Theatre and Drama in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies is led by a vibrant group of playwrights and theatre practitioners who all work professionally in the theatre industry alongside their University teaching. There are five full time staff who specialise in areas such as verbatim theatre, performance, world theatre, digital theatre, theatre of testimony as well as playwrighting.
Elizabeth Kuti is a winner of the highly prestigious Susan Blackburn prize for her play 'The Sugar Wife' as well as having plays produced in London and on BBC Radio 4. Annecy Lax is an Associate artist with the company 'Ice and Fire' where she writes and directs. 'Ice and Fire' specialise in making verbatim theatre that centres on Human Rights stories. Liam Jarvis is Artistic Director of his own company 'Analogue' whose work experiments with the way developments in digital technology can enhance and develop theatre practice. His work tours internationally and has won a 'Fringe First' at the Edinburgh fringe. Mary Mazilli's work covers work on contemporary Chinese theatre and she has published two monographs in this area. She is also the founder and Creative Director of Lumenis Theatre Company. Jonathan Lichtenstein is a playwright whose plays have been performed internationally and he is also the recipient of a 'Fringe First'.
Research students also benefit from the facilities at the Lakeside Theatre at our Colchester Campus. This theatre has been established for many years as a major venue for good drama and is known for its commitment to new writing for the stage. It has a studio with an audience capacity of 30 and a main house capacity of 200. Many professional touring companies bring their productions of new plays to our Lakeside Theatre and there has been a wealth of new work produced by staff and students.
As this PhD involves playwriting, you work on an original full-length play or equivalent short plays (70-100 pages or 70-150 minutes playing time, 20,000-30,000 words) plus a critical commentary (40,000 words).
A number of our graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers. Other past students are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.
We also offer an MPhil and a Masters by dissertation in this subject.