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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

My recently completed practice –based PhD interrogates the concepts of ownership, capital, collectivism, collaboration and artistic vision in theatre-making today. It employs a Marxist framework in developing a dialectical relationship between process and product enabling renewed definitions for the ownership of theatrical artefacts. BloodWater Theatre, a practice-based research ensemble was formed in February 2011 to test new ways of making theatre through its productions, Whose Story Is It Anyway staged at the Tron Theatre and Leave Your Shoes at the Door staged at the CCA. I am invested in exploring non-hierarchical collaborative theatre production within capitalist economy.

I am committed to researching and developing radical theatre pedagogy where the politicisation of teaching and training actors/performers is made explicit. My research interest stems from my intention to develop intersections between professional and community performance. During my MA in Actor Training & Coaching at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, I made a case for a more radical approach to actor training through research I undertook there.

I have a special interest in applied and participatory performance. I lead on the undergraduate provision for Community Theatre. I am currently developing research projects which focus on utilising drama pedagogy in nursing homes. I have delivered conference papers on the politics of transmission when training actors who have disabilities.

Current research activities

I recently completed my PhD thesis entitled, Capital, Cooperation and Creating Performance: BloodWater Theatre Develops Ownership in Collaborative Theatre Practice, undertaken at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and supervised by Dr Gareth White and Dr Joel Anderson. I was examined by Professor Gay McAuley and Dr Alex Mermikides

I am writing an article on dialectical collaborative theatre, a method of non-hierachical theatre production that I have developed for performance created by small ensembles

I am researching the role of applied theatre and participatory arts within undergraduate performance programmes in Scotland

I am developing drama projects in nursing homes

Desired research direction

I intend to develop projects in collaboration with ArtWorks Scotland particularly for disabled participants and unemployed youth premised on Freire's dialogic pedagogy in the belief that dialogic processes can empower individuals within state regeneration agendas.

I would like to research intersections between economy and society; commodity and artist; the leader and the led in developing radical performance training models.

I would like to continue testing dialectical collaborative theatre within BloodWater Theatre and beyond. 

Target collaborative companies

National Theatre of Scotland

Paul Hamlyn Foundation


Target collaborative organisations

Local Authorities

The Necessary Stage (Singapore)

British Council

External positions

UWS Representative, Standing Conference of Drama Departments

3 Jan 2017 → …

External Examiner, University of Bedfordshire

1 Sep 201230 Sep 2016


  • L Education (General)
  • collaborative practices
  • devising
  • applied theatre
  • dialectics
  • practice based research
  • actor training
  • political theatre
  • partticipatory performance

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jo Ronan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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theater Social Sciences
artist Social Sciences
drama Social Sciences
ethnic origin Social Sciences
performance Social Sciences
ethnic identity Social Sciences
economy Social Sciences
cultural identity Social Sciences

Research Output 2013 2018

Igniting the creative impulse in older people through active participation in video camera drama workshops

Ronan, J. & Bowler, R., 28 Jul 2018, p. 1. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access
Older People
Nursing Homes
Creative Impulse

Dialectical collaborative theatre

Ronan, J., 2014, p. 1-2. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

ethnic origin
ethnic identity
cultural identity

Politics of transmission: dialogue between the unsighted student and the sighted tutor

Ronan, J. & Woodhouse, A., 4 Sep 2013.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Applied Theatre