On This Page

About us

Welcome to the Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD)

The Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) at the University of East London (UEL) is focused on developing original and innovative research in performing arts including drama, theatre and performance studies, music, dance and creative writing, with a particular emphasis on socially engaged practices, performance philosophy and cultures, practice-based research, digital and interdisciplinary research.

CPAD at the University of East London (UEL) is focused on developing original and innovative research in performing arts. The Centre runs public lectures, symposia, workshops and research conversations seminars series. 

As well as ad hoc events, CPAD organises two main research event series: 

  1. Sound-Body-Movement 
  2. Hip Hop Encounters: Practice, Research and Pedagogy.


  • Promoting a thriving and inclusive research environment
  • Building and providing support for researchers to enhance research capacity and to increase internal and external research opportunities for researchers including MA/PhD students
  • Planning workshops and events to deepen knowledge/understanding of practice-as-research
  • Developing networks between research centre and researchers in the field locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Transferring knowledge through outreach (collaborative research, seminars, workshops, lectures, websites, publications)
  • Providing regular communication of research centre activities and opportunities for staff and student involvement


Dr Claudia Brazzale
Claudia Brazzale (MA in Performance Studies, NYU; PhD in Culture and Performance, UCLA) is a scholar, choreographer and performer whose work and collaborations have been presented at many venues in the US and Italy. Claudia is currently a Senior Lecturer and a joint Programme Leader for the MA in Contemporary Performance Practices at UEL.

She has held positions as a lecturer at the Drama, Dance and Performance Studies department at Liverpool Hope University and as a Visiting Scholar at the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Analysis at London South Bank University.

While living in the USA, Claudia was a Visiting Lecturer at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University. Claudia received an International Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association University of Women to support her research at the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University (2010-11).

Dr Guy Harries
Guy Harries is a composer, sound artist and performer, working with electronics, acoustic instruments, voice and multimedia. His research explores the use of live electronics in music, focusing on dramaturgy, the performative and audience participation. 

He also composes socio-politically engaged opera including Jasser (tour throughout the Netherlands in 2006/07) and Two Caravans(2010/13 winner of the Flourish New Opera Prize and produced by Kameroperahuis NL and OperaUpClose London).

His music releases include solo work and collaborations with the POW Ensemble, Meira Asher and Yumi Hara on the labels X-OR, Sub Rosa, Sombre Soniks and Migro.


    Staff biographies

    Carla Trim-Vamben

    Carla Trim-Vamben is a senior lecturer and the programme leader for the BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice  degree at UEL. Carla is a practice-led researcher and her research interests are centred around club culture, specifically house dance.

    She completed her Master of Arts in Dance Anthropology at Roehampton University writing her thesis about freestyle practice in UK house dance. She is currently developing her house dance practice to create a research project for her PhD application and is the evaluation lead for an Arts Council England funded Transforming Leadership project called We Move. 


    Clare Qualmann

    Clare Qualmann is a London-based artist working across disciplines: from drawing and sculpture to performance, photography and live-art events (often in the form of walks). Everyday routine, the ordinary and unnoticed and the meeting of the personal and the political are sources of inspiration.

    Clare was a founder member of the Walking Artists Network and led an AHRC funded project to extend the network internationally (2012-2015). Her work extends into curatorial practice with recent projects including WALKING WOMEN with Amy Sharrocks at Somerset House and Edinburgh Festival (2016) and Daylighting with Amy Sharrocks and Madeleine Hodge for the Wellcome Collection (2018).

    Research interests: contemporary performance, live art, walking, site-specific practice, participatory practice, art as activism and creative research methods.


    Claudia Brazzale

    Claudia Brazzale (MA in Performance Studies, NYU; PhD in Culture and Performance, UCLA) is a scholar, choreographer and performer whose work and collaborations have been presented at many venues in the US and Italy. 

    Claudia is currently a Senior Lecturer and a joint Programme Leader for the MA in Contemporary Performance Practices at UEL.

    She has held positions as lecturer at the Drama, Dance and Performance Studies department at Liverpool Hope University and as a Visiting Scholar at the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Analysis at London South Bank University.

