Mary Steadman – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

Mary joined Bath Spa in 2007. Prior to this her she taught at the University of Northampton, De Montfort University and the University of Bedfordhire. Her work has always been located at the interface between dance and theatre. As a professional performer, Mary has worked with companies such as English New Dance Theatre, Vincent Dance Theatre and Spiral Theatre.

In 2006 she co-founded Famous and Divine with Amanda Price. Innovative and experimental, they devised performances and collaborations with playwrights, and toured nationally and internationally until 2013.

Alongside this, Mary's professional practice extended to working with students and graduates, taking performances to festivals in Russia, Belarus, Belgium, and Canada as part of the International University Theatre Association organisation, with awards won for Best Show and Best Director in Belarus for Red Room. A Palatine award enabled her to fund this research, to attend international conferences and publish her work.

Mary formed Red Room Production in 2014, and in 2015 was awarded a research and development grant by Arts Council England for the Borderland Project. This research currently informs her PhD practice based research. Her work continues to develop collaborations with visual artists and across arts disciplines.

Mary is the co-director for Bath Spa's Creative Corporealities research group, along with Thomas Kampe

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Theatre, Dartington College of Arts
  • PGCE Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • MPhil Drama (Practice as Research), University of Kent.

Professional memberships

  • Equity
  • Internatational University Theatre Association (IUTA)
  • Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA)
  • Teaching Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Artistic Director.

Other external roles

  • Consultancy on "Practice-as-Research" for New College Nottingham (2006).

Teaching specialism

  • Physical Theatre
  • Ensemble Theatre 
  • Improvisation and Composition.

Research profile

Mary’s MPhil focused on actor training, drawing on the work of Jerzy Grotowski and Eugenio Barba to investigate training through practice. Informed by insights of interculturalism, body schema, and psychophysical theory. Her methodology drew upon improvisational methods that prioritise somatic intelligence, and mind-body connectivity, which led to investigations into body memory and cultural memory.

This research has continued to inform her current PhD practice, through which she is currently developing a methodology to investigate making performance through the lens of Spectrality and Hauntology. The most recent project engages with these themes in collaboration with a performer, musician, costume designer, and lighting designer, and is highly visual and multidisciplinary.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Getting off the island: cross-cultural exchange and drama pedagogy

Steadman, M (2013) 'Getting off the island: cross-cultural exchange and drama pedagogy.' In: Baldwin, J, Brannen, R, Horne, M.S and Page, C, eds. Theatre pedagogy = Pédagogie théâtrale = Pedagogía teatral. AITU-IUTA, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, pp. 136-144. ISBN 9782981386526

Site of intimacy: space and corporality in Küsse

Steadman, M (2014) Site of intimacy: space and corporality in Küsse. In: 5th Global Conference: Performance - Visual Aspects of Performance Practice, 7-9 November 2014, Prague, Czech Republic.

Last night I dreamt my house was leaking...

Steadman, M (2009) Last night I dreamt my house was leaking... In: Monstrous Media/Spectral Subjects Conference, 21-24 July 2009, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.

Performing in the zone: a site of terror and desire

Steadman, M and Price, A (2008) Performing in the zone: a site of terror and desire. In: TaPRA Conference, 3-5 September 2008, Leeds, UK.

The ambiguity of memory

Steadman, M (2007) The ambiguity of memory. In: TaPRA Conference, 5-7 September 2007, Unviversity of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Remembering forgotten acts

Steadman, M (2007) Remembering forgotten acts. In: Improvisation Continuums Conference, April 2007, Cardiff, UK.

Actor training for the 21st century performer

Steadman, M (2006) Actor training for the 21st century performer. In: TaPRA conference, 7-9 September 2006, University of London, London, UK.

Borderland (2016) [REF2021 collection]

Steadman, M (2021) Borderland (2016) [REF2021 collection].

Dramaturgies of Hauntology through practice-based research methodologies in Dwelling and The Strange Geometry of Time (2018-2020) [REF2021 collection]

Steadman, M (2021) Dramaturgies of Hauntology through practice-based research methodologies in Dwelling and The Strange Geometry of Time (2018-2020) [REF2021 collection].

Borderland exhibition

Steadman, M, Bowes, V and Kelly, C (2016) Borderland exhibition. 44AD Gallery, Bath, UK, 26 - 30 January 2016.

The Strange Geometry of Time

Steadman, M (2018) The Strange Geometry of Time. In: Dreams Before Dawn Festival of New European Theatre, Theatre de Menilmontant Paris, France, 3-8 July 2018.


Steadman, M (2016) Borderland. In: Borderland, University Theatre, Bath Spa University, Bath. UK, 28 - 30 January 2016.

Küsse [artistic director]

Steadman, M (2014) Küsse [artistic director]. In: Küsse, Exeter Ignite, Exeter Phoenix Theatre, Exeter, UK, 2-3 June 2014.

Divine nights

Steadman, M and Price, A (2012) Divine nights. In: Famous and Divine, The Bierkeller Theatre, Bristol, UK, March 2012.


Steadman, M (2012) Trailer/trash. The Hen and Chickens Theatre, London, UK, October-November 2012.

Trying to be Tom Waits

Steadman, M (2012) Trying to be Tom Waits. In: The Oxjam Bedford Takeover, Bedford Theatre, Bedford, UK, October 2012.

The Traffic of Clothes

Steadman, M (2012) The Traffic of Clothes. In: Les Fêtes Internationales du Théâtre, Valleyfield QC, Canada, 16-22 April 2012.

Fugitive Songs

Steadman, M (2011) Fugitive Songs. In: Houston Fringe Festival, Houston TX, USA, August-September 2011.

1 Dusty Floor, 6 Broken Chairs & a Few Lost Souls [director/choreographer]

Rugman, K and Steadman, M (2010) 1 Dusty Floor, 6 Broken Chairs & a Few Lost Souls [director/choreographer]. Bath Spa University, Bath, UK, 9 - 11 May 2010.

Red Room

Steadman, M (2010) Red Room. In: Teatralny Koufar: VII International Student Theatre Festival, Belarus, 2010.

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