Dr Stephen Hornby

School of Arts, Media and Creative Technologies

Photo of Dr Stephen Hornby

Contact Details

Room 512 (5th Floor)
New Adelphi Building

Current positions

Academic Fellow Drama & Theatre Practice


Stephen is a multi-award-winning writer, director and academic. He dramatises archives. He teaches extensively in screenwriting, playwriting, drama, directing, theatre history and performance and supervises individual and group performance and comedy projects. His current company is Inkbrew Productions, having previously been the Artistic Director of Pagelight Productions, VADA LGBTQ+ Community Theatre and Conical Productions. He is the first National Playwright in Residence to LGBT+ History Month. in the UK.

Having completed an M.A. in Playwriting at the Salford University in 2016, Stephen subsequently secured Arts & Humanities Research Council funding to complete a Ph.D. there on dramatising archives in 2021.

He has completed successful commissions for performances based on archive with Islington Museum in London, Bolton Museum and the People’s History Museum in Manchester. Stephen is also interested in writing contemporary drama that explores his previous experiences as a probation officer and social worker in a substance abuse team. In 2022, he was the writer, producer, and curator of “The Day The World Came To Huddersfield”, a major year-long photographic and performance project funded by the Arts Council England (ACE), Kirklees Council and LGBT+ History Month, celebrating the UK’s first National Pride march which won the inaugural Queer Lit award and the 2022 Greater Manchester Fringe Best Drama award. He also accepted a prestigious commission to write a BBC 100 original drama for the stage based on rediscovered transcripts of a lost radio documentary called “The BBC’s First Homosexual”, which is in production planning for a national tour in 2024/25 with support from the University.

Other recent staged work includes:
• “The Adhesion of Love” which toured the North West in Spring 2019), a #Whitman200 festival play funded by the Arts Council
• “The Burnley Buggers’ Ball” which toured the North West in 2017 to 5 STAR reviews, Arts Council funded.
• “Die Diana” winner of the 2016 Greater Manchester Fringe Best Drama Award.
• “The Box of Tricks”, toured the North West in autumn 2015, nominated for the Vicky Allen Award, Arts Council funded.
• “A Very Victorian Scandal” performed as part of the first international festival of LGBT+ History in 2015, Arts Council funded.

Stephen has a film adaptation of “The Adhesion of Love” in development and is working with two independent production companies on treatments for tv series. His short film "Unchechen", which he wrote and directed, won the Wings 2018 award and has been screened across the world, including locally at HOME in Manchester and viewed by over 80,000 people online on Vimeo.

Areas of Research

Playwriting process, writing from archives, community engaged theatre, heritage performance, history plays, LGBTQ+ history, queer drama, methodologies for dramatising history, writing for screen


Stephen is the Module Leader of and teaches on: Introduction to Screenwriting, Playwriting, Gender & Sexuality in Performance, Performance Research Project (with Luke Harrison) and Career & Professional Pathways .

He also teaches and supervises on the following modules: The Writer’s Practice (Introduction to Playwriting), Critical & Textual Studies, Theatre & Comedy Projects, Theatre Directing and Post-1950 British Theatre.

Qualifications and Recognitions

  • Postgraduate Certificate - Academic Practice

    2021 - 2022
  • PhD

    2016 - 2021
  • M.A. Playwriting

    2014 - 2016
  • M.St. Criminology, Penology & Management

    2005 - 2007
  • M.A. Social Work

    1994 - 1996
  • B.A. Hons. Drama & Theatre Studies

    1987 - 1991