Dr Nigel Ward

Associate Professor of Drama

Affiliated with StoryLab Research Institute

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Cambridge School of Creative Industries

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Performing arts and dance

Research Supervision:Yes

Nigel teaches on the Drama and Performing Arts courses across a range of theoretical and practical modules, including those focused on devising, directing and digital performance.



After reading English at Oxford University Nigel trained as a theatre director at Drama Studio London and worked professionally in the London fringe and as an assistant director at the Royal Shakespeare Company. After completing his PhD at Warwick University, he taught at a variety of institutions including, Sheffield University and Central School of Speech and Drama, London, where he ran the MA in Performance Studies. At Anglia Ruskin University he teaches across Drama and Performing Arts and leads productions in the Mumford Theatre and elsewhere.

Research interests

  • Intercultural theatre
  • Asian theatre (especially South East and East Asian)
  • Theatre history, especially avant-garde performance of the early twentieth century

Areas of research supervision

  • Intercultural theatre
  • Theatre directing
  • European avant-garde theatre


  • MA (Oxon)
  • PhD

Selected recent publications

‘The French Theatrical Avant Garde’ Evans, M. & Kemp, R. (eds). (2016), The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq, London: Routledge

‘The transcultural body: Kolkata re-membered’, Studies in South Asian Film and Media, The Body: Indian Theatre Special Issue, Volume 4:2 (July 2013)

'The Death of the Actor', Performance Research, Vol.15 No 1, March 2010

'The Fifty-One Shocks of Artaud', New Theatre Quarterly, 58 1999

'Théâtre Populaire: Ideology and Tradition in French Popular Theatre from Copeau to Mnouchkine' in Popular Theatres? Papers from the Popular Theatre Conference, Liverpool John Moores University, September 1994 (Liverpool JMU)

Practice as research

2004 The Silk Route, Calcutta, India (sponsored by British Council). A devised performance based on Marco Polo's The Travels and Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. (Kinaetma Theatre)

2003 The Changing Room, Calcutta, India (sponsored by British Council). A devised performance based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. (Kinaetma Theatre)

2002 Sita, Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton. A devised performance based on the Ramayana. (Kinaetma Theatre)

2000 Questa Sera, performed Central School of Speech and Drama, London and Setkani Festival, Brno, Czech Republic. A devised performance developed from work on Pirandello's Tonight We Improvise

2000 The 16 Phases of Kaspar, Teatro do Campo Alegre, Porto, Portugal. A devised performance using three professional actors of different nationalities

Recent presentations and conferences

‘Performing Culture and the Ethics of Spectatorship’, International Conference on Culture, Communication and Transnational Societies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, February 2016

‘Jarry in Time’, Performance Philosophy Conference, Chicago, April 2015

‘Acting in the Uncanny Valley: Digital technology and the virtual mask’, SharedSpace: Layering Reality, The Right to Mask (Prague Quadrennial), October 2013

'Breathe Again, Breathe Later: when happenings happen again', Performance Studies International, New York, November 2007

'Ovid in India' Association for Asian Theatre, New Orleans, USA, July 2007

'The Silk Route: memory of a memory of a journey', Performance Studies International, Brown University, USA April 2005

'Staging Indian Identity' for 'Nation or Notion', University of Wales, Bangor

'From 1968 to 1789', for 'Whatever happened to political theatre?' CONCEPTS, Goldsmiths College, London

'The fifty-one Shocks of Artaud: twelve shocks', as part of the Artaud Symposium, Centre for Performance Research, Aberystwyth

'When Happenings Happen Again', Performance Studies International, New York, USA, November 2007