Head of Division


Tel: 0131 474 0000

John Dean (BA (Hons) is the Head of the Media, Communication and Performing Arts Division.

John trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1991-94. He won a Fox Foundation bursary for further training with the Gardzienice Theatre Association, Poland, and a Prima del Teatro bursary to study with Nicolai Karpov (GITIS, Moscow).

He subsequently worked as an actor, director and teacher for many theatre and film companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, RNT Studio, Theatre Clwyd, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Nottingham Playhouse, collaborating with Sarah Kane at the Gate Theatre, London, Howard Brenton, and Silviu Purcarete, amongst others. From 1997-9 he helped run The Lab, a London-based theatre training organisation, and in 2002 he co-founded Organic Theatre with Bianca Mastrominico, a laboratory of theatre research whose vision is informed by a focus on the organicity of creative processes. Organic Theatre’s practice is centred on physical theatre, new writing, and multimedia crossovers. It was Company-in-Residence at the University of Plymouth from 2005-7, and has been shortlisted for the Total Theatre Award for Best Small-Scale Work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

He has been working at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh since 2008, jobsharing a lectureship with Bianca Mastrominico. Previously John has worked as Teaching Fellow for Lancaster University, and as a visiting lecturer and workshop leader for University of Plymouth, University of Exeter, Roehampton University, Rose Bruford College, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Accademia Nazionale, Rome, and Institut del Teatre, Barcelona.

Active Research Interests:

  • Research interests include: body in performance, mask and transformation, Third Theatre, theatre anthropology, and performance training.

At QMU, John lectures in contemporary performance, somatic and devising practices. He has an interest in technology enhanced learning, and mindfulness in learning & teaching, and actively contributes to the ongoing development of the Drama & Performance, Theatre & Film and Acting for Stage & Screen degree courses.

Programme Leadership:

  • BA /BA (Hons) Drama and Performance

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016)