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Dr Heather Lilley

Senior Lecturer

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

Heather teaches theory and practice on ARU's undergraduate Drama and Performing Arts courses. Her research focuses on contemporary devised theatre, adaptation and applied theatre practices, and she is Director of Anglia Ruskin Community Theatre.

Heather is Course Leader for our Bachelor's degrees in Drama, Drama and English Literature, and Drama and Film. She is also School Lead for Learning, Teaching and Assessment.

[email protected]


Heather joined Anglia Ruskin in 2016, after leading Drama programmes at The University of Greenwich for nine years and teaching at The University of Nottingham. Heather’s teaching and research interests include devising, adaptation, performance space, applied and reminiscence theatre, twentieth-century drama and contemporary performance.

As an applied theatre practitioner Heather established The Reminiscence Theatre Archive of Pam Schweitzer at the University of Greenwich, and continues to create theatre with and for the elderly.

Research interests

Contemporary devised theatre, adaptation and applied theatre practices.


  • PhD Vital Contact: Community and Negotiations of Audience-Performance Relationships in the Theatre of Cartoon de Salvo, Kneehigh Theatre and Northern Stage (2000 to 2005), University of Nottingham
  • MA Theatre Practices, University of Nottingham
  • BA (Hons) English and Theatre Studies (European/Oslo), University of Leeds

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Selected recent publications

Lilley, Heather and Derbyshire, Harry, (2013). Re-performing Memories: Using the reminiscence theatre archive as a resource for new intergenerational work, Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 4.2, Intellect Journals

Lilley, Heather, (2013) ‘The Reminiscence Theatre Archive of Pam Schweitzer’, RIDE Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Routledge

Lilley, Heather, (2012). ‘Everyone in the Room has a Connection to the Story: Fairytale Adaptation in Devised Theatre, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 5.2, Intellect Journal

Lilley, Heather, (2010). ‘Vital Contact: Creating Interpretive Communities in the Moment of Theatrical Reception’, About Performance #10, Audiencing: The Work of the Spectator in Live Performance, Sydney University, Australia

Recent presentations and conferences

September 2012, ‘Bringing the Archive to Life: Creating Reminiscence Theatre from the Documentation of Past Performances’, TAPRA Conference, University of Kent at Canterbury

May 2012, ‘Embedding the Archive in Drama Teaching’, Reminiscence Theatre Archive of Pam Schweitzer Launch Symposium, University of Greenwich