    While living in the USA, Claudia was a Visiting Lecturer at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University. 

    Claudia received an International Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Association University of Women to support her research at the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University (2010-11).

    Claudia's scholarship and pedagogical approach are deeply influenced by her cross-cultural intellectual and artistic trajectory and continuing dance-theatre practice.

    Her interest in the body and movement has led her to explore diverse forms of dance and performance genres - from ballet, modern/post-modern dance, somatics and experimental theatre to West African dance, Butoh, Bharata Natyam, Hawaiian Hula and Balinese dance.

    Placing these studies in a critical interrogation of her own transnational formation as a dancer and scholar, Claudia's work focuses on the seduction and consequences of mobility. 

    Centred on feminist ethnographic methodologies, her work engages with the body in relation to the global flows of traditional dance forms; cosmopolitanism and globalisation; fashion, the body and consumer culture; space, place, and migration.

    Her current research project examines the circulation of West African dance and music in Italy.

    Dominic Hingorani

    Dominic is an academic, playwright and producer. He is currently a Reader in Theatre and Performance and Postgraduate Research Leader at the University of East London. His research is focused on art form innovation and methodologies for developing artists and audiences from BAME backgrounds for the arts.

    He has published widely on BAME representation and inclusion in performance including a monograph (2010) British Asian Theatre – Dramaturgy, Process and Performance for Palgrave. He is Artistic Director of Brolly Productions a BAME led company that creates and curates original projects across art forms for new and diverse audiences; many of whom are first time arts attenders.


    Freddie Opoku-Addaie

    I am a London based dance maker, performer and educator. 

    My work explores universal notions of the group, the individual and the outsider, and challenges what it means to be part of a diverse, contemporary urban generation today.

    It is informed by having been raised in two different environments, in Ghana and the multicultural, dynamic hub of East London. I am interested in cultural differences beyond the obvious and how they manifest themselves as meaningful similarities and differences in human relationships.  

    I seek the unexpected, and with my collaborators, we employ task-based or gaming methodologies as our principal creative processes to arrive at live works which are deliberately unpredictable, sometimes with indeterminate outcomes and which challenge conventional norms of performance.

    My body holds a wide variety of movement languages: hip-hop, capoeira, tai chi, Ghanian folk dance, contact improvisation, breakdance and many contemporary dance techniques.  I also draw extensively from the different experiences and skills from my performers and collaborators. This approach leads to a highly collaborative, fresh and instinctive dance works.

    Research interests:

    • Career diverse artists
    • Language and movement
    • Parameters for understanding movement

    Gordon Kerr

    Gordon has a large body of published works as a composer and music producer. He had a successful twenty-five year career working within the music industry as a composer, performer, and record producer, signed as a recording artist with companies such as Virgin and Sony BMG. 

    He has also worked with many independent labels as both an artist and music producer within the "alternative" music scenes. He now exhibits and receives commissioned artworks and continues to explore composition and production within a contemporary context. 

    Research interests:

    Gordon teaches and performs socially responsive and impactful interdisciplinary research that is critical and inclusive. Central to his research, teaching and curriculum development throughout his career has been a focus on developing and supporting 'inclusive thinking dialogue', creating intervention arts projects UK wide and working with people through community action research projects.

    He is currently working with Professor Andrew Ravenscroft on RadioActive, a ground-breaking research project based at UEL, RadioActive: Rethinking radio as radical pedagogy for inclusion, engagement and informal learning for social impact, fostering digital and 21C skills. RadioActive at UEL is student-led.

    RadioActive website and archive: https://uk2.radioactive101.eu/broadcast/ 

    Guy Harries

    Guy Harries is a composer, sound artist and performer, working with electronics, acoustic instruments, voice and multimedia. He researches the use of live electronics in music with a focus on dramaturgy, the performative and audience participation. 

    He also composes socio-politically engaged opera including Jasser (Netherlands tour 2006/07) and Two Caravans (OperaUpClose Flourish New Opera Prize winner 2012) and investigates the politics of opera making itself through community opera devising workshops in London and an ongoing symposium series at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. 

