Rebecca Hayes Laughton, MA | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Rebecca Hayes Laughton, MA

Project Title

Women crossing borders: activist bodies, performance and social change.


Dr Kat Low and Dr Gareth White


When refugee, migrant and asylum seeking women cross geographical borders and enter the UK they are also negotiating political, legal and cultural boundaries. Their bodies in the nation space, as they reject discriminatory labelling and fight for their human rights, can be seen as an act of protest and transgression.  The women’s lived experience, embodied knowledge and activist narratives are like de Certeau’s “story” that “cuts across” what the official map “cuts up”.

My research explores performance practices that foreground these stories and experiences, and  interrogates if and how this provides visibility for and representation of refugee women on their own terms as they campaign for social change.


Profile and Practice

Part-time second year research student at RCSSD.

Freelance Community Theatre Director / Producer, current projects include:

  • Women for Refugee Women weekly drama workshops at Southbank Centre
  • Co-Producer PsycheDelight Theatre Company, Borderline, the satire set in the Calais Refugee Camp devised and performed by refugee and European actors
  • Rewrite Creative ESOL weekly drama workshops for newly arrived school children.

Other work includes:

  • Director, Arcola Youth Theatre (2016)
  • Visiting Director, 3rdthought Elders Company (2015)

Previous work as a television Production and Studio Manager 1993-2014 includes:

  • BBC Storyville award winning international documentary strand
  • BBC Commissioning project management
  • The ITV London Studios including Have I Got News For You, Graham Norton, Ant & Dec, ITV Daytime
  • MTV, Lonely Planet Travel for Channel 4, Independent Production Companies


From Autumn 2017:

Visiting Tutor, MA / MFA Advanced Theatre Practice, RCSSD
Visiting Practitioner, MA Applied Theatre, RCSSD

Conference Presentations

Jan 2018: Intersections

12 & 13 Dec 2017:  Crisis in Humanities Symposium
Surviving the Neoliberal University: Revaluing the labour of the Performing Arts
in advance of an upcoming special issue of RiDE (Chair: Professor Kim Solga)