10 July 2019 / New Researchers Network

Different Stages

‘Different Stages: Exploring public engagement for Drama and Theatre early career academics’ is a project run by Dr Naomi Paxton from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, and funded by the British Academy.

The project is designed for Drama and Theatre PhD students and ECRs to discuss the role of public engagement and knowledge exchange within the discipline, to identify key areas in which advocacy for research in Drama and Theatre might be used to influence policy, and to learn skills so they can take the lead in creating opportunities for interdisciplinary and creative collaboration both within their institutions and as independent researchers.

The second workshop of the Different Stages project is happening at Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol this Thursday, July 25th.

Naomi Paxton writes:
I’m thrilled to confirm the speakers for the Different Stages showcase this Thursday in Bristol highlighting examples of interesting and exciting work being done in and with theatre and performance by academics and practitioners based in Bristol and the South West.

  • Dr Kirsty Sedgman from the University of Bristol – How To Win Friends By Antagonising People (on Twitter). Thinking about what it means to be a researcher in an anti-expert age, this presentation asks what happens when research dissemination activities are badly received by some members of the public – and how to use it to your advantage
  • Dr Melissa Atkinson from the University of Bath talks about The Cubicle, an installation created with Kilter Theatre to challenge and encourage positive body image.
  • Dr Helen Featherstone, head of public engagement at the University of Bath, talks about the creative collaborations of researchers across the sciences and humanities.
  • Dr Leon Watts from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath talks about the robot performer he created in collaboration with choreographer Jean Abreu for dance piece Solo for Two
  • Dr Kate Holmes from the University of Exeter talks about her experiences of creating public exhibitions with the University of Bristol Theatre Collection
  • Denis Cryer-Lennon from the University of South Wales talks about his experience as co-lead and director of the Graveyard Voices: Heritage Trail and Tales at Cathays Cemetery project and explores the project in terms of impact and community engagement.


Naomi is MCing the event – she’s a performer and comic, an AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, and the regular MC for Museums Showoff and Carry on Curating at the V&A. The event follows a Different Stages workshop exploring public engagement for Drama and Theatre PhDs and Early Career Researchers. The project is funded by the British Academy –

The event will run from 6.30-8pm at the Windmill Hill City Farm Cafe in Bristol. Doors will open at 6pm and the venue is wheelchair accessible. It is free to attend and open to everyone but places must be reserved in advance – so please reserve your tickets today!