    He also works as an electronic troubadour under the moniker Guy XY and recently released the album Turing Cabaret - an art-pop opera inspired by the life of computer pioneer Alan Turing.

    His music releases include solo work and collaborations with the POW Ensemble, Meira Asher and Yumi Hara on the labels X-OR, Sub Rosa and Migro. His latest album titled Fault Line was released on the label Sombre Soniks. 

    Research interests: 

    Website: www.guyharries.com

    Helen Reddington

    I became a bass player in a punk band in Brighton in 1977. After seven years as a professional musician, I began writing music for documentaries, both broadcast and non-broadcast, and running songwriting workshops on estates in South London.

    This led to a post as a lecturer on the BA Commercial Music at the University of Westminster, where I completed a PhD that became the book The Lost Women of Rock Music: female musicians of the punk era. I continue to gig and record under the name Helen McCookerybook and completed the film Stories from the She-Punks in 2018. A book on women engineers and producers is forthcoming.

    Research interests:

    • women and punk
    • women and music technology

    Website: www.mccookerybook.com

    Dr Jo Read

    Dr Jo Read is a performer, maker and researcher in the dance field, and is currently a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice programme at the University of East London, having previously worked as a visiting lecturer in dance at Kingston University and the University of Surrey.

    In 2012, Jo was awarded AHRC funding for a PhD at De Montfort University, exploring choreomusicality in relation to staged performances of popping in the UK. As a dancer, Jo has a keen interest in popping and house dance, but also particularly enjoys researching, practising and sharing hip hop social dances from the New Jack Swing era.

    She has performed in different projects as part of Boy Blue Entertainment since 2014, was also previously an Associate Emerging Artist for Woking Dance Festival from 2010, making and performing work such as Moving Forward under the direction of Robert Hylton.

    Jo also worked on the education side of Boy Blue Entertainment and is the author of the AQA GCSE focused Education resource pack for the Emancipation of Expressionism piece.

    Dr. Laura Robinson

    Dr Laura Robinson is Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of East London. Her PhD research focused on the construction of spectacle in male street dance crew performances on UK television talent show competitions.

    Publications include an article in the 'International Journal of Screen dance', and chapters in 'Bodies of Sound: Studies across Popular Music and Dance' (2013) 'The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen' (2014), and 'The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Competition' (2018).

    Laura sits on the executive board of PoP MOVES, the international working group for popular dance, and the Society for Dance Research.

    Research Interests: 

    • Popular dance studies
    • Television studies
    • Gender studies
    • Dance on screen
    • Spectacle
    • Post-Fordism
    • Neoliberalism
    • Post-Capitalist theory
    • Aesthetics

    Website: https://uel.academia.edu/LauraRobinson

    Liselle Terret

    Liselle makes feminist crip performance as Doris La Trine. Her piece, Flushed shifts understandings surrounding the eating disorders using Feminist Queer Crip Neo-burlesque as a dramaturgical tool. In 2018, she curated and hosted Wickedly Wild Women Cabaret for WoW at Southbank Centre, for Royal Court Theatre she co-curated Take Up Space Cabaret.

    Liselle co-formed Not YoUr CiRcUs DoG, a Crip performance company with neuro-divergent and learning disabled artists performing Not F**ckin' Sorry! for Duckie, Southbank, and Soho Theatre.

    In 2014 she co-founded the Performance Making Diploma For Learning Disabled Adults at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Liselle publishes articles and documents her practice as archival websites.

    List of research interests:

    • Feminist Performance Art
    • Crip devising and performance
    • Applied Theatre
    • Socially Engaged Theatre
    • Theatre In Education
    • Drama in Education
    • Performance and mental health
    • Performance and disability

    Website links:

    Lynne McCarthy

    Lynne McCarthy's research and cultural work is concerned with performance and people-property relations with an emphasis on nomadism, social housing and the current UK housing crisis (2010-). She practically investigates state-led evictions through the project, Soil Depositions, which distributed soil from the Dale Farm eviction in Essex 2011.

