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PhD projects

Participatory arts and culture Devising Non-hierarchical theatre production Actor training Applied Theatre

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Research output per year

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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

I formed BloodWater Theatre, a practice-based research ensemble 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. The company are currently applying some of our findings from these two productions in a short film that we are making.

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.

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.

The theorectical underpinning for my practice research is developed from my doctoral thesis where I use a Marxist framework to interrogate the concepts of ownership, capital, collectivism, collaboration and artistic vision in theatre-making today. I continue to develop a dialectical relationship between process and product in the hope of progressing renewed definitions for the ownership of theatrical artefacts

Current research activities

I disseminate the findings of BloodWater Theatre's production process in character as Fatima Rateb at conferences.

I am researching the role of applied theatre and participatory arts within undergraduate performance programmes in Scotland beyond postgraduate provision in this field.

I am developing drama projects for older people in nursing homes and in drop-in centres for adults with support requirements

I am facilitating the application of dialectical collaborative theatre, a new rehearsal methodology I developed, to the creation of a short film that BloodWater Theatre is producing.

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 test dialectical collaborative theatre beyond BloodWater Theatre. 

Target collaborative companies

National Theatre of Scotland

Paul Hamlyn Foundation


Target collaborative organisations

Local Authorities

The Necessary Stage (Singapore)

British Council

External positions

Member, Scottish Refugee Council

2 Sep 2019 → …

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
  • Disability research
  • theatre aesthetics
  • artistic vision

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.

  • 6 Similar Profiles

Research Output

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
  • Dialectical collaborative theatre

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

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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

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

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther