About Claire

I am an Arts Research Africa and Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (SA) and an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick, United Kingdom (UK). My current practice as research project Decolonising language ideologies in the body collaborates with Sibusiso Mkhize to develop embodied and improvisational approaches to multilingual SA (isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, English) performance making. I am also adapting my interdisciplinary doctoral research into the monograph Making multilingual performance: Omission, alignment, disruption (Routledge).

My performance practice and research focus on approaches to making multilingual performance mindful of reproducing linguistic hegemonies in collaborative, applied and autobiographical performance contexts.

I have worked as a dramaturg and producer across professional stages in London (UK), Berlin (Germany) and Perth (Aus) and as a facilitator of community practices in London and Birmingham (UK), while developing projects challenging the intersections of these Euro/Anglo arts industry binaries.

In my experience of facilitating intergenerational community groups (The Old Vic, London), elders (Visible Theatre, London), asylum seekers and refugees (Evelyn Oldfield Foundation, London) and leading open intercultural workshops (Creative Multilingualism, University of Oxford) I have watched how multilingualism has situated the multiple hegemonies in which we work, including the ones which I bring with me as a white Irish-Australian.

I look at multilingualism as one ethical response for intercultural collaboration. I currently focus on how actors’ linguistic resources can be introduced into performance-making processes, and theatre/performance as a result, to more accurately and fluidly communicate the linguistic and socio-cultural dimensions of individuals’ lives. 

I have received several awards and fellowships including from Arts Council England, Leverhulme Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of Warwick, University of Sydney and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, as well as numerous sponsorships and business partnerships.

I earned a PhD from the University of Warwick, an MA from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, and a BA from Notre Dame University/ Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Perth, Australia.

In mid-2020 and as a result of the pandemic I returned to reside nearer to family in the south-west of Western Australia. I am now in the unique situation of working online from this part of the world. 

Read more about my research

List of selected performance projects

Summary of teaching and speaking