Claire is an Arts Research Africa and Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (SA) and an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick, United Kingdom (UK). Her 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. Updates on this current performance project can be read here on her blog.  She is also adapting her interdisciplinary doctoral research into the monograph Making multilingual performance: Omission, alignment, disruption (Routledge).

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

She has 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 her 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) she has watched how multilingualism has situated multiple hegemonies, including the ones which she brings with her as a white Irish-Australian.

She looks at multilingualism as one ethical response for intercultural collaboration. She currently focuses 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. 

Claire has 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.

She 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 Claire returned to Wardandi and Whadjuk Noongar land in Western Australia to reside nearer to family. Due to the international borders closure, she is in the unique situation of facilitating a practice-as-research project in South Africa from there. Claire acknowledges her place as a visitor to this stolen land, where sovereignty was never ceded.