From left standing Prof. Jools Gilson, Prof. Manfred Schewe and Aoife Murphy. Sitting front - Fionn Woodhouse and Dr. Marie Kelly. Sitting back - Dr. Róisín O'Gorman and Dr. Bernadette Cronin. 

Department of Theatre UCC - Research Specialisms

Contemporary Theatres: Irish theatre, German theatre, Post-dramatic & Experimental Theatre, Performance Theory & Dramatic Literature, Theory and Practice of Adaptation.

Theories & Practices of Embodiment: Choreography, Dance, Physical Theatre, Somatic Practices, Corporeality, Movement.

Performative Teaching & Learning: Applied Theatre, Educational Drama, Youth Theatre Practice, Drama participation impact.

Critical Theory: Performance Studies, Performative Writing, Affect Studies, Intermediality, Visual Culture, Feminist Theory & Praxis, Gender & Sexuality, Critical Pedagogy.

Practices: Theatre Producing, Casting, Devising, Dramaturgy, Practice-as-Research, Psychophysical performance, Broadcast and experimental radio.

Dr. Bernadette Cronin

Dr. Bernadette Cronin

I am a theatre practitioner-researcher with a particular interest in adapting and devising and cross-disciplinary performance making. I co-founded GAITKRASH Theatre Company in 2007 with actor Regina Crowley and sound artist Mick O’Shea. The performance work takes place at the intersection between theatre, sound art and visual art. I work internationally as a performer, workshop leader and dramaturge and have trained among others with international voice experts Kristin Linklater and Margaret Pikes (Roy Harte School), and with actor trainers Phillip Zarrilli and David Zinder. I am a designated Linklater voice teacher, and a qualified yoga instructor. I hold a Diploma in Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, an MA (adaptation - novel to film script) from UCC, a PhD (contemporary post-dramatic theatre) from the University of Exeter, and a Diploma in Translation (German/English) from City University London. Recent performance work includes Playing the Maids (Wales/Korea/Ireland/Singapore), a multi-modal piece of theatre, inspired by Jean Genet’s classic The Maids, which toured in Wales in 2015, and On an Island, a multi-modal performance piece created in response to Heir Island for the West Cork Islands Festival 2017. I teach voice, theatre practice, text and adaptation in the Department of Theatre at UCC, and publish in the areas of adapting and devising and multi-modal performance making.

Professor Jools Gilson

Image of Jools Gilson

I teach theatre and movement practices as well as critical thinking / writing about theatre and performance. I love teaching, and I’m really curious about how different arts and broadcast disciplines make their meanings. I’m interested in what is particular about theatre; how it is an intelligence and a mode of enquiry. I trained originally in theatre and dance at Lancaster University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and then developed an interest in interdisciplinary arts practice and scholarship.

My research and teaching interests cross boundaries between traditional academic scholarship and arts / broadcast practice - I’ve been a professional choreographer, an installation artist, a broadcaster, a critic and always a writer. I was the co-director of the performance production company half/angel for 10 years (1996 – 2006) with the composer / digital artist Richard Povall. half/angel made dance theatre and installation known for their poetic sensibility and digital innovation.  More recently, I make creative radio (documentaries, features and drama) for RTÉ Radio and the BBC. The sensibility of my creative work across these different disciplines continues to focus on making provocative & haunting poetic spaces. Alongside this, I publish in the fields of Feminist Theory, Visual Culture, Gender and Sexuality, Performance Studies, Performative Writing, Somatics and Affect Studies. I’m also currently doing a Professional Training in Hanna Somatic Education.

I hold a practice-based PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Surrey, and taught performance at the University of Hull and Dartington College of Arts (UK) before coming to Ireland. I taught in the School of English at UCC from 1996 – 2016, where I was Associate Director of the MA in Creative Writing from 2013. I was appointed Professor of Creative Practice and Head of the School of Music and Theatre in 2016.

Dr. Marie Kelly

Image of Marie Kelly

I have a specific interest in  contemporary Irish theatre and ways in which European and American theatre experimentation have influenced the contemporary dramatic canon. I am inspired and uniquely positioned in this research through my background in theatre casting and production at the Abbey Theatre 1993 - 2006. Since joining the School of Music and Theatre I have designed new modules on Theatre of the Image, Site-Specific Theatre, Theatre and Consciousness, and Engaging with the Profession. My research is both scholarly (applying theoretical frameworks to the analysis of performance) and practice-based (generating scholarly enquiry through casting, theatre production and dramaturgy). My doctoral dissertation focused on the experimental plays of Irish playwright and author Tom Mac Intyre, whose work broke new ground in Irish theatre in the 1980s by adopting practices from European and American Theatre of the Image and Dance Theatre. Frameworks applied to my research include Performance Analysis and Performance Studies (semiotics, phenomenology, subjectivity, gender and identity, theories of play and ritual). I also enjoy exploring and applying innovative theoretical approaches to theatre performance, specifically theories from Cognitive Science. I am proud to be the current Vice-President of the Irish Society for Theatre Research and to collaborate with a wide range of scholars and practitioners. My most recent output is the Katie Roche Research Pack, compiled in collaboration with the Abbey Theatre. This research pack marks a unique moment (the first of its kind in Ireland) bringing the theatre and the academy together to create a teaching/research resource on the significant contribution of playwright Teresa Deevy to the Irish dramatic canon.

