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David Jackson

Senior Lecturer Practitioner

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Creative Industries
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

David is a Senior Lecturer Practitioner and Course Leader for ARU's BA (Hons) Acting degree.

David is a former professional actor and drama teacher who has specialised in actor training for the last fourteen years. He has worked in a wide variety of drama schools and university acting departments.

[email protected]


David Jackson is an experienced theatre actor and has also appeared on television and in radio drama. In the early part of his career, he alternated between acting and teaching assignments. After deciding to merge the two strands of his career, he completed an MA in Actor Training and Coaching at the Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD).

David has taught acting in a wide variety of Higher Education institutions, including Mountview, RCSSD, Rose Bruford, ALRA South, ARU, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, UEL and the Drama Centre London. He is currently leading the new acting degree at ARU.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • French

Research interests

  • Actor training
  • The history of the UK conservatoire
  • Acted emotion understood from the perspective of neurology and psychology
  • Active analysis and contemporary Russian actor training
  • Physical and mental health in actor training

David's current research focusses on how actors meet the challenge of embodying emotion in fictional contexts. He examines how models of human physiognomy and conceptions of acting have shifted in Western theatre, in order to put into context current approaches to the crucial challenge of playing in high-stakes drama. The investigation is informed by psychological and neurological accounts of what emotion is and how it guides our decision-making. Its ultimate aim is to distinguish between approaches to emotion that are redundant or unhealthy and those that might continue to be useful to actors, teachers and directors into the future.


David currently teaches on the following modules:

  • Studio Performance
  • Physical Theatre
  • Technical Skills II (Acting)


  • BABA Double Honours English and Drama, University of Manchester
  • PGCE (Drama), Birmingham City University
  • PG Cams: Professional Development in Education, University of Derby
  • MA Actor Training and Coaching, University of London (Central School of Speech and Drama)
  • PhD candidate, University of Birmingham

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Equity

Selected recent publications

Jackson, D., 2018. The samovar and the steam train: an interview with Albert Filozov. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 9 (1), pp. 99-113.

Jackson, D., 2017. Stanislavski, emotion and the future of the UK conservatoire. Stanislavski Studies, 5 (1), pp. 75-83.

Jackson, D., 2013. Ribot, Emotion and the Actor’s Creative State. Stanislavski Studies, 2 (1), pp. 246-267.

Jackson, D., 2011. Twenty-first-century Russian actor training: Active Analysis in the UK. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 2 (2), pp. 166-180.