TOP STORY: Dr Wallace McDowell's Retirement
After 17 years, we're saying goodbye to Wallace McDowell this summer. Students and staff are very sad to see him go. Wallace has given a huge amount to Theatre and Performance Studies over the years and has inspired and supported generations of students. All of us wish him all the very best for the next adventure in retirement!
Wallace has written the following:
"It was 17 years ago that I, as a 25-year veteran practitioner in the professional theatre industry, arrived to start my Ph.D at Warwick under the supervision of Nadine Holdsworth. I had assumed that I would pursue a lonely research furrow for 3-4 years to complete my project. Instead, the academic equivalent of a CS Lewis wardrobe gave me access to a world that I did not know existed: an unbelievably collegiate department under the then leadership of Jim Davis; a vibrant research community of fellow Ph.D students; opportunities to go to conferences – Helsinki, Stellenbosch, Barcelona; and, above all the opportunity to teach which was not something I had even thought about when I started.
I discovered it was what I loved doing and got the opportunity to develop my own teaching areas – 20th Century Irish Theatre, and Performing masculinities. This served as the basis for my teaching and convening of work when I became a full member of the department. In doing so I met cohort after cohort of talented and bright students who had a huge impact on my life. You know who you are. That is what has made the last 17 years so worthwhile.
I am sorry to be leaving but sometimes the time is just right. In so many ways, academic life is another planet from 2004. In some ways, however, many fundamental values remain – and they continue to remain in the TPS of 2021 led by Anna Harpin.
Over the years, the work and subsequent lives of students have been life affirming and I know that this will continue. This is something that gives me immense pleasure
For me, let us see what happens. I take great comfort in the words of Homer – Simpson that is – ‘I have enough money now to last me for the rest of my life – as long as I die by next Tuesday'.
Farewell and keep the faith. Fly strong and fly high
Congratulations to all of our students who are graduating this week. At our graduation ceremony we usually announce our Student Prizes. We have extended the list of prizes this year to reward group work and to acknowledge practice and research separately. As ever, we also want to acknowledge students who have contributed significantly to the Theatre and Performance Studies, the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures, and the University during their time here. This year's prizes are as follows:
- Research Prize (Dissertation) Josh Myers
- Research Prize (Practice) Jana Azuipe
- Contribution Prizes: Hannah Khan, Lucy Chamberlain, Angelo Balagtas
- Group work prize for process: Niamh Mulcahy, Lyra Cooper, Elia Waymouth, Vishal Ratnajothy (Applying Theatre - Care Home Project)
- Group work prize for product: Adam Wilmhurst, Tabitha Collingridge, George Brown, Guillaume Massenet, and Ashwin Rupanagudi (Wired - Short Film).
Congratulations to our first year students, Jon-Luke Goodman and Cai Kennedy, who have successfully applied to this year's Clive Barker Award. Clive Barker was a pioneering theatre studies scholar. He worked with Arnold Wesker and Joan Littlewood and wrote influential books such as Theatre Games. He worked at Warwick from 1976 until he retired in 1993. This award is designed to provide practical and financial support for Theatre and Performance Studies students who plan to create a piece of extra-curricular performance, with a view to submitting this work to the Edinburgh Festival or a similar public platform.
Their project is provisionally titled The Awakening of Spring and will offer a modern adaptation and de-contextualisation of the play that inspired Spring Awakening; challenging traditional staging and theatrical conventions with heavy elements of technology, performance art and promenade elements. Taking Frank Wedekind’s 1890 play and transposing it into a 21st Century setting, inspired by the current movement in the light of the death of Sarah Everards’s tragic death. This abstract non-linear deconstruction will also be scrutinising the media, exploring social media and how this relates to physical, domestic and sexual violence.
The students will receive up to £600 to help mount the work and will be given access to rehearsal space and technical support.
Well done Cai and Jon-Luke. We look forward to seeing how this project develops!
Clive Barker was a pioneering theatre studies scholar. He worked with Arnold Wesker and Joan Littlewood and wrote influential book such as Theatre Games. He worked at Warwick from 1976 until he retired in 1993.
This award is designed to provide practical and financial support for Theatre and Performance Studies students who plan to create a piece of extra-curricular performance work in the department with a view to submitting this work to the Edinburgh Festival or a similar public platform. The recipients of this award will receive up to £600 to help mount the work and will be given access to rehearsal space and technical support (subject to availability and a maximum amount of 15 hours of technical support) to realise the project. It is anticipated that projects will be developed over the Easter break, post-summer exams and/or in the early stages of the summer break.
How to Apply
- Download and complete the short application from and return to Bobby - Bobby.Smith@warwick.ac.uk
- Please add ‘Clive Barker Award Submission’ in the subject line of the email.
- Deadline Friday 26th March 2021.
- Successful Applicants will be announced within 3 weeks.
- You can find the form here https://moodle.warwick.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=25249
In December 2020, it was announced that Sky Herington has won the Theatre and Performance Research Association's prestigious Postgraduate Essay Prize. Sky's essay is called 'Grotesque Bodies & Subversive Healing: The Politics of the Belly in Two Plays by Sony Labou Tansi'.