Programme Leader for Drama

MCPA

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Andy Henry (BA hons, MA, PhD) is Programme Leader for Drama in the Media Communication and Performing Arts Division.

Dr Andy Henry graduated with a PhD in Theatre Studies from the University of Glasgow in 2018, previously attaining an MA in Theatre Practice from Aberystwyth University with distinction and a BA(hons) in Drama and Theatre Arts from Queen Margaret University.

Andy is currently the Programme Leader for BA (hons) Drama and teaches a wide range of topics, including theatre history, theory, and practice. He also delivers specialist modules on site-specific performance and archiving. Andy co-created the MA in Applied Arts and Social Practice degree which he also teaches on. He supervises MRes and PhD students and welcomes proposals from prospective candidates. Teaching is of paramount importance to Andy, and he has previously been nominated for Excellent Teaching, Most Inspiring Lecturer, and won Engaging Assessment and Feedback at the Student Teaching and Representation Awards as voted by students and run by the student union.

Andy has established himself as a researcher whose work investigates performance archives, archival practices, and the challenges of documenting live theatrical events. His work in this field mostly focuses on documentary strategies that explore the possibilities of animating archives through performance practice. Andy has worked with the Festival Theatre in their Empire archive, the Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep, and Scottish Dance Theatre’s archives on a range of research projects. He has presented papers at the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) in the Documenting Performance Working Group and at the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) in the Performance in Public Spaces Working Group.

Andy is also on the board of directors for Birds of Paradise Theatre Company; the external examiner of the MA in Arts and Health at Wrexham University; he was nominated by his peers to be a representative for Media Communications and Performing Arts Division at Senate; and was in the working group that wrote QMU’s Lecture Capture Policy. Andy has served as branch Convener of the EIS union at QMU for three years where, amongst a range of duties, he has contributed to the PER, AWAM and Dignity at Work reviews.

Aside from his main career as an academic, Andy has also worked as a freelance writer, director, actor, and dramaturg. Andy has had the privilege of working with a number of influential theatre directors and companies including site-specific pioneer Mike Pearson, artistic director of the Cardiff Laboratory Theatre Richard Gough, and collaborated with Back to Back Theatre and Lung Ha's in the Scottish instalment of The Democratic Set for the Edinburgh International Festival.

Site-specific theatre, heritage performance, performance archives, documentary strategies, pedagogy

Andy occupies two main fields of research enquiry, broadly described as site-specific theatre and performance archives. Recent archival projects include appraisal, organisation, and creative exploration of the Traverse Theatre’s archive in advance of their 60th anniversary celebrations in 2023; and similar projects in the Empire Archive housed at the Festival Theatre and in the Scottish Dance Theatre’s archive ahead of their 40th anniversary.

Andy has an ongoing collaboration with QMU colleague Victoria Bianchi exploring place-based performance practice in Glasgow Green (one of Britain’s oldest public parks). This practice-based project draws on existing heritage literature and engages directly with socially engaged community groups that work in or around the park. The pair delivered a paper about their project at the 2022 IFTR in Reykjavik.

Andy also has an interest in pedagogical research and is currently exploring the ways that creative practice, practice research, and teaching can intersect in productive ways to foster innovation in HE (Higher Education). 

Andy teaches on a range of topics and modules at Queen Margaret University which are taken by the students on the BA hons Drama, Theatre & Film, Costume and MA in Applied Arts and Social Practice programmes.

Broadly, his classes cover areas of theatre history, theory, and practice; but these areas frequently intersect and inform each other. For example, he may teach post or anti-colonial theatre strategies through the reading of post-colonial theory and embedded in discussion and exploration of British and Scottish colonial contexts in India, Nigeria, Australia and the Caribbean.

Andy also teaches specialist elective modules on theatre archives, which is taught on location at collaborating theatres (previously Festival Theatre and the Traverse), and on site-specific performance practice (also taught off campus in various locations around Edinburgh city centre).

A non-exhaustive list of topics Andy covers include British Censorship, Devising, Site-Specific, Verbatim, and Musical Histories. Critical Theory including Semiotics, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Post-Colonialism, Feminism, Queer Theory, Neoliberalism, Phenomenology, and Post-Modernism; Performance Theories: Theatre Anthropology, Ontology, Globalisation, Psychogeography, Theatre/Archaeology, and the Post-Dramatic.

2020

- Researcher of the Month (June), QMU

2019

- Nominated for Most Inspiring Lecturer, QMU

2018

- Won Best Assessment and Feedback, QMU
- Nominated for Most Inspiring Lecturer, QMU
- Nominated for Excellence in Teaching, QMU

2017

- Nominated for Excellence in Teaching, QMU
- Nominated for Most Inspiring Lecturer, QMU

2015

- Keynote speaker at the Remploy Disability and Inclusion Conference

2012

-  Arts and Humanities Research Council Scholarship