    As an artist she has worked on social practice projects funded by the Arts Council, the European Capital of Culture and the Network for Social Change. Her research has appeared in Contemporary Theatre Review's Interventions, Research in Drama Education and Studies in Theatre and Performance.

    She is a member of the feminist art activist collective, Speaking of IMELDA, who have campaigned since 2013 for a national referendum on reproductive justice in Ireland.  

    Research interests: Social and interdisciplinary performance; cultural interventions, site specific theatre and art; Intersections between performance studies and cultural studies; Social property, social tenants, nomads and performance; Visual cultures of eviction; The politics of property in liberal and neoliberal ideology; Cultural politics and people-property relations; Feminist activist performance and reproductive justice in Ireland.

    Speaking of IMELDA: speakingofimelda.org
    Soil Depositions: https://soildepositions.wordpress.com

    Paul Woodward

    Paul Woodward is an international theatre practitioner and academic who specializes in physicalized autobiographical storytelling. Paul has worked in all levels of education for over 30 years.

    In the UK he was a Senior Lecturer in Drama & Physical Theatre at St. Mary's University College for 16 years and has been a lecturer at Goldsmiths (University of London), The University of Reading, and in Australia at Monash University and The University of Melbourne. 

    Paul is also a Principal Trainer in Behaviour Management for Schools & Colleges with Pivotal Education. Currently, Paul is working as a senior lecturer and co-programme leader on the Performing Arts BA (Hons) at UEL. 

    Paul remains active as a professional director/dramaturg/performer & has delivered physical theatre workshops nationally and internationally including the international festival of therapy and theatre, Lodz, Poland and in Knysner, South Africa working with HIV positive children in townships, and most recently in Swaziland leading storytelling empowerment workshops and performance for young people affected by HIV/AIDS. 

    In Melbourne, Australia he was awarded a double international scholarship to study for his practice as a research PhD investigating the performativity of HIV (dis)closure at Monash University. Whilst there he also worked for the Melbourne based Sexual Heath charity Living Positive Victoria as a health education speaker, storyteller & workshop facilitator. 

    Published Material:

    Love Me As I Am: Gay Men Reflect On Their Lives  Contributed a chapter of autobiographical writing in this anthology of reflectional writing by gay men as part of The Quest UK work (eds. Adenji, Brady, Lubbe). Quest Publications, 2012

    The Silent Screen/Scream: Digital interrogations of the (dis)closing subject. Chapter in Identity, Performance and Technology: Practices of empowerment, embodiment and technicity. (ed.s Machon & Broadhurst). Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

    Performative (Dis)closures: Sensual Readings and Writings of the Positive Body.  Chapter in Sensualities/Textualities & Technologies: Writings of the Body in 21st Century Performance (ed.s Machon & Broadhurst). Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 

    Jean, Ron, Franko & Me: Brothers in Abjection. Chapter in collaboration with Dr Carl Lavery in Jean Genet: Performance and Politics (ed. Finborough, Lavery & Shetsova), Palgrave MacMillan, 2006

    It's Only a Gameshow: Evolved Intelligences & Reality Cultures with Maxine Doyle Leisure, Media & Visual Culture: Representations & Contestations. LSA. 2004

    Do You Know What We Mean? - The Documentary Body as the bridge between Arts & Social Sciences  (co-written with Josephine Machon) Not All the Time, But Mostly. Creative Forum. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University. July 1999.  ISBN: 0-905488-59-8 

    Robert Nicholson

    Robert is a Senior Lecturer in Dance with over ten years' experience performing in the UK and internationally as well as teaching in the FE and HE sector. 

    He studied at the Urdang Academy, London Studio Centre (BA), Royal Academy of Dance (PGCE (QTS) and Laban (MA) and has worked extensively as a professional dancer/performing with many Contemporary dance companies and choreographers including; Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Retina Dance Company, Lea Anderson, Green Candle Dance Company, State of Emergency, Foot in Hand Dance Company (Louise Katerega), Liz Lea for ROH2 (Royal Opera House) INTOTO (Jean Abreu, Lisa Torun, Liz Lea, Michael Popper). He also performed for Royal Caribbean Productions and Paul Holman Associates productions. 

