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Professor Elaine Aston

Professor Emerita

Elaine Aston

The LICA Building



Tel: +44 1524 594912

PhD supervision

Elaine supervises PhD programmes of research in the field of feminism, theatre and performance.

Current Teaching

 British Theatre; Contemporary Theatre Practice; Dissertation.

Research Interests


Background and Research

Elaine Aston is Professor of Theatre at Lancaster University. She has a distinguished record of publication in the field of feminism, theatre, theory and performance. Her first monograph, a biography of the nineteenth-century actress, Sarah Bernhardt, appeared in 1989, and was followed by Feminism and Theatre (1995); Caryl Churchill (1997; 2001; 2010); Feminist Theatre Practice (1999); Feminist Views on the English Stage: Women Playwrights, 1990-2000 (2003); Performance Practice and Process: Contemporary [Women] Practitioners (2007; with Gerry Harris) and A Good Night Out, for the Girls (2012; with Gerry Harris). She is co-author of the highly influential text on theatre semiotics: Theatre as Sign-System (1991; with George Savona). Elaine has edited two collections of plays for the Women's Theatre Group (Her story Volumes 1 & 2, 1991). Other collections include the Cambridge Companions to Modern British Women Playwrights (2000; with Janelle Reinelt) and to Caryl Churchill (2009; with Elin Diamond); Feminist Futures?: Theatre, Performance,Theory (2006; with Gerry Harris); and Staging International Feminisms (2007; with Sue-Ellen Case). With Mark O'Thomas she published the first full-length study devoted to the work of the Royal Court's International department: Royal Court International (2015).



Additional Information

Elaine is a founding member of the Feminist Research Working Group of the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR), and has co-convened the group with Professor Sue-Ellen Case (UCLA). She was the Senior Editor of the IFTR journal Theatre Research International (2010 to 2012) and went on to be elected Vice President of IFTR for Publications and Internalisation. With Professor Brian Singleton (Trinity College, Dublin) she is the co-series editor for 'Contemporary Performance InterActions' (Palgrave Macmillan).

In 2014 Elaine was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Stockholm University. 

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