Drama Research

Research in drama is thriving and expanding at Newman. Members of the team regularly present research at conferences, publish in peer-reviewed journals, organise research seminars, and edit and review the work of colleagues nationally and internationally. This networking and expertise feeds back into our teaching, allowing our postgraduate students to connect with, and benefit from, the wider field of drama research.

Research Interests:

  • Applied Theatre in Health & Wellbeing: Theatre in clinical settings, Theatre for Children in Hospital, Theatre and Palliative Care, Theatre and the Elderly, Devised health-related site-specific performance.
  • Applied Theatre in Education: reception of Theatre-in-Education, (the UK model and international adaptations).
  • Dorothy Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert inquiry-based learning system, and Conventions for Dramatic Action.
  • Edward Bond’s Big Brum Theatre in Education and Paris plays; Bond’s dramatic theory and contribution to TIE theory and practice.  
  • Experimental & improvised music performance
  • Forum Theatre: Theatre pedagogy, Theatre of the Oppressed, communities, ethics, and cultural responsibility.
  • Performance Philosophy: early poststructuralism (Heidegger and Lacan); comedy, tragedy and post-drama; semiotics, embodiment, and intermediality.

Postgraduate Studies (MRes)

Our new MRes in Humanities is for drama graduates interested in developing their own project to Masters Level. It is an excellent preparation for more advanced PhD level research, as well as being valuable in its own right as an add-on to a first degree, opening up a range of career opportunities which require good communication, interpersonal skills, an ability to write well, and understand and rationalise complex ideas. Taught modules explore research methods, the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of innovative Poststructuralist approaches, and ways of shaping, defining, and justifying your own research in drama for dissertation.

Research Degrees (MEd, PhD)

We offer research supervision (MEd, PhD degrees) in a number of research areas including those listed above. We are also able to work with those wishing to apply dramatic reflection to their ministry or professional practice in theatre, psychology, healthcare, and teaching. We currently supervise PhD projects in Applied Theatre Practice, Old Adults and the Creative Care Community, and Mantle of the Expert with children at risk of becoming NEET (not in education or training).

The Community and Applied Drama Laboratory (CADlab) research-unit is located within the Drama subject area, as is the Mantle of the Expert Teacher Network, both of which provide opportunities for students to network with theatre practitioners, dramatists, teachers, health professionals and scholars of international standing and to benefit from engagement with drama research-led projects in schools and the community.

Members of the Research Team

Bruce Coates

Dr Persephone Sextou

Dr Kate Katafiasz