    Prior to joining the University of East London, he lectured / taught at the University of Lincoln, Lewisham College and Newham Sixth Form College.

    His current research interests focus on graduate employability and skills within the creative industries as well as the performativity of gender on the London drag scene.  

    Dr. Sarahleigh Castelyn

    Dr Sarahleigh Castelyn is a performer, choreographer, and researcher; a dance nerd. She has performed in and choreographed dance works, for example at Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival (South Africa). She serves on a number of editorial and organisation boards, such as The South African Dance Journal and HOTFOOT. She has published research on dance and South Africa, for instance in Viral Dramaturgies (2018) and Narratives in Black British Dance, and in journals such as The African Performance Review, Dance Theatre Journal, Animated, African Performance Review, and The South African Theatre Journal. She is currently working on a monograph on contemporary dance in South Africa.

    Research Interests:

    • Dance Studies
    • South African Dance and Theatre
    • African and the Diaspora Dance and Theatre
    • Politics and Dance
    • Sexuality and Gender
    • Race Studies
    • Feminist Poststructuralism
    • Ethnography
    • Phenomenology
    • Practice-Based Research

    Sönke Prigge

    Sönke Prigge has been called a music industry chameleon. There are probably not many jobs in the music industry that Sönke hasn't done.  He has worked as a musician, composer, producer, sound engineer etc. 

    Working from within his own studio, he has produced EDM and Hip-Hop tracks for his numerous musical projects and for up and coming talents. As a film/TV composer he has worked on many UK television programs, including the BBC BAFTA award-winning "The Wrong Trainers" (2006), and for MTV and NBC in the US and Germany.

    His soundtracks have recently appeared on the "McLaren / Westwood Gang" (Punk) documentary and the internationally acclaimed "Kiev Unbroken" documentary. As a collector of synthesizers and "strange musical objects", Sönke has a keen interested in sound design, music technology and studio/recording history.

    Research interests: Sound design, music technology, studio/recording history/ Artificial Intelligence, travelling for music.


    Steve Betts

    Steve Betts studied music at the West London Institute of Higher Education (now a part of Brunel University) and the London College of Music. 

    In the late 70s he became involved in the New Wave music scene and formed art-rock band The Books, signing deals with Logo records and Virgin Publishing. He wrote and recorded an album, 'Expertise' and three singles with Bowie engineer and Duran Duran producer Colin Thurston. The band also toured the UK with The Skids in support of the album's release.

    In the mid 1980s he signed to Warner Chappell Publishing, Abstract and EG records with his band Howard Hughes and The Western Approaches. They released four singles and toured the UK and Europe, performing at Glastonbury, Pink Pop and Ciney festivals among others. 

    Over the next two decades, using the stage name Howard Hughes, he worked as a session player, producer and songwriter with various bands, including groundbreaking Scottish band The Associates, industrial group SPK, Eurythmics and Peter Murphy. He toured Europe the USA and Japan and worked on studio production projects with American, French and English artists, as well as composing Music for Theatre, Film and Television. 

    In 2007 he became Head of Music, Media and Art at Lewisham and Southwark College and in 2014 he moved to UEL as Programme Leader for Music Performance and Production.

    He is currently working with Barbara Marsh, award winning poet and former member of The Dear Janes. Their album will be released in late 2020.


    Tim Lawrence

    Tim Lawrence is a Professor of Cultural Studies and the author of Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79, Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-92, and Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-83, all published by Duke University Press. He coordinates UEL's Communication, Media and Cultural Studies REF submission and is the co-founder of the Centre for Cultural Studies Research. He also co-founded and runs two audiophile dance parties, Lucky Cloud Sound System and All Our Friends.

    Research interests

    • parties
    • party and DJ culture
    • social justice
    • society
    • politics
    • music culture


    Tony Nwachukwu

    Tony Nwachukwu is a Music Producer, DJ, lecturer and Music Technology consultant who produces and delivers range of initiatives for artists, brands and learning institutions across the UK and Europe. 

