The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Professor Paul Allain
Professor of Theatre and Performance
Drama and Theatre Studies
- 01227 82(3338)
Paul Allain specialises in actor training, Eastern and East European/Russian Theatre forms including the work of Gardzienice, Grotowski and Andrei Droznin.
Paul Allain is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He collaborated with the Gardzienice Theatre Association from 1989 to 1993 and published the book Gardzienice: Polish Theatre in Transition (1997). He co-edited the Cambridge Companion to Chekhov (2000) and his book The Art of Stillness: The Theatre Practice of Tadashi Suzuki was published by Methuen (2002; second revised and expanded edition with DVD 2009) and Palgrave Macmillan, USA (2003). Routledge published his Companion to Theatre and Performance, co-written with Jen Harvie in 2006. He has since published several edited collections on Grotowski as part of the British Grotowski project. Most recently he has hosted Professor Richard Schechner at Kent for a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, and has in 2012 published Andrei Droznin's Physical Actor Training with Routledge, a DVD/booklet. He has contributed extensively to the Routledge Digital Performance Archive.
Current administrative duties
- Faculty Director of Research
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
- Editorial Board Member: Contemporary Theatre Review, Polish Theatre Perspectives, Theatre Dance and Performance Training
- Society of Authors
- Theatre and Performance Research (TaPRA) Research Officer
- REF Panel Member
- Producer of Schechner's Imagining O, performed at Kent and touring to Kerala, India in 2012.
- Organiser and initiator of student and staff exchange with the Moscow Art Theatre School - Leverhulme-funded staff exchange 2008-2010
- Member of documentation team of and partner in EU funded project 'Tracing Roads Across' with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards 2003-2006
- Autumn 1989 - 1993 Frequent participation in work and collaboration with Gardzienice Theatre Association - in UK, Poland, Japan, and on Expedition in Ukraine
- Chapter on 'Gardzienice's Performance of Otherness' in Studies in Language, Literature and Cultural Mythology in Poland: Investigating 'the Other', edited by Elwira M. Grossman, Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston- Lampeter, Wales, 2002, pp.99-114
- Chapter 'The Gardzienice Theatre Association' in Acting (Re)Considered (2nd ed.), edited by Phillip Zarrilli, Routledge, London, November, 2002, pp. 200-219
- The Art of Stillness- The Theatre Practice of Tadashi Suzuki, Methuen, February, 2002, 214 pages, also published by Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2003. Reissued in 2009 with a DVD as The Theatre Practice of Tadashi Suzuki with a foreword by Katie Mitchell
- Co-editor Contemporary Theatre Review Special issue on Polish Theatre After 1989, including the article 'Grotowski's Ghosts' on Grotowski's legacy, February 2005.
- Co-author with Jen Harvie of The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, January 2006
- Peter Brook: With Grotowski, Theatre is Just a Form edited by Georges Banu, Grzegorz Ziolkowski and Paul Allain, Grotowski Institute, January 2009
- Grotowski's Empty Room for Richard Schechner's Seagull Press, India, Encounters Series, edited collection, August 2009.
- Editor Ludwik Flaszen's Grotowski & Company, Icarus Publishing Enterprise, Wroclaw, Holstebro, Malta, 2010.
- Editor, Andrei Droznin's Physical Actor Training, a DVD/booklet, Routledge, 2012
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I teach a range of courses as well as actor training throughout the programme and at masters level. I focus on physical approaches to movement and body work, drawing largely on the Grotowskian lineage and the approach of Gardzienice, with whom I collaborated from 1989-93.
I also work on an intercultural approach, with special reference to the work of Brook, Schechner and Barba, as well as contemporary Asian practices, especially the Suzuki method and his directorial approach.back to top
Paul has recently been researching the legacy of Grotowski's work in partnership with the Grotowski Institute, and collaborating with the Moscow Art Theatre School on a two year research project. In 2009 he received an award for services to Polish culture and the British Grotowski Project was shortlisted for the Times Higher Excellence and Innovation in the Arts Award 2010.
Other current research interests include:
- Suzuki Training and Eastern Theatre Forms
- Theories of Performer Training and Performing
- Polish, Russian and East European Theatre, the work of Gardzienice, Studium Teatralne and practices after Grotowski
- Intercultural Performance
My principal research and supervision interests are in
- performer training processes;
- Eastern and European theatre processes and practices, especially Polish and Russian approaches and practices after Jerzy Grotowski
- contemporary performance practices and practice as research
Current and past MA and PhD research students include:
- voice in contemporary theatre practice,
- Zeami, noh and Grotowski's total act
- the politics of contemporary Polish theatre
- catharsis in the theatre (PaR)
- Vassiliev and Grotowski (PaR)
- Grotowski's influence on British theatre
- film improvisation (PaR)
- Kunauka and Japanese theatre after Suzuki
- Grotowski’s impact and influence on Britain
- Schechner's Performance Studies in Italy (cotutelle)