Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Yangzi Zhou

p1PhD Researcher

Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant

Associate Fellow (Advance HE)

Supervisors: Tim White (TPS) and Stephen Purcell (English)



Doctoral project: ‘Live’ is Elsewhere: Mapping Networked Theatreness in National Theatre Live

What happens when 'live theatre' is flipped into 'Theatre Live'? What makes (up for) a theatrical experience in a mediatised setting? Is it possible to speak of a theatre without the most devout attachment to liveness? The central focus of my thesis develops out of these questions to further investigate how in the past decade, mainstream theatre broadcasting programmes such as National Theatre Live (NT Live, 2009 - present) are engaged in a paralleling process of doing and undoing theatre in the changing cultural and media landscapes they inhabit. I utilise the term ‘theatreness’ to encompass both the concrete experience and abstract idea of theatre which finds itself in the throes of intermedial, inter-institutional, and international forces propelled by the socio-cultural contexts reflected and (sometimes) distorted by NT Live. With the intention to consider mediatised theatreness as a lens to understand the materialist and philosophical discourses of space, affect, and contemporaneity, my thesis aims to capture and contest the shifting notion of theatre in the contemporary world while keeping alive its reflective, commentative, and transformative qualities.

Other research interests:

  • Theatricality and intermediality
  • Contemporary British Theatre
  • Audience reception in intercultural contexts
  • Intermedial representation of theatre in fiction and film
  • Affect theory and aesthetics
  • Theatre and literature in contemporary philosophy


Peer-reviewed articles:

‘“The Closest and the Farthest Away”: Telling Intermedial Spatial Stories in National Theatre Live – the Case of Julius Caesar’. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (DRHA2022 Special Issue) DOI: 10.1080/14794713.2023.2196874(first published online April 2023).

‘On the Theatrical Possibility of the Affective Turn in Happy Days’. Journal of Nanjing University (Philosophy, Humanities and Social Sciences) 59.6(2022): 101-10.

'"The Impossible Balancing Act": Reconstructing Liveness with NT Live's Hedda Gabler'. Adaptation 14.3(2021): 416-34. DOI: (first published online in March 2020)

'A Carnival with Restraint: Deconstruction of National Identity in Cloud Nine'. Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism 12.1 (2019): 81-96.

Book Chapters:

'Affects in Theatre'. Frontiers of Contemporary Theatre Theories in the West: Volume 2 (Beijing: Peking University Press) [forthcoming].

'Theatrical Community and the Emancipated Spectator'. Frontiers of Contemporary Theatre Theories in the West: Volume 2 (Beijing: Peking University Press) [forthcoming].

Conference Papers:

‘The (un)feeling edge of intermedial dramaturgy: organisation of the affective experience in two NT Live productions’. Dimensions of Dramaturgy, 6th EASTAP Conference, Aarhus University, Denmark, June 2023.

'Spatial Stories in the Intermedial Dramaturgy of National Theatre Live: A Streetcar Named Desire'. Postgraduate Symposium in Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick, October 2022.

'“The Closest and the Farthest Away”: National Theatre Live and the Promise of Intermedial Spatial Practice'. Digital Sustainability: From Resilience to Transformation, DRHA 2022, Kingston School of Art, London, UK, September 2022.

'National Theatre Live and the Debates of Intermedial Spatial Practice: the Case of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2019)'. Redirections: capturing emergent research practices in response to precarity, TaPRA Online Postgraduate Symposium, June 2022 (virtual).

'Intermedial Spatial Practice in National Theatre Live'. Global Snapshot: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Media, Performativity, and Global Communities, University of California, Santa Barbara, May 2022 (virtual).

'Ugly Feelings in Happy Days: the Ecological Possibility of Affective Spectatorship'. IFTR Annual Conference, Galway, Ireland, July 2021 (virtual).

'"Something Must be Fixed On": Observation, Romanticism, and Morality in Mansfield Park'. Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference, Duke Kunshan University, April 2019.

'Deconstruction of National Identity in Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9'. 7th International Undergraduate Conference, Beijing Foreign Studies University, September 2018.

Conference Organisation:

Organising Committee Member, 'Locations of (Dis)embodied Labour in Theatre and Performance', University of Warwick, November 2023

Organiser, Postgraduate Symposium in Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick, October 2022 (with Prodosh Bhattacharya and Varvara Sklez)

Panel Chair, 'Theatre Histories', Postgraduate Symposium in Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick, July 2021 (virtual).


Theatre and Performance Studies:

TH114 Theatre and Performance in Context

TH256 Adapting Shakespeare for Performance (Spring 2022)

English and Comparative Literary Studies:

EN2D8/EN3D8 European Theatre (Autumn 2023)

Awards and Honours

2023 Humanities Research Centre Conference Funding for a one-day interdisciplinary conference

2023 Humanities Research Centre Visiting Speaker's Fund

2023 Humanities Research Fund for attending the 6th EASTAP Annual Conference

2023 Associate Fellowship, Advance HE

2020 University of Warwick-CSC Joint Scholarship

2019 Greta Burkill Fund for Postgraduates, Peterhouse, Cambridge


MPhil in Criticism and Culture (Cantab)

BA in English Literature (Nanjing)


Peer Reviewer, Taylor & Francis Online

Theatre and Performance Studies PGR Representative for Student-Staff Liaison Committee (2021-2023)

Office Hours

By appointment

You can sign up for a slot here