral Units, Schools, Psychiatric units, Women’s Advocacy Groups, Children’s Charity contexts for vulnerable youth and Crossroads bi-communal project in Cyprus. I have also shared my research and practice in several international conferences delivery keynote presentations about the potential of theatre for change with vulnerable groups for IDEA conference in Austria (2015) on and Hellenic Drama in Education in Greece (2013).

My interest in continually updating practice includes a project I am currently working on to explore the potential of integrating digital technologies within process drama workshops. I gained a BA (Hons) degree in Drama, Theatre and Television Studies at King Alfred’s College prior to taking a year out to develop my practice in schools. After this, I undertook my MA in Theatre and Media for Development at the University of Winchester developing my interest in understanding the limits of theatre for change. In 2008, I conducted a project in a Polish orphanage working with young people to resolve conflict using TMfD with teenage boys who had all experience trauma. This project inspired me to develop my practice further to understand the value of Applied Theatre work with vulnerable youth. In 2008, I began my AHRC-funded PhD at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama investigating how responsive practice could meet the diverse needs of marginalised youth in London. Since completing my PhD, I have shared my findings in several international practice and research conference events. I am currently researching further into the notion of witnessing change as a strategy to sustaining impact.


Drama, Applied Theatre and Education, BA

Applied Theatre, MA

Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)

Teaching Areas

  • Applied Theatre
  • Vulnerable Youth
  • Change
  • Impact
  • Neoliberalism and Education

Areas of Expertise

  • Applied Theatre
  • Theatre for Change
  • At Risk Youth
  • Impact and Dependency
  • Neoliberalism
  • Education

PHD Supervision

  • Neoliberalism, Urban places and outreach touring companies
  • Applied Theatre with young people
  • Theatre for Change projects
  • Intracultural Applied Theatre Practice

Key Publications

2018. The Creature Methodology: Reflexivity and the Applied Theatre Practitioner in Training. English Teachers Association Switzerland (ETAS), Spring, ISSN 9771660650003.

2017. Witnessing change: understanding change in participatory theatre practice with vulnerable youth in a Kids Company-supported primary school, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Vol.22, No.2: pp.233-250.

2016. Theatre for Change: An experiment in Disobedience [blog] The Activist Classroom: because pedagogy is a public practice [Accessed 29/07/16]

2016. Marginalised Youth in the App Generation: Making the case for the integration of digital technologies in Process Drama, TVOŘIVÁ DRAMATIKA: Časopis o dramatické výchově, literatuře a divadle pro děti a mládež, Vol. XXVII, no. 3 (79), pp.5-12. (Czech Version)

2016. Marginalised Youth in the App Generation: Making the case for the integration of digital technologies in Process Drama, Creative Drama: Journal on theatre education, literature and theatre for children and youth, Vol. XXVII, no. 3 (79), pp.5-12. (English Translation)

Abraham, N. & Busby, S. 2015. Celebrating Success: How has participation in Clean Break’s theatre education programme contributed to individuals’ involvement in professional or community arts practices?  The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.

2014. Bringing to the Surface Dormant Prejudice: Participatory Theatre for Education & The Necessary Rifts of Risk TakingEducation and Theatre Journal: Pan-Hellenic Network for Drama in Education, 15, pp.10-16.


My practice involves workshops within different community contexts using participatory theatre approaches, delivering seminars, international training and sharing research in the UK and abroad.

International Women’s Day (2016) Workshop based on neuroscience & nightmares, Public Event.

Primary School Workshop (2015) The Great Fire of London, Teacher training/Demonstration.

Arts 4 Dementia (2013) Advocacy project working with dementia sufferers and their carers using impro.

Crouch End Players (2012) Training community theatre company in devising methods, storytelling and improvisation.

Camden Carers (2012) Working with non-professional carers investigating the use of improvisation as a form of presence.

Kids Company: Educational and crisis centre settings (2008-11) 6-11yrs – issue based projects, investigating difference, identity construction, confidence, school transitions, and friendship practice-based ethnographic research.


Prism Theatre Company. 2015. Wo[men] in Music, Central, International Women's Day Festival.


2009. (Writer) Entrapment, Progress Theatre, Reading (Dir. Rik Eke).

Register of Interest

Nothing to declare.