Photo of Dr Adrian Curtin

Dr Adrian Curtin

Senior Lecturer


01392 724582

I joined the department in 2012. I did my doctoral training at Northwestern University, where I was a Presidential Fellow, and completed the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama programme in 2011. I have also studied at Boston College and University College Cork.

I research experimental Western theatre from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. My areas of specialisation include theatre sound and aurality, theatrical exploration of mortality, and thematic investigation of music in drama and theatre. I welcome enquiries from potential Ph.D. students about any of these areas or on related topics.

My first book, Avant-Garde Theatre Sound: Staging Sonic Modernity, supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Research Grant, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. I won the 2015 Early Career Research Prize, awarded by the Theatre and Perfomance Assocation (TaPRA), for this book. My second book, Death in Modern Theatre: Stages of Mortality, was published by Manchester University Press in 2019.

I am the principal investigator for the AHRC-funded research network Representing 'Classical Music' in the Twenty-First Century. This project, which will operate from 2019 to 2021, will explore contemporary artistic and media representation of classical music as well as demographic representation in the classical music industry. I am co-convenor of the Sound, Voice, & Music TaPRA working group and Director of Education for the Drama department at the University of Exeter.

I tweet about things that interest me here.

Research interests

  • Western drama and theatre from the late nineteenth century onward that is aesthetically challenging, formally experimental, and/or compositionally complex
  • theatre & aurality
  • theatre & mortality
  • theatre & music

I welcome enquiries from research students on any of these topics or on related fields of interest.

Research collaborations

I am working with Dr. Claire Warden (Loughborough University) on a co-edited book collection investigating the legacy of modernism in contemporary theatre.



Research through practice

playing 'the maids'  [2013-2015]

I have collaborated with The Llanarth Group (Wales), Gaitkrash Theatre Company (Ireland), and Theatre P'yut (Korea) on a co-created piece of theatre entitled playing 'the maids' -- a montage of text (primarily English-language, with some Mandarin, Korean, and Irish), psychophysical scores, choreography, and sound compositions.

playing ‘the maids’ previewed at the Granary Theatre in Cork in June 2014 as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. It premiered at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, in February 2015 before touring other venues in Wales. This tour was funded by the Arts Council of Wales.

For more information see this press release, this article in Exeunt, this essay in Wales Arts Review, and this review in British Theatre Guide.


External impact and engagement


I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2017, I was nominated for a University of Exeter Students' Guild award for research-inspired teaching for my 'Death in Modern Theatre' module.

Modules taught