School of Arts

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Dr Roanna Mitchell





Born and raised in Germany, I settled in the UK in 2005. At the University of Kent, modules I teach involve physical approaches to acting, performance and devising, body politics, and autobiography and performance. I am programme leader for the MA Physical Acting. In the past I have also taught at Goldsmiths and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

My work, driven by a love of movement and curiosity about the human experience of sense and memory, now moves in three interweaving strands around the theme of our ‘experienced bodies’:

1. Research:
My research focuses on the way in which body image discourse operates in the field of contemporary performance. This encompasses training contexts, industry practice, and the engagement of audiences with body image as dramaturgical currency.

2. Professional Practice
I work as a performance-maker and movement director nationally and internationally. Alongside my independent creative practice, I am also an associate artist with East Coast Artists in the US. More information about my professional practice can be found on my personal website:

3. Activism and Community
I am Artistic Director and Project Coordinator for the body activist organization AnyBody UK, convened by Dr Susie Orbach. AnyBody UK are co-founders of the local-global initiative Endangered Bodies. See my 2014 TEDx talk on the struggle with body hatred and why magic wands don’t work here.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Mitchell, R. (2015). The Body That Fits The Bill: Physical Capital and ‘Crises’ of the Body in Actor Training. About Performance [Online] 15:137-156. Available at:
Mitchell, R. (2014). Seen But Not Heard: An embodied account of the (student) actor’s aesthetic labour. Theatre Dance and Performance Training [Online] 5:59-73. Available at:
Mitchell, R. and Pakula, P. (2012). Imagining O, Encountering India: Recounting an embodied experience. Studies in South Asian Film & Media [Online] 4:179-188. Available at:
Mitchell, R. (2018). Bodies as Profit Centres: Susie Orbach’s work in the context of performance and activism. in: Kahr, B. ed. The People’s Psychotherapist: Exploring the Work of Susie Orbach. Routledge.
Mitchell, R. (2018). Chekhov’s Technique in Actor-Movement and Dance. in: Fleming, C. and Cornford, T. eds. Michael Chekhov Technique in the Twenty-first Century: New Pathways. Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 5 [See all in KAR]
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Strands of inquiry include:

  • Politics of the body in the interface between art, business and self
  • Body activism and its impact on contemporary performance practice
  • Body shame and the healing potential of psychophysical performance practices
  • Bodies beyond the visual: Dialogue between memory, imagination and movement in devising processes working from the senses of taste, smell and touch
  • In search of the holistic: application of Michael Chekhov training in the 21st century in theatre and beyond
  • Cognition and the embodied language of performance


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Last Updated: 22/11/2018