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Photo of Dr Adrian Curtin

Dr Adrian Curtin

Senior Lecturer


01392 724582

I am a theatre scholar, educator, and performer. I research Western drama and theatre, especially experimental theatre, from the late nineteenth century onward. My areas of specialisation include theatre sound and aurality, theatrical exploration of mortality, and thematic investigation of music in drama. 

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, explores contemporary artistic and media representation of classical music as well as demographic representation in the classical music industry. I am co-editing a special collection of the journal The Open Library of Humanities based on this project.

I am also working on another co-edited collection entitled The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism in Contemporary Theatre. This book, which will be published by Edinburgh University Press, examines the legacy of modernism on the world stage in acts of restaging, remembrance, transmission, and slippage. The book will feature over thirty contributions from scholars and theatre practitioners.

I am a contributing editor for New Theatre Quarterly and a founding co-convenor of the Sound, Voice, & Music working group at TaPRA.


Twitter: @adriancurt

Research collaborations

I am collaborating with Dr. Claire Warden (Loughborough University), Dr. Nicholas Johnson (Trinity College Dublin), and Dr. Naomi Paxton (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) on a co-edited book collection investigating the legacy of modernism in contemporary theatre, to be published by Edinburgh University Press.



Research supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students on any subject relevant to my research expertise. If you are interested in working with me, please send a 500-word outline of your proposed research topic, along with a CV.

Research students

Current PhD students
  • Janine Diamond, The Archiving Actor in Training and Beyond: From Talent to 'Triple Threat' (Memory) Machine [co-supervision]
  • Susan Hope Hoffmann, Kinetics, Affect and Quiet Engagement: Paths Towards Transformational Performances
  • Sophia Edlund, Voicing Thelxis: Practices of Vocal Ir/resistibility [co-supervision]

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

Contribution to discipline

  • I am an editorial board member of Theatre & Performance Design.
  • I was the book review editor for Studies in Theatre and Performance from 2015-2018.
  • I have served as peer reviewer for publishers and journals such as Routledge, Palgrave, Oxford University Press, Comparative DramaJournal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, Modernism/Modernity, and Theatre & Performance Design.


I work to advance my students’ intellectual, creative, and personal development by offering provocations, listening to what is said and not said, and creating a relaxed, yet focused, learning environment. I design modules that relate to my research interests and specialisms. In 2017 I was nominated for a University of Exeter Students' Guild award for research-inspired teaching. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Modules taught


I joined the department in 2012, having previously worked at the University of Lincoln. 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 am originally from Cork, a city full of hills, and now live in another city full of hills.