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Personal profile

Research Statement

My PhD explores perceptions of the social value of youth drama in rural areas of Northern Ireland. I am conducting ethnographic fieldwork in two communities with active youth drama groups. Stage 1 of my fieldwork involves participant-observation with the youth drama groups over three months, culminating in interviews and a consultation drama workshop. Stage 2 involves interviewing adults in the wider community including: teachers; sports leaders; church leaders; businesspeople; local authority staff; politicians and youth workers, to find out how they perceive and value their local youth drama group.

It is hoped that the findings from this study will have implications for NI cultural and arts policy, highlighting the potential for crossover with other policy areas including young people's health and well-being, and rural community development. It will be of particular relevance to NI local authorities given their new responsibilities for community planning and community well-being.

Research Interests

Youth theatre and youth drama

Cultural policy

Children's theatre

The social impact of the arts

Arts-based research

Social capital and the arts

Applied drama

Youth development

Rural and community development

Teaching

I worked as a Teaching Assistant on the First Year Greek Tragedy module in 2015. 

In 2016 I have been involved in the Schools University Partnership Initiative (SUPI), and have co-led sessions for school students in partnership with law faculty staff.

I was employed by Brassneck Theatre Company from September 2015 to June 2016 as the Evaluator for their youth theatre programme.

I regularly facilitate youth drama workshops. Recent work includes a programme of Play in a Day workshops for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

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