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Dr Bobby Smith

Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance

Email: bobby dot smith at warwick dot ac dot uk

Phone: (+44) (0) 24 7652 3021 (Ext. 23021)

Room F03, Millburn House,
University of Warwick,
Coventry, CV4 7HS.

Office Hours

My office hours are Mondays, 12-2pm. If you would like to meet outside of this time, please contact me


I joined Warwick in 2019 as an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Performance. Previously, I taught at Manchester and Staffordshire universities and was a freelance applied and socially engaged performance practitioner in a range of contexts. This included work with young people coordinating, planning and delivering projects. For several years I worked with Tender Education and Arts on education projects exploring sexual health, relationships and drugs as well as domestic violence prevention projects. I also worked for Only Connect, developing and managing arts-based projects with young people at risk of offending. In 2016 I worked with Cardboard Citizens to support a forum theatre project with young people experiencing homelessness and delivered follow-on theatre workshops. I have also worked in criminal justice contexts and I co-wrote resources, ran sessions and trained volunteers to use applied theatre while working for the Creative English project – a nationwide initiative with refugee and migrant communities that aims to increase participants’ sense of belonging and their English language skills. I have a particular interest in the problems and possibilities of theatre and culture in global development and have worked as a consultant, trainer and theatre-maker on a range of projects related to this area.

Through both my teaching and research I hope to examine the claims made for applied and socially engaged performance and support artistic and creative approaches to activism, education, and social action.

Professional Associations

  • Member of Theatre and Performance Research Association
  • Member of the Development Studies Association

Administrative Roles

Director of Practice

Study Abroad Officer


  • PhD Drama (University of Manchester)
  • MA Theatre and Global Development (University of Leeds)
  • BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London)

Research interests

My research mainly relates to applied and socially engaged performance. Currently, this includes work based on my PhD thesis to explore aspects of partnership in applied theatre and global development projects. Building on collaborations with Amani People's Theatre - an organisation running theatre and peacebuilding projects - I have also undertaken research in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya which examines uses of theatre to address conflict. This research draws on the perspectives of practitioners who are on the ground, delivering this work, and I am in the process of applying for further funding to continue exploring this area. I also have research interests in applied theatre with refugee and migrant communities and performance which addresses issues relating to sustainability and the climate crisis.


    Journal articles

    Bobby Smith (2017) ‘Performing Partnership: The possibilities of decentring the expertise of international practitioners in Theatre for Development Partnerships’, Applied Theatre Research, 5 (1): 37-51. DOI:

    Bobby Smith (2017) 'You have to do it - it's important! If you don't nobody will know what it's like!': A response to The House from an applied theatre practitioner', Studies in Theatre and Performance, 31 (1): 101-104. DOI:

    Maxwel Okuto and Bobby Smith (2017) ‘Reflecting on the Challenges of Applied Theatre in Kenya’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 22 (1): 292-300. DOI:

    Anne Smith and Bobby Smith (2015) ‘What’s in a Name? Shifts in Identity, Impact and Delivery in a National Volunteer-led Programme Using Applied Drama to Learn English’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 20 (4): 524-530.

    Case Studies:

    Applied Theatre and Peacebuilding

    Teaching and Supervision


    Theatre and Performance in Context (Module Convenor)

    Applying Theatre (Module Convenor)

    Independent Research Option - Practice-based Research Project supervision

    Postgraduate - MA Applied Theatre: Arts, Action, Change

    Theorising and Facilitating Applied Theatre: Ethics and Reflective Practice (Module Convenor)