    He specialises in connecting the worlds of music production and learning by creating innovative opportunities with music-focused creative professionals and industry. His project CDR - 'The Night of Ideas and Tracks in the Making' is one such opportunity grooming some of today's most forward-thinking artists and producers that include SBTRKT, Floating Points, and Maya Jane Coles.  

    To many he is also known as producer of Attica Blues and project monikers NEPA Allstar and The Wach whose diverse production and remix credits include The Cinematic Orchestra, Jazzanova, Duran Duran and U.N.K.L.E. His lecturing, consulting and learning concepts have been utilised by companies and organisations worldwide.

    Research interests

    • The art of music production
    • Writing music using technology
    • Evolution of the craft
    • Sound manipulation
    • Sampling
    • Performance and technology
    • Creating communities around music technology and production

    Tristan Parkes

    Tristan has written, composed, designed sound and musically directed material for film, theatre, major events and television for over a decade.

    This includes over fifteen productions for Hull Truck Theatre, multiple productions for the Edinburgh Festival, including An Audience with…  starring Alistair McGowan, over a decade of productions for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, most recently F-OFF  in the West End.

    Tristan was a musical director on the Beijing and London Olympic Games and a composer for the British Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai. 

    Film work includes To All the Girls I've Loved Before (Channel 4 Films). When Romeo Met Juliet and The Merchant of Venice (BBC) and Anna Karenina (Working Title Films). 

    His most recent work includes Deeds Not Words, a musical theatre piece in memory of murdered M.P. Jo Cox, Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four for Black Eyed Theatre, Dead Sheep by Jonathan Maitland, and #Hashtag Lightie (Arcola Theatre). 

    Tristan is an Education Associate for the Donmar Warehouse Theatre. He is currently Co-Programme Leader for Performing Arts at UEL.

    Yumi Hara Cawkwell

    Yumi Hara Cawkwell is a composer and improviser (keyboard and voice). She was a member of the board of directors of JASMIM (The Japanese Association for the Study of Musical Improvisation) (2013-16), and a member of the judging panel of the British Composer Award 2018 (British Academy of Songwriters Composers and Authors).

    Her compositions have been performed by contemporary classical ensembles such as the BBC Singers and PianoCircus, and she has performed and recorded with numerous Avant-rock musicians such as Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), Daevid Allen (Gong), Chris Cutler, Tim Hodgkinson, John Greaves, Geoff Leigh and Dagmar Krause (Henry Cow), Jean-Hervé Péron and Zappi (Faust). 

    Research interests: improvisation, composition and performance practice in Avant-rock, performance of composition by Lindsay Cooper.

    Website: www.yumiharacawkwell.co.uk

    Research groups

    Participatory Arts and Socially Engaged Performance

    Participatory Arts and Socially Engaged Performance explores the cultural, political, and practical applications of the performing arts. Breed's research in the international exploration of drama in conflict resolution has been taken up in locations including Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

    Argade's dance tours with the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, funded by bodies including the British Council, have explored ideas of public space and community in specific Indian cities. Castelyn uses dance to explore issues of body and identity in the post-apartheid political and national context of South Africa.

    Other research has explored the question of locatedness in different contexts, such as Hingorani's work on Asian theatre in Britain, and Sotelo’s engagement with subjectivity, place and memory in the physical and spatial context of the walk.

    Testing and exploring the relation between performer and audience is a theme in the submission with Ramos's research exploring the boundaries between audience and performer, disrupting the space of the theatre and bringing the audience into the play in both dramatic and spatial contexts.

    Hingorani's work brings new and non-traditional audiences to engage with the theatrical process, involving them as actors, writers and audiences attracting significant funding from Arts Council England. Breed's work with the gacaca courts of Rwanda explores the ways in which performance and audience participation can be used to transform fixed positions and relations.

    Thomas's (Susanne) theatrical and choreographic work is focused on the relation between performance, technology, site and audience. An innovative use of social media characterises much of this work, including Ramos and Thomas.

