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Rebecca Benzie

Rebecca Benzie

Experience as a performer influences my research and I delight in the intertwined relationship between the two. I am currently studying for an AHRC funded PhD in Drama under the supervision of Professor Kate Newey and Professor Jane Milling. My research questions the politics of representing women within a historical context in contemporary British playwriting, in order to analyse how these reconstructions could mirror and challenge current feminist debate. I explore plays first produced in Britain between 2000-2015 that are set between 1882-1928, with a particular focus on representations of the British Empire, women's fight for graduation rights, the Suffragette movement and World War One. I have thoroughly enjoyed interviewing playwrights and conducting research in the National Theatre, RSC and Globe archives as part of my thesis.

I graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Drama from the University of Exeter in 2010. In 2011 I completed an AHRC funded MA in Drama Research at the University of Exeter where my dissertation explored the performance of cultural heritage.I drew two experiences of cultural heritage together at heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Company) and explored them through the lens of performance, proposing that at both locations audience members perform cultural heritage.

I have previously worked as a performer for SourDough Theatre, a devising theatre company with storytelling at its heart. While working for SourDough Theatre I also became part of The Akze Daggy, a theatre company who staged classical and modern texts in exciting and ever varied venues. I have experience in performing classical texts, especially Shakespeare, alongside training in devising, improvisation, comedy, and ensemble theatre.

In 2012-2013 I taught a weekly drama class for adults with the company Drama Nights in Bristol. With the University of Exeter I have taught on Undergraduate and Masters level modules and enjoy in the opportunity to work with students in a seminar or practical setting.

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