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Liselle Terret

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD), Performing Arts , Arts and Digital Industries (ADI)

Liselle Terret is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts with over twenty years professional experience of teaching, facilitating, devising and managing applied theatre projects within and outside of the UK. Liselle also makes and performs queer feminist ‘low’ performance art as Doris La Trine, and articulates her work within a range of both academic and practiced-based contexts. In 2014 she published a curatorial practice website that archives and articulates a series of ‘low art’ symposiums for the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.  In 2014, Liselle co-founded the Diploma in Performance Making for adults with (perceived) learning disabilities as a partnership between Central and Access All Areas, and in 2015 the course won the Guardian University Award for Student Diversity and Widening Participation. 

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    As Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts here at UEL, I am committed to developing and supporting collaborative opportunities for our undergraduate BA Drama, Applied Theatre & Performance students to consolidate their professional and artistic skills, knowledges and creative practice in 'real' Applied Theatre-related contexts. I utilise my 20 years of experience as a teacher, facilitator, and manager of Applied Theatre-related projects within and outside of the UK working with a diverse selection of marginalised groups in society. I am passionate about developing our students' ethical understanding of facilitating creative projects in 'community' contexts and constantly interrogating our practice as devisers, teachers, directors, performers  so as to advocate for transparent and critically reflective developing practitioners. In my previous position at Central, I partnered a successful 3-year funding bid to The Leverhulme Trust to support a new Diploma for learning disabled adults in Performance-Making with Access All Areas and have directed these students for the past several years. 

    In addition, I also make  low performance art that is queer and feminist and interrogates assumed understanding surrounding eating disorders and mental health.  In 2013 I completed an REF submitted Curatorial Practice Website that archives and articulates a series of ‘low art’ performance and paper-presentation events (Feminist Neo-Burlesque Conference and KleinKunst events at The Roundhouse: 2008-2010). I curated and co-convened these events with Jay Stewart of Gendered Intelligence which also documents some of my own performance-practice as Doris La Trine. In 2008 I performed at The Chelsea Theatre with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stevens as their nurse. I continue to make and perform in queer and feminist spaces , and most recently for  Duckie's, The Sisterhood in Shangri-La, Domestic & Haphazard produced by Word of Warning, and the Brighton Fringe. Simon Casson of Duckie's says of my performance;

    " Liselle's work is filthy, dirty, shameful, all too personal and at the same time - glorious. Grotesque, powerful, political. A detailed, delicate piece" Simon Casson, Duckies May 2016

    Throughout my academic career, I have presented and published papers on my research and have given a Keynote on a particular project that queered Heathcote’s the Mantle of the Expert for primary schools. Please see the next section for a list of publications. 

    Prior to UEL, I was a Senior Lecturer at Coventry University and before that lecturer for eight years at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama until 2014 where I set up and led a number of applied-theatre-related projects for students learning with children, elders, people part of the mental health system, young trans people, learning disabled people both within and outside of the UK (including Kenya and Kosovo). I have also taught at Brunel University,  for the MA Educational Theatre NYU Abroad Programme and directed final year degree students in a play for young audiences at Italia Conti Academy. I began my professional career as a drama teacher in London secondary and SEN schools before co-forming Unmask Theatre touring participatory TiE and arts education projects. I then became Senior Education Officer for the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre where I headed up a three-year programme to develop performance projects with learning disabled young people. I was awarded Arts Council funding to curate a conference ‘Off The Page’ (accessible performance-making for disabled young people). Other theatre companies that I have led, managed and facilitated projects including Unicorn Theatre For Children,  Graeae Theatre, Besht Tellers and Pascal Theatre Company, SHAPE.  


    Autobiographical Low Art Performance: Queer Feminist Neo-Burlesque

    Disability: performance training, politics, self advocacy, professionalising facilitation

    Applied Theatre: facilitation, socially engaged performing arts with marginalised communities DiE, TiE, participatory drama, devised theatre


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    Terret, L (2016) Re-Positioning The Learning-Disabled Performing Arts Student as Critical Facilitator in  Preston, S. ed, Applied Theatre: Facilitation Pedagogies, Practices, Resistance, Bloomsbury, pp 131 - 150

    Mackey, S. & Terret, L. (2015) Move Over, There's Room Enough: Performance Making Diploma: training for learning disabled adults in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (Volume 20, Issue 4), Taylor & Francis

    Terret, L. (2013) LipSiCk Queer Feminist Neo-Burlesque - Curatorial Practice. Available from

    Nally, C. & Smith, A. (2013) Gendered Performance and Public Exposure, I.B. Taurus & Co Ltd. pp127-130

    Terret, L., and Busby, S. (2013) 'You can act out without making too much noise'. '5th Conference on Social Inclusion and Education in the Performing Arts'. Held Mar 2013 at the British Council, Barcelona, Spain, [Keynote Speech] Available from

    Terret, L. (2013) 'The Boy in the Dress: queering Mantle of the Expert'. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 18 (2), 192-195

    Terret, L. (2012) 'Theatre in health and care (a review)'. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 17 (1), 133-135. Available from

    Terret, L. (2009) 'Who's got the power? Performance and self advocacy for people with learning disabilities'. In The Applied Theatre Reader. Ed. by Prentki, T., and Preston, S. London: Routledge, 336-344

    Terret, L., with Graeae Theatre Company and CETT (2008) The Next Stage: Disability at Central School of Speech and Drama. 



    I successfully partnered a funding bit with Access All Areas for three year funding for a Diploma in  Performance Making  for Learning Disabled Adults, The Leverhulme Trust, at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama


    I have directed and devised the following productions: 

    Terret, L (2015) Checkout (a devised and scripted production with graduates from Diploma in Performance Making for learning disabled adults at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, London. The production was based on Taming of the Shrew and was set in Sainsbury's supermarket. 

    Terret, L (2012)  An Adaptation of The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams for primary schools (Years 5 & 6). This took the form of a participative MoE Drama In Education project. 

    Pascal, J. (2005) The Golem (an adaptation for children). [Director] Performed in 2005 at Komedia, Brighton, The Tricycle, Jackson’s Lane, London, and the Children’s Theatre Festival, Croatia

    Kaye, J. (2003) Take Away. [Director] Performed 2003 at the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre and at The Albany Theatre

    Asch, S. (2002) God of Vengeance. [Director] Held 2002 at the Camden People’s Theatre



    Applied Theatre & Socially Engaged Performance Practice

    Drama and Theatre In Education - forms, theories & histories

    Ethics & Politics of Performance Practice with Learning Disabled People

    Devising Contemporary Performance

    Facilitation - practice and ethics of practice

    Solo queer feminist autobiographical performance art