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Professor Adrian Kear

Programme Development Director - Performance Arts
Wimbledon College of Arts
Person Type
Adrian  Kear


Kear is an established, internationally recognised theatre theorist and researcher.

He is also the author of numerous books and articles examining the relationship between performance, politics and culture.

Prior to joining Wimbledon College of Arts, Kear was Professor of Theatre and Performance at Aberystwyth University (2007-2018), serving as Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies from 2007-2012. He taught Drama, Theatre and Performance at Roehampton University, London, from 1993-2007.

A specialist in Contemporary European Theatre, his research interests span main stage theatre practices (acting, directing and dramaturgy) to site-specific and relational performances.

He is the co-editor, with Maaike Bleeker, Joe Kelleher and Heike Roms, of a field-leading book series for Methuen, ‘Thinking Through Theatre’, and an associated major volume on the relationship between critical performance practice and pedagogy, ‘Thinking Through Theatre and Performance’.

His earlier books include:

  • Theatre and Event: Staging the European Century (Palgrave, 2013)
  • International Politics and Performance: Critical Aesthetics and Creative Practice (with Jenny Edkins, Routledge, 2013)
  • Psychoanalysis and Performance (with Patrick Campbell, Routledge, 2001)
  • Mourning Diana: Nation, Culture and the Performance of Grief (with Deborah Lynn Steinberg, Routledge, 1999)

He has also written frequently for the journal Performance Research, including co-editing a special issue On Appearance (with Richard Gough, 2008).

An active public communicator, cultural critic and contributor to broadcast media, Kear has been interviewed on The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio London, and has been at the forefront of public engagement with performance.

Kear trained at the Universities of Manchester (BA Hons), Birmingham (MSocSc) and Surrey (PhD). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.