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2nd March, 2022

Bryce Lease Joins Central

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The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is delighted to announce the appointment of Bryce Lease as its incoming Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies and Head of Knowledge Exchange. 

In this newly created post, Professor Lease will lead the institution’s strategy and plans on Knowledge Exchange, including the development of new networks and partnerships and mentor scholars and researchers.  He will contribute  to Central’s BA, MA/MFA and Postgraduate Research programmes with a particular focus on embedding Knowledge Exchange, digital and creative entrepreneurship into all areas of the curriculum. Through his work, he will publicly champion the relevance of the field of drama, theatre, film, broadcast media and performance across different cultural, educational and social sectors 

Professor Lease joins Central from Royal Holloway, University of London where he recently served as Head of the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance and where he developed the School’s MA Theatre Directing course with Katie Mitchell.  He is also a core staff researcher in Royal Holloway’s Holocaust Research Institute, which forms part of the School’s Department of History.  

Professor Lease’s writings on contemporary international performance have been published in numerous journals, including The Drama Review (TDR), Contemporary Theatre Review (CTR), Theatre Research International (TRI), Theatre JournalEuropean Stages and New Theatre Quarterly (NTQ). He has a long engagement with theatre and museum practice, undertaking projects with the Imperial War Museum, Teatr Powszechny, POLIN Museum, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, Argentina’s ESMA Museum, Cricoteka, and most recently, The Berliner Ensemble. In addition, he has collaborated with community partners as part of transnational research projects embedded in Argentina, Colombia, Poland and South Africa. 

His research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Newton Fund, the British Academy, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) and the Brown International Advanced Research Institute (BIARI).  

He is also the Co-Editor of Contemporary Theatre Review, a founding member of the Executive Committee for EASTAP (European Association for the Study of Theatre and Performance), an advisory board member for the journal European Stages and the Imperial War Museum’s Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme, and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College.  

In 2021, he was awarded the Thesaurus Poloniae Fellowship by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. 

Professor Maria Delgado, Central’s Vice Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: 

‘We are delighted to have Bryce Lease joining Central. He brings a unique track record of research with industry partners both nationally and internationally across the theatre and museum sectors and we look forward to welcoming him to this senior and newly created position.’ 

Professor Bryce Lease said: 

‘I am really excited to join Central’s diverse community to collaborate on shared approaches to knowledge exchange. Central leads our field in public engagement and in approaches to transformative learning. I am thrilled by this opportunity to learn more about Central’s innovative work and to help build further pathways that connect the School with cultural industries and community partners.’ 


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