Portrait of Dr Melissa Trimingham

Dr Melissa Trimingham

Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre


Dr Melissa Trimingham’s life-long work as an arts practitioner is the impetus of her research activities, interests and publications. Her scenographic skills in designing and making celebrate the vibrant materiality of theatre, including puppetry, masks, costume and scenography. She conducts practical research around autistic perception and the arts, pedagogy and cognitive theory. She brings practical insight into her scholarship as an historian, notably the theatre of the Bauhaus and Modernism. As a pioneer of practice as research in drama, her publications include a seminal article in 2004 on ‘A Methodology for Practice as Research’ and a monograph The Theatre of the Bauhaus (2011). She has published widely on puppetry theory, costume and on her work with autistic children, young people and the autistic community.

She is Co-Investigator on the AHRC project Playing A/Part: Autistic girls, Identity and Creativity (2018-2022)

Research interests

Dr Trimingham researches drama with autistic children and young people, specialising in scenographic approaches including puppetry, masks and digital media.

As Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project Playing A/Part: Autistic girls, Identity and Creativity (2018-2022) she is lead for the practical workshops, both live and recently online using an online learning platform (‘Prospero’) and Zoom.

A leading historian on the Bauhaus theatre, she edited a special issue of Theatre and Performance Design in the Bauhaus centenary year 2019.

Dr Trimingham was Co-investigator on the AHRC funded project Imagining Autism (2011-2014). The project continues the work today celebrating autistic creativity and shifting attitudes within education. Dr Trimingham and colleagues disseminate the approach both nationally and locally in Kent, notably establishing iA in The Beacon Folkestone, and delivering Inset training workshops for teachers in the Imagining Autism method. AHRC Follow On Funding enabled the design of a smaller ‘pocket’ version of the full size ‘iA Pod’ immersive experience, and Dr Trimingham has adapted these resources to make iA accessible to anyone, helping parents at home and supporting teachers.

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