Prof Mike Pearson
B.A. (Archaeology, Wales); M.A. (Education, Wales); PhD (Wales)
1968-71 undergraduate studies – BA Archaeology, University College Cardiff 1971-73 postgraduate studies – MA Education, University College Cardiff
Between 1972 and 1997, I worked as a professional theatre maker with Transitions Trust community arts project (1971-72) and RAT Theatre; and as a co-director of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre (1973-80) and Brith Gof Theatre Company (1981-97). I continue to create theatre as a solo artist; with artist/designer Mike Brookes in Pearson/Brookes; with National Theatre Wales; and with senior performers’ group Good News From The Future.
I became a lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, University College Aberystwyth in 1997. Between 1999-2014, I was Professor of Performance Studies, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University.In 2006, I gained a PhD (by publication) on ‘Convergences of performance and archaeology’ from the University of Wales. In 2009, I became an Honorary Fellow of Falmouth University. Between 2012-14, I was a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow.
For a list of my books and some recent performance work please refer to the RESEARCH section.
I have been a visiting scholar/lecturer at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey (2002); Johannes Goethe University of Frankfurt (2003 and 2006) and Roskilde University, Denmark (2014). My recent keynote addresses have included the International Federation for Theatre Research world congress (2014), Harvard University (2014) and the Prague Quadrennial (2014).I was Principal Investigator on Carrlands: mediated manifestations of site-specific performance in the Ancholme valley, North Lincolnshire (2006-7) (AHRC Landscape and Environment programme smaller research grant); and Co-Investigator on AHRC funded projects The snows of yesteryear (2012-13) and Challenging Concepts of “Liquid” Place through Performing Practices in Community Contexts (2011-14).
I was a member of the AHRC peer-review panel for Drama, Dance and Performing Arts (2005-7) and of the AHRC Landscape and Environment programme national steering group (2007-12).
I have been on the editorial boards of Cultural Geographies About Performance (University of Sydney, Australia); Performance Matters (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and the Palgrave Macmillan Performing Landscapes series.
I have supervised 8 successful PhD projects to completion. Since 2008, I have examined PhD candidates including practice-based projects at Roehampton University, London; University of Plymouth; University of Glamorgan; Murdoch University, Australia; University of Sydney, Australia; Cardiff Metropolitan University; Glasgow University, Huddersfield University and Falmouth University.
My research interests include performance practice particularly devised performance, physical theatre and site-specific work; performance history particularly in documentation and restaging; performance, place and landscape; performance and archaeology; biography, personal narrative and memory in performance; folklore and traditional performance practices; the archaeology of Antarctic exploration.
I have a particular interests in practice-based research and in interdisciplinarity. I have collaborated closely with geographers – presenting papers on several occasions and a commissioned performance (Warplands, 2011) at the Royal Geographical Society annual conference – and with archaeologists, particularly Professor Michael Shanks (Stanford University) with whom I shall complete a five-day residency at the Bard Graduate Center in New York in December 2016.I am the author of 5 books: Marking Time: Performance, archaeology and the city (Exeter UP 2012); Mickery Theater: An Imperfect Archaeology (Amsterdam UP 2011); Site-Specific Performance (Palgrave MacMillan 2010); In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape (Exeter UP 2006) and co-author with Michael Shanks of Theatre/Archaeology (Routledge 2001).
As a theatre maker, I have worked worldwide – throughout Europe, in South America and in Hong Kong. I have co-directed three recent major theatre productions with National Theatre Wales: The Persians (2010); Coriolan/us (2012) and Iliad (2015).
For more information on my research activities, please refer to the ADDITIONAL INFORMATION section.