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Professor Lib Taylor

  • School Director of Research
  • Facilities Co-ordinator for Theatre/Performance
  • Module Convenor of Alternative Forms in Film & Theatre; Physical Theatre; Contemporary Performance; Theatre, Performance and Modernism
  • Previously served as Head of Department and Head of School.

Areas of interest

I have a background as a theatre practitioner and some of my research takes the form of practice, recently expressed in developing performance modes appropriate to the modernist drama of Marguerite Duras and Gertrude Stein.

More broadly my work has focused on the ways in which gender and the body are constructed in performance, and I have researched this using mixed media performances, as well as through more traditional forms of published scholarship.

I am also interested in modern British drama and its developments since the 1950s into the twenty-first century, particularly fact-based and verbatim theatre. I was a CI on the AHRC funded Acting with Facts research project at Reading.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students who would like to work on such topics as contemporary performance, performance and gender, mixed media, the body in performance and contemporary women's theatre.

I am currently supervising practice as research PhD projects on: performer-audience relationships in contemporary political theatre; endurance performance; postcolonial discourses and belly-dancing; storytelling. Three of these are AHRC funded. I am also supervising traditional PhDs on: the postdramatic text and performance; verbatim theatre as an applied form in an African context; theatre and British Sign Language; reformulations of the critical debates around in-yer-face theatre.

I have successfully supervised work on Caryl Churchill and Dario Fo; multimedia theatre and memory (practice as research, AHRC funded); intermediality and theatre; multimedia practices in modern Greek theatre; a collaborative project on intersubjectivity in collaborative art practice (practice as research, AHRC funded).


  • Critical Practice in Film & Theatre
  • Practical Option: theatre
  • Alternative Forms in Film and Theatre
  • Contemporary Performance
  • Theatre, Performance and Modernism
  • British Theatre
  • Physical Theatre
  • Women's Film & Theatre
  • Critical Debates in Film, Theatre & Television (MA by Research)
  • Dissertation/Independent project supervision (BA and MA).

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Departmental Representative for the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) and the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR)
  • Member of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) and Convenor for its Performance and the Body Working Group
  • Associate Member of Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures (CFAC).

Selected publications

Additional Practice as Research

  • Taylor, L. First Love by Samuel Beckett, directed by Walter Asmus. Associate director. Staged Bob Kayley Studio Theatre, University of Reading, 2006.
  • Taylor, L. The Cutting Up of Mary S.: a multimedia performance. Director and devisor, developed from Mary Stuart. Staged Myra McCulloch Theatre, University of Reading, 1997.
  • Taylor, L. Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller. Director. Staged Myra McCulloch Theatre, University of Reading, 1995.
  • Taylor, L. Electra by Sophocles. Director. Staged Myra McCulloch Theatre, University of Reading, 1992.
  • Taylor, L. The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs by Simone Benmussa. Director (with Mike Stevenson). Staged Myra McCulloch Theatre, University of Reading, 1990.

Additional book chapters and journal articles

  • Taylor, L., Entries on 'Gender and Performance', 'Women and Performance', 'Feminism', 'Feminist Theatre in UK', 'Timberlake Wertenbaker', 'Enid Bagnold', and 'Monstrous Regiment', in Kennedy, D. (ed.), Oxford Encyclopaedia of Theatre and Performance, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Taylor, L., 'Mothers and Matriarchs: The Critical Function of the Maternal in Post-War British Theatre' in Kowalska, M. (ed.), Gender and Theatre: European Perspectives, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu, 2002, pp. 93–104.
  • McMullan, A. and Taylor, L., 'Perspectives on Maternal Authority: Mother/Daughter Relationships in Sophocles' Electra and Beckett's Footfalls', in Wyke, M. and Biddis, M. (eds), The Uses and Abuses of Antiquity, Bern: Peter Lang, 1999, pp. 245–61.
  • Taylor, L. See to Hear: Deaf Sign Language as Performance. Performance Research, 4(3), 1999, 17–23.
  • Taylor, L. Inscription in The Piano. In: Bignell, J. (Ed.) Writing and Cinema, Harlow: Longman, 1999, 88–101.
  • Taylor, L. Sound Tracks: the Soundscapes of India Song. Theatre Research International, 23(3), 1998, 205–214.
  • Taylor, L.,'Deaf Sign Language as a Language for the Stage', Studies In Theatre Production, No. 12, 1995, pp. 65–81.
  • Smith, S. and Taylor, L.,'Representing The Perhaps(h)er: Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Politics of Identity in a Production of The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs', Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1994, pp. 35–46.
  • Taylor, L., 'Early Stages: Women Dramatists 1958-68', in Griffiths, T. & Llewellyn-Jones, M. (eds), British and Irish Women Dramatists Since 1958, Buckingham: Open University Press, 1993, pp. 9–25.
  • Smith, S. and Taylor, L.,'Staging Women - Exploring Theory and Performance. An Analysis of The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs' Studies In Theatre Production, No. 6, 1992, pp. 1–22.

See a full list of recent publications and practice as research (PDF)


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