Sheila McCormick - School of Arts & Media, University of Salford

Dr Sheila McCormick

Lecturer in Performance

  • New Adelphi Building 5.12
  • T: 0161 295 6841
  • E:

Office Times

Please contact me via email for an appointment


To date, my research and teaching interests include documentary, Irish, applied and political theatre. With publications in these areas, I have recently developed my research to include interests in performance and health, as subject recently explored in my book Applied Theatre: Creative Ageing (Bloomsbury, Methuen 2017).


As a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research and The Theatre and Performance Research Association, I regularly contribute papers at these and other national and international conferences and in 2017 co-convened the TaPRA annual conference here at the University of Salford.


I originally studied acting at the Arden School of Theatre and later obtained an MA in Drama at the National University of Ireland, Galway, an M.Phil in Irish Theatre and Film from the Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin and a PhD also from the National University of Ireland, Galway. My doctoral thesis explored British and Irish documentary theatre production between 2000 and 2010.


I welcome proposals for PhD study in any of my research areas. Please contact the graduate office for details of PhD schemes.



  • Acting Methods 1 (Module Leader)
  • Performance in Context
  • Theatre Project
  • Practical Research Project
  • Theatre and Communities (Module Leader)



  • MA Contemporary Performance


Roles within the Directorate

  • Admissions Lead
  • Research Group Lead

Research Interests

  • Documentary Theatre
  • Contemporary Performance
  • Irish Theatre
  • Applied Theatre

Qualifications and Memberships

  • PG Cert. University of Salford
  • PhD. National University of Ireland, Galway 
  • M Phil. Irish Theatre and Film, Beckett School of Drama and Theatre Studies, Trinity College Dublin
  • MA Drama and Theatre Studies. National University of Ireland, Galway
  • BA Acting Studies. Arden School of Theatre, City College Manchester
  • Higher Diploma in General Nursing. National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Certificate in General Nursing (RGN). University College Hospital, Galway



  • Applied Theatre: Creative Ageing, London: Methuen, 2017



  • Roe B, McCormick S, Lucas T, Gallagher W, Winn A, Elkin S, ‘Coffee, cake & culture: Evaluation of an Arts for Health programme for older people in the community’, Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice, March, 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1471301214528927
  • ‘Heroes with their Hands in the Air: Memory and Commemoration in Contemporary Documentary Theatre’, Kritika Kultura, No.21/22, August 2013
  • ‘The Darkest Corner Series: Theatre Challenging the State?’ Irish Studies Review. Volume 20, Number 2, 1 May 2012, pp. 179-191(13)
  • ‘Back on Stage: Movements in Irish Theatre, 2006’,  New Hibernia Review, Volume 11, Number 3, Autumn 2007, 145-153


Book Chapters

  • Verbatim theatre and The Voice of Dissent’, Voicing Dissent: New Voices in Irish Criticism, Eds. N. Doody and S. Brissett, Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2012.
  • ‘“And you dinnay want tay join the arms?”: Friendship, Conflict, and Kinship as seen in Gregory Burke’s play Black Watch’, Friends and Foes Vol 1: Friendship and Conflict in Philosophy and Arts, Eds. M. Collins, B. Renzi, E. Vaggiani and G. Watson.  Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.



  • 'Illness not as a Metaphor, Simplicity and Kindness  in Margaret Edson's  Wit', Wit Theatre Programme Article, The Royal Exchange, Manchester, 20 15


Conferences Papers:

  • Applied Theatre and Ageing: An examination of the Elders Company, the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference, Bristol, 2016
  • Choosing Make Believe: Performance or Re-orientation in the Care of Individuals Living with Dementia? Representing Dementia: a symposium exploring representations  of dementia within the arts and popular imagination, Royal Holloway, 2015
  • ‘Resisting Stratification?: Arts Practice and Older Adults’, Political Performances Working Group, International Federation for Theatre Research World congress, University of Warwick, July 28th to 1st August 2014
  • Roe B, McCormick S, Gallagher W, Winn A, Lucas T, Elkin S. Evaluation of an arts for health programme for older people in the community: Coffee, cake & culture. 42nd Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology. Global Ageing: Implications for Individuals and Societies. 11 – 13 September 2013. University of Oxford. Oral presentation.
  • Roe B, McCormick S, Gallagher W, Winn A, Lucas T, Elkin S. Coffee, cake and culture: Evaluation of an arts for health programme for older adults in the community. Evidence of impact. Coming of Age. Creating Effective Partnerships to Engage Older People with the Arts. 5 November 2013. Manchester. Oral presentation.
  • ‘Looking back, recalling to recover’: Repeated identities as national recovery in Gerard Mannix Flynn’s James X, TaPRA Conference, Glasgow University, 3-6 September, 2013
  • ‘No Escape: Confrontational Intentions, Conservative Outcomes’, Acting With Facts: Performing the Real on Stage and Screen 1990-2010 an International Conference, University of Reading, 1-3 September 2010.
  • ‘The Tricycle Theatre and Bloody Sunday’, American Conference for Irish Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway, June 10-13, 2009.
  • ‘What Evidence? Redefining the Document in Live Reality Performance’, International Federation for Theatre Research, Annual Conference, University of Lisbon, July 14-17, 2009.
  • ‘Textual or Tangible: The Body as a Document in Documentary Theatre’, Acting with Facts Symposium, University of Reading, May 8, 2009.
  • ‘The Document within a Document: Verbatim Theatre and inter-textuality as seen in Jocelyn Clarke’s The Case of the Rose Tattoo, Textual Practices Working Group Paper, Irish Society for Theatre Research Conference, University College Dublin, April 4-5, 2008.
  • ‘Catharsis or Mythification? Verbatim Theatre and the Performance of Trauma’, Panel Paper, Irish Society for Theatre Research Conference, University College Dublin, April 4-5, 2008.
  • ‘“And you dinnay want tay join the arms?”: Friendship, Conflict, and Kinship as seen in Gregory Burke’s play Black Watch’,” Friends and Foes Multidisciplinary Conference, Queens University Belfast, Nov 16-18, 2007.
  • ‘Tribunal Theatre and the Performance of Trauma in the Tricycle Theatre Company’s Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry’, Real Things: Matter, Materiality, Representation 1880 to the Present, University of York, July 5-8, 2007.


Book Reviews

  • Ursula Canton, Biographical Theatre in Irish Studies Review, submitted March 2012
  • Forsyth, Alison and Megson, Chris, Get Real: Documentary theatre Past and Present, in Theatre Notebook, Volume 65, Number 1, Winter, 2010.
  • Brady, Sarah and Walsh, Fintan, Cross Roads: Performance Studies and Irish Culture, in Theatre Research International, Volume 36, Issue 1, 2010.


Theatre Reviews

  • ‘Less than a Year’, Irish Theatre Magazine, Volume 7, Number 30, Spring, 2007.