    Finally, Katsouraki engages with theories and methodologies of drama to reflect on the historical and political dimensions of theatrical performance, and on aesthetic and philosophical issues more broadly.

    Sound Art

    Sound Art is represented by a number of innovative musicians and electronic artists for whom experimentation with the possibilities of sound and its relation to space is a key activity.  An exploration of the possibilities of live performance in changing spaces is particularly significant in the work of Harries and Thomas, whose work incorporates site-specific performances and installations in a range of venues, including art galleries.

    Cawkwell's range of recordings also explores the possibilities of electronic sound, while Chapman's art installations often focus on the use of natural sounds recorded and reused in situ.  Thomas' (Jo) Crystal was nominated for ISMC World Music Day by the British Jury (2012), Quartz for Alpha E82 (2011), and the Net Audio Award, Public Vote for Alpha Live (2011).

    Thomas has been listed on the top ten music list for Nature of Habit on a-musik. Her public art project Amber was written for Be Open Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square, commissioned by Sound and Music, Arup and Be Open. The work was presented to an audience of over 1 million over pedestrians on 18-21 September 2012.

    Performative Landscapes

    Performative Landscapes extends notions of audience and participation to practices of community-based-arts through the practice of walking. The research highlights notions of agency through the mapping of physical terrain and geographic spaces - guiding walks that encounter memories, narratives, and histories - often outside the dominant or collective discourses.

    The performance and research practices developed by colleagues at UEL including Qualmann and Sotelo have fostered a relationship with other public practices across disciplines with ecologists, geographers, historians, cultural geographers, archaeologists, architects, ramblers, and other walkers for pleasure as a radical engagement with space and place.

    Creative Writing

    Creative Writing integrates a range of 'text as performance' practices including a public reading of the poem 'I Love the Rich' as part of the Pussy Riot and the Art of Political Protest conference and book launch in the UK Parliament on 15 October 2012 (Atkins).

    Atkins established Onedit in 2000, which is currently at issue 17. Onedit has published internationally-renowned (and award-winning) authors such as Alice Notley, Clark Coolidge, Jackson Mac Low, and, more recently, the latest crop of new British writers.

    Onedit is archived as an 'online journal of merit' at the British Library, and has a very high reputation for its work and its design amongst readers in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and Europe. While Atkins explores the poetic limits of translation, McWatt's novel Vital Signs explores practice-led research in the area of narrative voice and the limitations of the text-based novel.

    Nelmes develops the critique of screenplay writing and methodologies through a series of monographs, journal articles and practice based screenwriting projects using archival materials from the British Film Institute (BFI).

    Our research addresses community participation and action, ethics, social inequality and cultural politics. We are committed to performance practice as a means of transformation, as well as to communicating our research as widely as possible in other ways. IPAD has hosted a number of conferences including The East End Seen Through Performance (2009), Archiving for the Future: using archives to enhance learning and teaching in drama and theatre studies (2010), Teaching Popular Dance in Higher Education (2010) and Making Theatre for Young Audiences (2011).

    One of IPAD's founding projects - the East London Theatre Archive (ELTA), that later developed into a second project called Clustering and Enhancing Digital Archives for Research (CEDAR) - provided free online access to a digitised archive of over 20,000 materials (playbills, scripts, posters, designs, photos, news clips, etc) as primary source materials from East London theatres including Hoxton Hall, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Hackney Empire, and Theatre Venture.

    UEL was awarded £500,000 from JISC for ELTA and £250,000 from JISC for CEDAR. Artists, historians, students and the public at large have access to the materials.

    Thus, IPAD engages the public not only in outreach through theatrical performance, but through online sources, workshops, art installations, and site-specific performances, publishing our work in non-academic and academic locations and contributing to the public dissemination of knowledge, both nationally and internationally.

    Research environment

    See details on CPAD's research environment.


    Details coming soon.


    Details coming soon.


    See details on our past events.


    Contact us

    Contact the Centre for Performing Arts Development: Email CPAD - CPAD@uel.ac.uk