Dr Sara Reimers

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Personal profile

I am a Creative Economy Engagement Fellow based in the Centre for Contemporary British Theatre at Royal Holloway, working on the Making an Appearance research project.  This project is a collaboration with the Equity Women’s Committee and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the technē Doctoral Training Partnership.

Making an Appearance explores performers’ experiences of aesthetic labour, examining how actors feel about their bodies and the physical and emotional effort that goes into making or maintaining an appearance for work.  To examine these issues, we will be surveying performers about their experiences of changing their bodies for work, asking them about the time, money, and emotional energy they invest in making their appearance.  The online survey will be launched in March and will be followed by a series of focus groups and interviews.  To find out more about the research as it progresses please follow @MakeAppearance on Twitter.

This project builds on research that I undertook as part of my AHRC-funded PhD on casting and the construction of femininity in contemporary stagings of Shakespeare’s plays.  My PhD examined how casting trends contribute to the ways in which Shakespeare’s female roles are imagined in contemporary performance, considering how the body of the performer generates gendered meaning on stage.

Since completing my PhD I have worked as a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance at Royal Holloway and as a Research Assistant with LEaD at City, University of London.  

Increasingly my work combines practice with research and last May I directed the first staging of Ellen Terry’s adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor in over a century, exploring Terry’s dramaturgy in practice.  I have also directed a critically acclaimed production of The Taming of the Shrew at the Jack Studio Theatre and assisted Sir Jonathan Miller on a staging of King Lear at City Lit.  In 2014 I was part of Shakespeare’s Globe research team, providing dramaturgical support for the inaugural season of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, as well as the Globe's summer season. Last summer I joined the research team of the AHRC-funded Performing Restoration Shakespeare as an embedded scholar on the Folger Theatre’s production of Davenant’s Macbeth in Washington DC.  

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