Tom Drayton

Dr Tom Drayton

Senior Lecturer


Acting, Performance and Directing , School of Arts and Creative Industries

Dr Tom Drayton is the Course Leader for MA/MFA Directing for Stage and Screen, and teaches across MA Acting, MA Theatre Directing and MA Contemporary Performance Practices.

Areas Of Interest

  • Metamodernism
  • The Millennial Generation
  • Activist Performance
  • Political Theatre
  • Theatre Directing
  • Contemporary Performance
  • Applied Storytelling
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Dr Tom Drayton is the Course Leader for MA/MFA Directing for Stage and Screen, and teaches across MA Acting, MA Theatre Directing and MA Contemporary Performance Practices. Tom's teaching focuses on actor and director training, ensemble devising skills and emerging contemporary performance practices.

Tom's research concerns the relationship between contemporary performance, metamodernism and the millennial generation, as well as international activism and political theatre. This research fuses praxis and critical scholarship, encompassing workshops, performances and publications.

Professionally, Tom has acted and directed with award-winning, London-based theatre company Pregnant Fish Theatre since 2010. His work with the company has been described as 'precisely what theatre should try to be' (Empire of the Will).


Print Chapters
Drayton, T. (2022) 'Can I Join In? Playful Performance and Alternative Political Realities'. Chapter in Koubová, A., Urban, P., Russell, W. & MacLean, M. (eds.)  (2022) Play and Democracy: Philosophical Perspectives, Routledge, London.

Journal Articles
Drayton, T. (2019) 'A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance', ArtsPraxis Journal, Vol. 5 Issue 2.

Drayton, T. (2018) 'The Listening Theatre: A Metamodern Politics of Performance', Performance Philosophy Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1. DOI

Online Articles
Drayton, T. (2021) 'Should I Be Joking in a Time Like This?': Bo Burnham's INSIDE as a Metamodern Response to Crisis', What Is Metamodern? [Online

Conference Papers
Christodoulou, P., Corsa, A., Drayton, T. & Goldstein, T. (2022) I Really Don't Care, Do You?: The Philosophical Problems of Producing Empathy in Contemporary Performance. Panel presentation at 'Performance Philosophy Problems': Performance Philosophy Biennial Conference, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. June 2022.

Drayton, T. (2021) 'Unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time', Anti-Racist Activism and the Performativity of Statues, 'Performance & Populism: Mobilization and Popular Power on the Left' Conference, University of Warwick, UK & University of California-Berkley, USA. November 2021.

Drayton, T. (2021) Meet Me Through the Webcam: An Ethics of Participatory Performance Practice in the Age of Zoom, 'Crisis & Recovery: Theatre and Performance Before and After the Global Pandemic' CATR/ACRT/SQET conference, University of Ottawa, Canada. July 2021.

Drayton, T. (2019) Hope/Less: The Politics of Metamodern Theatre, 4th AHRC Metamodernism conference, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. July 2019.

Drayton, T. (2019) Can I Join In? Playful Performance as Political Intervention, 'Play and Democracy': the 5th biennial Philosophy at Play conference, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic. June 2019.

Drayton, T. (2019) Authenticity in the Arts and Media in an Era of Fake News: Loss & Hope, 'Authenticity in the Arts and Media in an Era of Fake News' conference, The University of East London, London, UK. February 2019.

Drayton, T. (2018) Metamodern, Millennial Malaise in Contemporary Performance, 'Making Connections' conference, The University of East London, London, UK. May 2018.

Drayton, T. (2018) Listening Theatre: The New Politics of Millennial Performance Makers, NYU Educational Theatre Forum 2018: 'Performance as Activism', New York University, New York CIty, USA. April 2018.

Drayton, T. (2016) Round and Round the Gardens: Can the RHS engage children with relevant environmental issues through immersive, promenade theatre?, ASSITEJ On The Edge Festival; 'Theatre from the inside: Immersive Theatre' panel, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. June 2016.


MA/MFA Contemporary Performance Practices

This course breaks disciplinary borders to explore how performance can help us respond to social, environmental and ecological changes and challenges.

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MA Directing for Stage and Screen

Direct for both the live theatre and for onscreen film and television. Develop audio-visual elements for live performance.

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MA Theatre Directing

Pursue a professional career as a theatre director, develop your directing practice through an active engagement with critical thinking.

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MA Acting

Produce and perform a range of innovative work of professional quality while also being given expert tuition in the skills of acting.

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