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School of Arts and Media

Dr Alison E Matthews

Lecturer in Theatre Performance (0.6 FTE)


I am a performance maker, researcher and lecturer working in the fields of contemporary performance practice and theatre & performance studies.

With Dr. Joanne Scott, I co-convene Salford’s Practice as Research Centre of Excellence. We advocate for and deliver practice as research training, development opportunities and visibility across the university and beyond its confines. As a researcher, I have presented my practice at national and international venues including Chelsea Theatre (London); CARPA (Colloquium on Artistic Research in the Performing Arts) 2015 @ Theatre Academy/University of the Arts (Helsinki); Universität der Künste (Berlin); University of Madrid Alcala / Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid); Arnolfini (Bristol); Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Wales); Performance Studies International #18 (Leeds); TaPRA 2016 (University of Bristol) and ArtsAdmin/Toynbee Studios (London).

In June of 2015, I was commissioned by Contact Theatre (Manchester) to develop a new performance, The Ballad of Isosceles, as a resident artist for Sensored Festival. I have gone on to tour this project across venues including Belfast’s Catalyst FIX 15 Biennale and our own Digital Performance Lab at Media City UK.

As a performance maker, I have toured work to other venues including Sprint Festival at Camden People’s Theatre, Emergency Festival (Manchester), the HUB Leeds, Lancaster Arts, ARC Stockton, Project Arts Centre (Dublin), and Ausland (Berlin). In 2015-2017, I developed and toured the Arts Council England-supported show The Best of Both Worlds around the UK with my collaborator Leo Burtin.

I have worked as a Visiting Lecturer for the MA in Visual Cultures and Performing Arts at the University of Madrid Alcalá and Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), Aberystwyth University (Wales), and the University of the Arts (Bournemouth).


I teach across the undergraduate TaPP program on modules including:

  • Performance Skills: Voice Performance in Context (PIC)
  • New Trends in Contemporary Performance
  • Renaissance Theatre Acting
  • Theatre-Making (for which I am ML) PRP Supervisions

I have also directed a Performance Project for second year students, the first full student production in our New Adelphi Theatre.

On the MA provision, I teach across all modules. I am also Personal Tutor for the MA students.

PG Teaching

MA Contemporary Performance Practice on modules including

  • Developing Your Practices (module convenor)
  • Approaches to Contemporary Performance
  • Key Contexts in Theatre & Performance

Research Interests

My research interests surround new methodologies of practice-based research, specifically those which focus on new dramaturgical approaches to one-to-one, immersive and ‘intimate’ performance works. I am also interested in socially-engaged and ‘relational’ performance practices. My research interests thus far are firmly grounded in post-Marxist theories of labour, valuation and exchange, as well as these theories’ application to the fields of theatre and performance.

Other specialisms: Performance writing, voice in performance, devising, and experimental writing practices across disciplines.

Qualifications and Memberships

Certificate, Shakespeare in Performance (RADA 2005)
BA Drama (Vassar College 2007)
MA Practising Performance (Aberystwyth University 2009)
PhD Performance Studies (Aberystwyth University 2015)
PG Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Salford 2016)

Internal: Music & Performance Research Centre, Practice as Research Centre of Excellence (Co-Convenor)
External: Theatre and Performance Research Association (2017 PaR Gallery Curator)


Peer reviewed publications

The Ballad of Isosceles, 2017, Performance Research: On Proximity 22(4), 114-117.

Interpellation and The House rehearsal room: or, why conversations like ‘Digging Deep’ matter, 2017, Studies in Theatre and Performance 37 (1), 136-138.

Giving service and provoking rupture: the post-Fordist performer at work. 2017, Studies in Theatre and Performance 37 (1), 139-154. 

The libido-maker’s apprentice: working the window’s proscenium, 2012, Performing Ethos: International Journal of Ethics in Theatre & Performance Special Issue: One-on-One Encounters: Desire, Reciprocity and Ethics, 3 (2), 119-135.

Selected Conference Papers:

TAPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference) @ University of Bristol, September 2016
Gallery Presentation of Documentation and delivery of paper: ‘What the Money Meant and the Materiality of Dollars’
CARPA (Colloquium on Artistic Research in the Performing Arts) 2015 @ Theatre Academy/University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland
Paper: ‘What The Money Meant’: The Materiality of Dollars
TAPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference) @ Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Sep. 2013
Paper: “Transaction as Participation” (Performance and the Body Working Group)
Award Recipient: TAPRA Postgraduate Bursary Award 2013
Performance Studies International (Psi) #18 @ Leeds University, June 2012 Presentation: SERVUS!: Serve/Us Economy

For a full list of presented performance work, please see my website: