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Emma Miles


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Personal profile

Personal profile

Emma's PhD research, funded by Royal Holloway's Reid Scholarship, is a reception study of theatre aimed at children under five years old, often referred to as Theatre for Early Years Audiences (TEY). She works in partnership with Polka Theatre in Wimbledon and Eastwood Day Nursery in Roehampton, and is inspired by collaborative and creative approaches to both empirical and theoretical research methodologies in the arts and social sciences. She is particularly interested in audience participation in theatre for children, in the intersections between TEY and early years pedagogy, and in the responses of adults to TEY practice.

Before beginning a PhD, Emma worked with children in formal and informal educational settings, including several years as a classroom teacher in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. She is an accredited ECaR (Every Child a Reader) specialist and helped to co-ordinate targeted school-wide support for children at risk of falling behind in literacy. Emma received a PGCE and Master of Education in 'Arts Culture and Education' with distinction from The University of Cambridge, and a 1st class (hons) BA in English Literature from The University of York.


Conference Papers:


The Open Borders of 'Becoming': Challenges in Researching Audience Experience in Theatre for Early Years Audiences

2014 CATR conference, Brock University, Canada


Small Rebellions: Exploring Age Related Norms in Polka Theatre's Gorilla

2014 TaPRA conference, Royal Holloway, University of London


"And all of us in the room!": The Vital Risks of Audience Participation in Theatre for the Very Young

2015 TaPRA conference, University of Worcester


Play, Pedagogy and Research in Theatre for Early Years Audiences

2015 BERA conference, Queens University, Belfast


Bus Journeys, Playing and Performance: the 'event' of theatre-going for early years audiences

 2016 TaPRA conference, University of Bristol


Other Research:


Researcher-in-Residence with Punchdrunk Enrichment, funded by Creativeworks London.

January - August 2015. Research report.




Theatres as Sites of Learning: Theatre for Early Years Audiences

Forthcoming book chapter, with Helen Nicholson.