Dr Konstantinos Thomaidis
The key focus of my research is the development of the interdisciplinary field of voice studies. To this aim, I have co-founded and edit the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies and the Routledge Voice Studies book series. In 2015, I co-edited Voice Studies: Critical Approaches to Process, Performance and Experience (Routledge), a book that has been described as ‘a much-anticipated and highly useful collection of essays … enriching our understanding of vocal expression and the possibilities that a burgeoning field of voice studies has to offer’ (Twentieth-Century Music, Cambridge Journals). I recently completed Theatre & Voice (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer 2017) and the co-edited volume on Time and Performer Training (Routledge 2019). Alongside voice, my main research interests are performer training, sound-based theatres and movement for actors. From 2013 to 2016, I was one of the convenors of the Performer Training Working Group at the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA).
I have worked as an actor, director, choreographer and musician in Greece, Poland, Germany, the UK and the US. Recent positions have included: Head of Movement for Opera in Space (London; ACE-funded), Associate Artist of Experience Vocal Dance Company (NYC & London) and core member of Waving not Drowning (Grotowski Institute, Poland & London). I am the Artistic Director of Adrift Performance Makers.
• Interdisciplinary voice studies, philosophies of the voice, physio-vocal training, voice ethnography, methodologies of vocal research, vocal practice-as-research
• Performer training in the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on Grotowskian and post-Grotowskian practices
• Physical theatre, movement for actors, dance theatres
• Performance studies, transnational and cross-cultural performance
• Devised music theatre, site-specific opera, and sound-based dramaturgy
• International theatre, with an emphasis on Greece, Poland and South Korea
Alongside Ben Macpherson (University of Portsmouth) and Amanda Smallbone (University of Winchester), I am the joint founder and convenor of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, a cross-institutional initiative designed to foster the development of voice studies as an interdisciplinary and international field. Alongside a series of publications, since 2013, the Centre has hosted a variety of events, such as a symposium on ‘The Philosophy and Praxis of Voice,’ the 2014 TaPRA interim event ‘The Voice of Training,’ and workshops with invited practitioners (including Royal Shakespeare Company Head of Voice & Text Lyn Darnley).
In 2016-17, I collaborated with Virginie Magnat (University of British Columbia) on the special issue Voicing Belonging: traditional Singing in a Globalized World. As an outcome of this collaboration, I co-organised the joint UBC/Exeter symposium 'Culture, Creativity & Wellbeing' (University of Exeter, 2018). The project developed into the Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-being (2019-2021), funded by a UBC Eminence Grant and the Wellcome Centre.
I am interested in hearing from students exploring the intersections of voice, sound and performance studies and in supervising work in any area related to my research interests. If you wish to discuss a potential doctoral project, feel free to contact me via email (email@example.com), attaching a short (400-500 words) proposal and a CV. I am equally interested in thesis-focused and practice-based projects.
In the past, I have supervised a practice-as-research PhD on anti-logocentric somatic training for actors (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London) and examined a PhD on actor training for contemporary opera singers (University of Portsmouth).
I am currently first supervisor for:
- Francesco Bentivegna’s research project on theatre and synthetic voices
- Faye Rigopoulou's research project on the ageing female voice in musical theatre
- Sophia Edlund's research project on the siren song, performance and theatre aurality
- Sarah Holden-Boyd's research project on weight-lifting and voice training
and as second supervisor:
Howl Yuan's research project on contemporay performance and dark tourism.
