Portrait of Professor Franc Chamberlain Professor Franc Chamberlain

F.Chamberlain@hud.ac.uk | 01484 478406


I joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Drama in January 2012. I was previously at the National University of Ireland – Cork (University College Cork) from 2005 and was Head of Department when I left at the end of 2011. From 1991-2005 I was at the University of Northampton where I was Course Leader for the innovative BA(Hons) Performance Studies course between 1994 and 2001. Since 2008 I have held the post of Visiting Professor in Performance Studies and Creative Practice at Northampton. I have also held posts at the University of East Anglia, Derby Tertiary College, NORCAT (King Lynn) and have been a guest lecturer at a variety of institutions from the University of Malta to King’s College, Cambridge.

From 1986-89 I was a self-employed Performance Specialist enaged in a wide variety of projects including devised physical performance, clowning, storytelling, devising staff training programmes for companies such as The Body Shop, and running workshops in prisons, adult education centres, a drug and alcohol resources centre, and a centre for excluded pupils.

Prior to studying for a first degree in Drama (with Philosophy) at UEA in 1983, I created solo performances and worked with little known fringe theatre companies such as The Raging Id. I also worked as an ASM and theatre technician at a multi-function arts centre.

My training in skills has been ongoing for the past thirty-five years and has involved one-day workshops through to regular trainings extended over several years.

Research and Scholarship

I have a number of research strands and projects which congregate around a network of issues and processes of creativity, devising, improvisation, pedagogy and health. I am partly concerned with the impediments to these processes and ways of overcoming them although that is often an implicit rather than explicit condern in my publications. These questions inform my practice-as-research work as well and also my pedagogy.

I have published on the work of theate pedagogues such as Michael Chekhov, Jacques Lecoq, Etienne Decroux and Eugenio Barba but also on themes such as Theatre and Ecology, First-person perspectives and Physical Theatre.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Middleton, D., Chamberlain, F. and Pla, D. (2017) ‘Letter from the EditorsPerformance and Mindfulness , 1 (1). ISSN 2398-3566


Chamberlain, F (2016) ‘Writing improvisationTheatre, Dance and Performance Training , 7 (2), pp. 318-326. ISSN 1944-3927


Chamberlain, F (2015) ‘Rare Butterflies, Persecution, and Pinball Machines: Environment, Subjectivity, and Society in the Theatre of Arthur Adamov’. In: Rethinking the Theatre of the Absurd: Ecology, the Environment and the Greening of the Modern Stage. : Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. . ISBN 9781472506672

Chamberlain, F (2015) ‘Michael Chekhov in England: Outside the Magic Circle’. In: The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov. : Routledge. pp. 207-218. ISBN 9780415710183

Baldwin, M., Chamberlain, F., Elliott, H. and Morris, E. (2015) ‘this is not natural [transfiguration]’. In: Performers Insights into this is not natural [transfiguration], 28th and 29th of July 2014, University of Huddersfield


Chamberlain, F., Middleton, D. and Pla, D. (2014) ‘Buddhist Mindfulness and Psychophysical Performance’. In: International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, October 30 - November 2 2014, Boston, MA


Kirillov, A. and Chamberlain, F. (2013) ‘Rehearsal protocols for Hamlet by William Shakespeare at the Second Moscow Art TheatreTheatre, Dance and Performance Training (Special Issue: Michael Chekhov) , 4 (2), pp. 237-242. ISSN 1944-3927

Chamberlain, F (2013) ‘Michael Chekhov's Ensemble Feeling’. In: Encountering Ensemble. London, UK: Bloomsbury Methuen. pp. 78-93. ISBN 978-1-4081-5200-3


Chamberlain, F., Lavery, C. and Yarrow, R. (2012) ‘Steps Towards an Ecology of PerformanceUniversity of Bucharest Review. Literary and Cultural Studies Series , 14 (1), pp. 6-38. ISSN 2069-8658

Chamberlain, F (2012) ‘“Paper Without a Title”’. In: Annual Postgraduate Conference in the Arts, 10th - 12th September 2012, Northampton, UK

Chamberlain, F. and Smith, L. (2012) ‘Performing Ritual Autobiography: the re-imagination of personal identity’. In: Performing Rituals, 5th - 8th September 2012, Aberystwyth, Wales

Middleton, D. and Chamberlain, F. (2012) ‘Entering the Heart of Experience: First Person Accounts in Performance & SpiritualityPerformance and Spirituality , 3 (1). ISSN 2157-4049

Chamberlain, F (2012) ‘Playing With Awareness/Who's Aware?’. In: Body and Awareness, 25th - 27th May 2012, University of Zadar, Croatia

Chamberlain, F., Lavery, C. and Yarrow, R. (2012) ‘Steps Towards an Ecology of Performance’. In: (M)other Nature? Inscriptions, Locations, Revolutions, the 14th Annual Conference of the English Department, Literature and Cultural Studies Section, University of Bucharest, 31st May - 2nd June 2012, Bucharest, Romania


Chamberlain, F. and Pav´┐Żn, I.(2011) Remembering Ivanov [Show/Exhibition]


Chamberlain, F (2010) Blood on the carpet [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F. and Godfrey, J. (2010) ‘Scores: Suggestive Phantasms’. In: Scores: Suggestive Phantasms’, 10th November 2010, Cork, Ireland

Chamberlain, F (2010) Dunes [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F (2010) ‘Michael Chekhov on the Technique of Acting: Was Don Quixote True to Life?’. In: Actor Training. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 63-80. ISBN 978-0-415-47167-1

Chamberlain, F (2010) The Dream Play [Show/Exhibition]


Chamberlain, F (2009) ‘Interview with Mojisola Adebayoissuu .

