Research at East 15 builds on the School's international reputation for experimental, rigorous, professional actor training.
Our industry-focused research explores different methods of making theatre, including performer-training and strategies for creative collaboration, as well as examining the institutional and industrial mechanisms within which theatre operates.
East 15 research staff are engaged in the creation, production, analysis, and contextualisation of theatre practice and have established expertise in forging synergies between creative practice and scholarship.
Undertaking PhD study gives you the opportunity to engage with an area of drama, theatre, or performance in depth and at an advanced level.
East 15 Acting School, with its growing research profile and internationally recognised research quality is an obvious home for such research.
As an internationally recognised drama conservatoire, East 15 promotes a variety of research methodologies including practice as research and practice-based research alongside more traditional outputs. Practice as research has a natural home within a conservatoire environment, where staff and postgraduate research benefits from engagement with industry specialists and professional practitioners.
Our staff are experts in drawing connections between exploratory practice and advanced conceptualising, process and product, making and articulating.
We have extensive links with all sectors of the theatre industry and as one of the most international drama schools in the UK, we also have a range of established international connections.
East 15 staff have expertise within fields such as actor-training, theatre-directing, immersive and participatory theatre, embodiment, and intercultural practices.
East 15 welcome applications for postgraduate research in areas such as movement and somatics, voice studies, immersive theatre, participatory performance, intermedial/digital performance, performance art and live art, heritage and performance, site-specific theatre, twentieth century avant-garde practice, theatre theory and philosophy, intercultural practices and training, Balinese theatre, Brazilian theatre, Shakespeare, and theatre directing.
As a highly competitive acting conservatoire we are well equipped to cater for a range of activities and practices.
Our cutting-edge facilities, resources and support for research, offered across three campuses (Southend, Loughton, Colchester) are world class.
We are well placed to facilitate practice as research by virtue of our high-specification performance and rehearsal spaces, design studios, and infrastructure.
PhD students will be based at Southend or Loughton depending on the location of their supervisor. However, all PhD students will be able to access the available facilities at both Loughton and Southend.
In Southend, East 15 PhD candidates have access to a designated University of Essex PhD room in the Gateway Building. In both Southend and Loughton, PhD students will have access to hot desks, computers, on-campus libraries and printing facilities. In addition to this, PhD students will have access to:
In Loughton, facilities include over 20 rehearsal studios of various sizes and a radio and recording studio. In Southend, East 15 facilities include 16 large rehearsal studios, seminar rooms and an Apple Mac editing suite. Both campuses also have a working theatre and dance studio.
As well as the physical resources, PhD students will have the opportunity to create connections with the acting, technical, and producing students on each campus – inviting them to take part in research activities outside of their timetabled classes and rehearsals.
Our PhD Drama and Performance (Practice as Research) course sees candidates assessed via practice as research, a thesis that contextualises and analyses the performance practice in relation to the research topic, and a viva voce examination.
For guidance, areas of expected practice include: theatre directing, dramaturgy, actor training, design (scenery, sound, lighting, costume), and performance art.
Learn more about our PhD Drama and Performance (Practice as Research) course.
The PhD in Drama and Performance is a conventional PhD whereby candidates are assessed via thesis and viva voce examination.
Learn more about our PhD Drama and Performance course.
There's a lot to think about before starting to make an application for a research degree. For example, you must first be sure you know what you want to study and who with.
Our Postgraduate Research application information page will take you through all the necessary steps required for your application as well as the documents you’ll need along the way.
Professor, Director of ResearchEast 15 Acting School, University of Essex
Professor Rosemary Klich is Director of Research and Head of BA Creative Producing at East 15 Acting School, University of Essex. Prior to her move to Essex in 2017, Rosemary was Head of Drama and Theatre at University of Kent where she worked since 2007. She has published in journals such as Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Research, IJPADM, and Body Space Technology, and her co-authored book Multimedia Performance was published with Palgrave MacMillan in 2012. Her current research investigates media, sound, and spectatorship, and her teaching expertise is in the theory and making of contemporary performance practice.
Senior LecturerEast 15 Acting School, University of Essex
Qualifications: PhD in Theatre Trinity College Dublin (2008), MA in Theatre Studies University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2004), BA Acting Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (1999), BA in English Literature Boston University (1996).
Lecturer (R) (Theatre)East 15 Acting School, University of Essex
Tara McAllister-Viel worked for some 20 years as an actress, voice director and voice-over artist. Before joining East 15, she taught at Central School of Speech and Drama and has been Visiting Professor for Voice at The Korean National University of Arts, School of Drama in Seoul. She studied a traditional Korean vocal art form called p'ansori, has published several articles regarding her intercultural approach to training actors’ voices and has presented her work at international conferences and symposiums. Her book, ‘Training Actors Voices: Towards an Intercultural/Interdisciplinary Approach’ was published by Routledge in 2019.
LecturerEast 15 Acting School, University of Essex
Eirini Kartsaki is a performance practitioner, writer and Lecturer in Drama at East 15 Acting School, University of Essex. She is the author of 'Repetition in Performance: Returns and Invisible Forces' published by Palgrave in 2017 and the editor of 'On Repetition: Performance, Writing and Art' (Intellect, 2016). Her research comprises of work around contemporary performance, live art and feminist practice. Kartsaki has written extensively on repetition, desire and pleasure in performance and is currently working on a project around feminist practices from the 1970s till the present. Drawing on her expertise in desire, this project considers sexuality, identity politics, monstrosity, protrusions and the weird in work by female artists.
LecturerEast 15 Acting School, University of Essex
As a practitioner-researcher, Christina currently concentrates on the application, modification and impact of somatically-inspired practices into theatre-performing environments and beyond. She introduces new praxical (practical-theoretical) discussions on the somatic in theatre-performance and voice studies bringing together world-leading pioneers in somatic or somatically-informed practices.
ProfessorEast 15 Acting School, University of Essex
Professor Leon Rubin has previously been Artistic Director of three major UK theatre companies and was Director of East 15 Acting School for 12 years. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, in 1997 he was awarded an Honorary Professorship of GITIS Russian Theatre Academy, Moscow. He is former Associate at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, was Assistant Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has directed plays for theatre companies worldwide including Canada, Thailand, Japan, Greece, the USA, Ireland, Chile and Hong Kong, as well as the UK.