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David Coates

dcoatesTeaching Fellow and Admissions Tutor for BA Theatre and Performance Studies

School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures

Email: D dot J dot Coates at warwick dot ac dot uk

Phone: (+44) (0) 24761 50135 (Ext. 50135)

Room G30, Millburn House University of Warwick,

Coventry, CV4 7HS.


David is a Teaching Fellow in the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures at the University of Warwick. David holds a BA (Hons) and MA by Research in Theatre a Performance Studies from the University of Warwick, with his MA dissertation on the subject of Private Theatricals at Chatsworth House: 1880-1914. In 2017 he submitted his PhD thesis titled The Development of Amateur Theatre in Britain, 1789-1914.

As an Early Career Academic, David is working on a number of outputs from his research. He is preparing to submit a proposal to publish his writings on amateur theatre in the long nineteenth century as a monograph. He is also working on a number of journal articles, including one which considers grave hunting as part of a theatre historian's research methodology, and another which grapples with queer subcultures in nineteenth century amateur theatre. Alongside this work, David is preparing an application for Heritage Lottery Funding to support a larger community-led project investigating the Legacies of the Shelley Family in Dorset. This project will include the reconstruction of a night of amateur theatricals at the Shelley Theatre near Bournemouth, a venue which was once the private theatre of Sir Percy Florence Shelley. This reconstruction will involve the mounting of a number of lost plays written by Sir Percy Florence Shelley, which now exist only in manuscript form and have not been performed since their original stagings between 1851 and 1889.

David is an active member of a number of associations. He's been a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR)'s Historiography Working Group since 2013, and was the Administrator for the IFTR Warwick World Congress in 2014. He's also a long-standing member of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) and the Society for Theatre Research (STR), and has served on the Executive Committee of both organisations. For the latter, he founded the New Researchers’ Network (NRN), and served as its Chair between 2012 and 2015. In addition, David is a member of the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) and is one of the founding members of RAPPT, an organisation that aims to unite scholars carrying out ‘Research into Amateur Performance and Private Theatricals’.

Alongside David’s PhD, he has worked in Arts Administration at Warwick Arts Centre in various departments, including Programming and Business Development.

Teaching and Supervision

  • Theatre and the Creative Industries (Second Year Optional Module in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre)
  • Theatre and Performance in Context (First Year Core Module)
  • Academic Toolkit (First Year Induction Module)
  • Performance Analysis (First Year Core Module)
  • Supervisor for Dissertations and Practice by Research Projects (Third Year Optional Core Modules).

Teaching and Supervision

  • From Text to Performance (First Year Core Module)
  • You, the Performer (Second Year Optional Core Module)
  • Acting in Character (Third Year Optional Core Module)
  • SCUDD Rep and Lead.

Professional Associations

  • Member of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), 2010-Present, and Executive Committee Member, 2012-2015.
  • Member of the Society for Theatre Research (STR), 2011-Present, and Executive Committee member 2012-2015.
  • Member of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR), 2013-Present.
  • Member of the Standing Conference for University Drama Departments 2019-Present.
  • Member of Research into Amateur Performance and Private Theatricals (RAPPT), 2010-Present.
  • Occasional member of the British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS), 2014-Present.


  • BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Warwick)
  • MA by Research Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Warwick)
  • PhD Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Warwick)

Research interests

  • British Theatre in the Long Nineteenth Century
  • British Amateur Theatre pre-1914
  • Country House Private Theatricals
  • Theatre Historiography
  • Theatre and Performance Archives
  • Queer Theatre Histories
  • Digital Humanities and Mapping Theatre Histories.
  • Theatre Reconstruction
  • Cemeteries, Gravehunting and ‘Theatrical Tourism’


'Amateur Theatre Networks in the Archive', Performance Research, 25:1 (April 2020).

‘Mapping London’s Amateur Theatre Histories’ in Claire Cochrane and Jo Robinson (eds), The Methuen Handbook to Theatre History and Historiography (2019).

Office Hours

During Terms 1 and 2 of the 2021-2 academic year I have the following drop-in online office hour:

Thursday: 11am-12pm

Feel free to let me know via email if you intend to call me in my office hour so that we can pre-arrange a time. To reach me during my office hour, please use the 'Call' function on Microsoft Teams. I'm also very happy to arrange meetings outside of this time slot.

Research Days

One day per week I will be away from my emails doing work related to my research. This day changes every week but is always allocated in my Outlook calendar.


David Book Chapter