Chamberlain, F (2009) Traces of Performance [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F (2009) ‘Introduction to On the Art of Theatre’. In: On the Art of the Theatre. London, UK: Blackwell. p. vii-xvi. ISBN 9781115985932

Chamberlain, F (2009) ‘Review of: The Rhythm of Space and the Sound of Time: Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique in the 21st Century by Cynthia Ashperger, Rodopi, Amsterdam and New York, NY, 2008 978-90-420-2387-1.Leonardo Reviews .

Chamberlain, F (2009) ‘Craig and early modernism’. In: Origins of English Dramatic Modernism, 1870 - 1914. Palo Alto, CA, USA: Academica Press. pp. 171-184. ISBN 9781933146669

Chamberlain, F (2009) Without make-up [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F (2009) ‘Playing with post-secular performancePAJ , 31 (1), pp. 54-67. ISSN 1520-281X

Chamberlain, F (2009) ‘Michael Chekhov et la question de la créativité’. In: Mikhail Tchekhov du Moscou à Hollywood, du théâtre au cinéma. Paris, France: L'Entretemps. pp. 233-241.


Chamberlain, F (2008) Medea [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F. and Leabhart, T. (2008) ‘Introduction to The Decroux Sourcebook’. In: The Decroux Sourcebook. London, UK: Taylor & Francis. pp. 1-23. ISBN 978-0-415-47800-7

Chamberlain, F (2008) Female Parts [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F (2008) ‘Creativity, automata, uber-marionettes’. In: Performing Science, 2008, Birmingham, UK

Chamberlain, F (2008) Come and go [Show/Exhibition]


Chamberlain, F (2007) Beatrice [Show/Exhibition]


Chamberlain, F (2006) Love is... [Show/Exhibition]

Chamberlain, F (2006) Telling [Show/Exhibition]


Chamberlain, F (2005) The Public [Show/Exhibition]



2010--present:     Co-editor (with Gareth Somers) The Journal of Perfomance and Ecology (not yet launched).

2005--2012:         Series Editor, Routledge Theatre Sourcebooks, Abingdon: Routledge (3 volumes published).

2000- 2012:         Series Editor, Routledge Performance Practitioners, Abingdon: Routledge (20 volumes).

1992-1999:          Editor-in-Chief, Contemporary Theatre Review, Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Press (12 Volumes/40 issues).

1992-1999:          Editor-in Chief, Contemporary Theatre Studies, Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Press  (42 volumes).

Current Membership of Editorial Boards:

Choreographic Practices (Intellect). (2010-present)
Theatre Dance and Performance Training (Routledge). (2010-present)
Total Theatre. (c2000-2007)
Performance and Spirituality. (2009-present)
Performing Ethos: An International Journal of Ethics and Performance (2012-present)

Recent Grants: (since 2001)

2011:                     (with Nicole Kennedy and Nuala Walsh) UCC President’s Award for Research on Innovative Forms of Teaching and Learning (€2,000)

2009:                      National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning  (NAIRTL) funding (€5,000) for ‘Embedding Practice as                                Research (PaR) Methodologies into the DTS Undergraduate Curriculum’.

2003 – 2008:         AHRB/AHRC funding (£44,700) for collaborative project with Ralph Yarrow (UEA) and Frances Babbage (Leeds) for: ‘Pan Centre's Vidya comes to life: evaluation, analysis and dissemination’.

2001                      Joint AHRB/UCN funded sabbatical (January-September) to research Michael Chekhov book for Routledge.

External Examining:

2008-2012           BA Theatre and Performance/BA Dance Theatre/MRes, University of Plymouth.

2005--2009:         MA Practical Performance, University of Chester.

2002--2005:         BA Modern Drama Studies, Brunel University.

2002--2006:         BA Acupuncture Oxford Brookes/College of Chinese Medicine.

2000--2005:         MA Theatre, Text, Production, and MA Theatre and Development,University of East Anglia.

1998--2002:         BA Theatre and Professional Practice, Coventry University.

1998--2002:         BA Performing Arts, University of Sunderland.

External Committees:

2007--2008:         International Member of SCUDD working group on standards in the external examining of ‘Practice as Research’ PhDs.

2005--2006:         International Member of SCUDD/HEFCE working group on External Examining processes in Drama.

2003--2005:         Vice - Chair of SCUDD.

2000:                   Member of National Benchmarking Group Advisory Panel for Dance, Drama and Performing Arts.

1999:                   Member SCUDD sub-committee on National Benchmarking.

Research Degree Supervision

2011-present: International member of steering group for Action, Scene, Voice: Ongoing Dialogues with the work of Edward Gordon Craig conference, Pomona College, CA (2013)

2005: External consultant to Dartington CA/Dartington Hall Trust committee organising Michael Chekhov Anniversary symposium.

2005: Co-organiser of SCUDD/SCODHE conference, Northampton.

1990: Member of steering group for Shadow of Spirit conference, King’s College, Cambridge (with: Philippa Berry, Theresa Brennan, Ralph Yarrow, Andrew Wernick).

External PhD Examining

I’ve externally-examined PhD candidates for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Winchester, Exeter, Royal Holloway and Middlesex Universities, and Dartington College of Arts (University of Plymouth).

Administrative Responsibilities

I I’m currently both Subject Leader and Research Co-ordinator for Drama and am a member of a number of committees including Senate, University Teaching and Learning Committee, and the School Research Committee

Teaching and Professional Activities

AHD3200: Critical Context: Perspectives on Contemporary Drama, Theatre and Performance
AHD3303: Practice Analysis: Final Year Project
AID2108: Models and Theories of Performance Practice 2
AID2233: IN Context