Dr. Róisín O'Gorman

Image of Róisín O'Gorman

My work articulates the joint space between traditional scholarship and arts practice. Engaging creative methodologies and movement based practices from theatre-making with the theoretical frameworks from performance studies I pay attention to that which is overlooked or relegated to the margins of experience and knowledge and how those forms are politically implicated.  I experiment with different modes and work with to push boundaries in concepts and methodologies by exploring various platforms to discover the best form to support, develop and communicate the research within a given project. Interweaving my work as a Somatic Movement Educator along with creative arts practice and traditional scholarship results in a diverse practice as a scholar and artist that integrates and cross-pollinates these realms. My unique background and approach has resulted in arts-based research projects, essays in international journals, book chapters and video essays. This experimental and creative approach continues to evolve and offer new research and teaching/learning possibilities.


Professor Manfred Schewe (on research leave until 30 March 2019)

Manfred Profile image

My teaching and interdisciplinary research activities focus primarily on aspects of Applied Theatre, including community theatre as world theatre and culture specific forms of drama and theatre in education. Brazilian writer and theatre practitioner Augusto Boal is one of the pioneers of Applied Theatre, I share his belief that "Theatre can help us to build our future, rather than just waiting for it." I have always had a special interest in building bridges between theatre and education.Traditionally the focus in our schools and universities is very much on the head, and there is a lack of emphasis on forms of creative doing. As a lecturer and workshop facilitator for associations and institutions worldwide, I continue to be a strong advocate of a new, performative teaching and learning culture. I believe that the performative arts can pave the way towards a different pedagogical culture, by developing innovative models of “teaching and learning with head, heart, hands and feet” (Schewe 1993). My teaching and research is closely linked to the SCENARIO project ( at University College Cork. In 2007 I co-founded SCENARIO – Journal for Performative Teaching, Learning, Research, in 2012 the complementary SCENARIO Book Series, and our SCENARIO FORUM international network of practitioners and researchers is steadily growing. A lot remains to be done at various institutional and political levels to ensure that theatre will play a more central role in the field of education. I would love to see Theatre to be introduced and to flourish as a subject in all Irish primary and secondary schools; and wouldn’t it be wonderful if universities in Ireland and elsewhere began to embrace performativity as a pedagogy in and across all academic disciplines?* In a more recent research project I focused on the area of Going Performative in Intercultural Education – International Contexts, Theoretical Perspectives and Models of Practice (edited by Crutchfield/Schewe 2017). For further details regarding my research-related activities interests see my staff page at:

*In this context see our forthcoming SCENARIO FORUM Symposium (September 2018)

Fionn Woodhouse

Image of Fionn

I am a director, producer and facilitator of drama/theatre with particular interest in youth participation and learning through practice. Currently I lecture on the Applied Drama & Theatre modules and Theatre Production modules. I am an active educational drama practitioner, having trained and worked with Graffiti Educational Theatre Company for over 14 years. During this time I co designed and facilitated various programmes in a range of locations from third level to preschool including anti-racism/bullying. UCC Plus+ Drama Workshops, CIT Access Workshops, etc. My research has focused on the impact of participation in educational drama workshops specifically if the impact aligns with the stated aims and objectives. This led to a Masters by Research entitled ‘What Remains? Case Study of an Educational Drama Intervention’ investigating the impact of participation in aspiration raising workshops on young people from disadvantaged schools. With a strong interest in youth theatre, I am the Artistic Director of Lightbulb Youth Theatre and have been involved in the founding of various youth theatre groups across the county. I am also a current board member of the Youth Theatre Ireland, the national development organisation for youth theatre. I have a developing interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning specifically the structures of learning outcomes and their application in applied drama. I am a co-founder of With an ‘F’ Productions theatre company that has toured shows both nationally and internationally. The current focus of the company is on developing new writing. I recently published an article about the work of co-founder Stefanie Preissner entitled ‘A Passion for the Arts’ in Scenario Forum (


Staff Contact Details


Prof. Manfred Schewe

(currently on reserach leave until 30 March 2019) 0214904229/4339
Prof. Jools Gilson Professor of Creative Practice, Head of School 0214904229
Dr. Bernadette Cronin Lecturer 0214904070
Dr. Róisín O’Gorman Lecturer 0214904364
Dr. Marie Kelly Lecturer 0214904229
Ms Inma Pavon PT Lecturer 0214904129
Fionn Woodhouse Lecturer 0214904359
Aoife Murphy Senior Executive Assistant  0214904229
 Leslie Burton   PhD Candidate/Lecturer  
 Edward James Dean  PhD Candidate/Lecturer  
 Tom Kibbe  PhD Candidate/Lecturer  
 Patricia Klich  PhD Candidate/Lecturer