Andy Smith

Andy Smith

Dr

  • Lecturer in Theatre Practice, Drama

Personal profile

Overview

I am a part-time Lecturer in Theatre Practice at Manchester.

My latest play, A CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY (2024), is part of an ongoing research project called ‘plays for the people’. These are plays written to be performed and discussed by the people in the room. Each play addresses socio-political and ethical themes and questions (A CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY explores ideas of the climate emergency) and asks their audiences to engage with them through a collective act of play. More information about this play (including information about performances) can be found here.

Other plays in the series engage with ideas of political activism (THE ACTIONS), institutional and structural racism (ARE WE RACIST?) and the end of the world (THE RULE OF SIX). All these works have been designed to be delivered in a variety of settings, and have been performed in studio theatres, classrooms, community halls and public parks.

My play SUMMIT (published 2018) was commissioned by and first appeared at Brighton Festival in 2018. Other plays and performance includes commonwealth (2012), The Preston Bill (2015), and COMMONISM (2017), a collaboration with Norwegian performance artist Amund Sjølie Sveen.

I have also collaborated with Tim Crouch since 2004, co-directing (along with Karl James) the award-winning plays An Oak Tree (2005), ENGLAND (2007) and The Author (2009). In 2013, under commission from The Almeida Theatre, Tim and I also co-wrote and performed what happens to the hope at the end of the evening together, and in 2014 we co-directed Tim’s play Adler & Gibb at The Royal Court. All this work, including most recently Truths’ A Dog Must To Kennel (2023) has toured nationally and internationally to great acclaim.

I completed a practice-as-research PhD at Lancaster University in 2014. This project, which had the title What We Can Do With What We Have Got, led to the production of two works for theatre, along with a thesis that explored how my developed methodologies might be used to create work for theatre that thinks towards ideas of social and political change. 

More information about my practice and research can be found on my website:

www.andysmiththeatre.com

Overview

CURRENT PLAYS/PERFORMANCES

A CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY (writer/performer).

A work addressing questions of what we are doing or not doing in relation to the climate emergency. Currently touring. See www.andysmiththeatre.com for more details.

AN OAK TREE (co-director)

A play by Tim Crouch first performed in 2005. Recent performances include Avignon Festival and Edinburgh Fringe in 2023, and Bergen International Festival in 2024. Described by Lyn Gardner in The Guardian as one of the shows that has changed our perceptions of what theatre might be’, and by The Independent On Sunday as ‘philosophy in action, playful and seriously thought-provoking’, the work  has toured worldwide.

TRUTHS’ A DOG MUST TO KENNEL (co-director).

A play by Tim Crouch commissioned by The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh which premiered there in 2023. Winner of a Fringe First award and described in a review in The Stage as ‘an act of imagination in a world undone’, this play continues to tour with performances in Hong Kong and Bergen in 2024.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

Meeting in The Theatre. Chapter in ‘World Political Performance: Theory and Practice’ edited by Mireia Aragay (University of Barcelona) with Paola Botham and Jose Ramon Prado, IFTR/Brill Books. 2020.

This Is It: Notes on a Dematerialised Theatre. Essay in The Twenty-First Century Performance Reader, Routledge, London, 2020.

The Question Is Not…Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Taylor & Francis, London, Pages 373 – 379,Vol 9, Issue 3, 2018 

SUMMIT, London, Oberon Books, 2018

The Preston Bill, commonwealth and all that is solid melts into air, London, Oberon Books, 2015

What can we do? In Innovation In Five Acts, Svich, Caridad (ed.) New York, Theatre Communications Group, 2015.

what happens to the hope at the end of the evening (with Tim Crouch),London, Oberon Books, 2014.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, What We Can Do With What We Have Got, Lancaster University

Oct 2010Dec 2014

Award Date: 9 Dec 2014

Master of Arts, MA in Performance Writing, Dartington College of Arts

Oct 2001Oct 2003

Award Date: 1 Oct 2003

Areas of expertise

  • AI Indexes (General)
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Performance

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester

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