Contribution to discipline
Founding co-convenor of the Centre of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, 2013
Founding co-editor of the Journal of interdisciplinary Voice Studies (Intellect) 2015-present
Founding co-editor of the Routledge Voice Studies book series, 2015-present
Co-convenor of the Performer Training Working Group at the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA), 2013-2016
TaPRA Exec (Working Group Co-Ordinator), 2016-present
Founding co-convenor of the Sound, Voice and Music Working Group at TaPRA, 2018-present
Member of the first iteration of the Nordic Network of Vocal Performance Research, 2016-present
Member of the research team for the Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-being, 2019-present
For the year 2018-2019, I am teaching in the following modules:
- Staging the Text DRA2067
- Voice Theatres DRA3091 (also convenor; nominated in the category of Most Innovative Teaching, Teaching Awards 2018)
- Voice for the Actor DRA2086 (also convenor)
I obtained my BA in Drama & Theatre (Distinction) from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. As part of the 5-year, full-time programme, I followed the Acting pathway and trained with leading actors and directors Filareti Komninou (Ancient Greek theatre and Method acting), Lydia Photopoulou (Stanislavski-based acting), Yannis Leontaris (acting for film), Sotiris Chatzakis (Greek theatre and folk storytelling), Stella Michailidou (physical theatre) and Dimitris Vayas (speech training), among others. I then received a MA in Physical Theatre and Performance (Distinction) from Royal Holloway University of London, where I also completed my Ph.D. thesis on the intersections of voice and body in intercultural pedagogies of singing, supervised by Ali Hodge, David Williams and David Wiles. I have trained further with Gardzienice, the Grotowski Institute, Piesn Kozla/Song of the Goat, Odin Teatret, Experience Vocal Dance (NYC/London), the National Theatre of Greece, and the National Gugak Center (Seoul, South Korea). Always curious about training, I have also participated in a number of workshops and masterclasses with artists such as Anne Bogart/SITI Theatre Company, Theodoros Terzopoulos/Attis Theatre, Punchdrunk, Fiona Shaw, Jatinder Verma/Tara-Arts, Valère Novarina, Michel Chion, Complicite, Body Weather Amsterdam, Jasmin Vardimon, Frantic Assembly, Improbable, Helen Chadwick Song Theatre and Anne-Lise Gabold, among others.
Between 2008 and 2013, I taught at Royal Holloway University of London and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and I was part of the team that developed and taught the first iteration of the BA Vocal and Choral Studies at the University of Winchester. Before joining the Drama Department at the University of Exeter, I was Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Portsmouth (2013-2016). I have also been invited to teach for the BA European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford, the MA Performance Training at the University of Plymouth, the MA Applied Theatre at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, the MA Physical Theatre and Theatre Pedagogy at the Estonian Academy of Theatre and Music, Tallinn, Estonia, the GEOKS Centre in Bali, Indonesia, and the Norwegian Theatre Academy. I have also taught voice for open-air Greek theatre at the Anicent Theatre of Dodoni, as part of the 'Therino Manteio' (Ioannina, Greece).
I have presented my research at IFTR, ATHE, TaPRA, Song Stage Screen, and other international conferences. Between 2013 and 2016, I convened the Performer Training Working Group at TaPRA, alongside Mark Evans and Libby Worth. I currently sit at the Executive Committee of TaPRA as the Working Group Coordinator, alongside Louise LePage and, then, Anna Harpin and Tom Cornford. In 2018, I co-founded the Sound, Voice & Music Working Group of the association.
I have co-founded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies and the Routledge Voice Studies book series. My research has received various awards and grants by the A. Onassis Foundation, the Leventis Foundation and the Greek Scientific Society, and, for my editing work, I was nominated for the Editing Prize of TaPRA in 2017 (longlist). For my body of work in establishing interdisciplinary voice studies, I was shortlisted for the TaPRA Early Career Research Prize (2019).
As a practitioner, I have been involved in more than 40 performances, including: Dido and Aeneas, Hansel and Gretel, Stabat Mater, Liederkreis and Semele for Opera in Space (choreographer, director & performer; national and international tours; twice funded by the ACE), The Present of Things Past, Whilst this Machine Floats and Ophelia, Interrupted for Waving not Drowning (performer; various venues in London and The Grotowski Institute, Poland), Return and Lied und Tanz for Experience Vocal Dance (performer and assistant choreographer; London and 92Y, NYC), Chi Chi Bunichi (performer; national and international tour; funded by ACE), The Finger Project (dancer; The Place, London), and Phil Minton's Feral Choir (Barbican and Tate Britain, London). In Greece, I have collaborated with the Greek Festival, Opera of Thessaloniki, Peiramatiki Skini of 'Techni' and Theatro Technis Karolos Koun. I am the Artistic Director of Adrift Performance Makers.