- Production Arts
- Vice-Principal & Director of Production Arts
Andy Lavender joined Guildhall as Vice-Principal & Director of Production Arts in August 2020 following three years as Professor of Theatre & Performance and Head of Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Warwick. He was previously Head of the School of Arts at the University of Surrey, which included dance, music, theatre, sound engineering, and the conservatoire Guildford School of Acting. Prior to that he spent several years at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama as Head of Postgraduate Studies and then Dean of Research. Lavender has also previously been an External Examiner for Guildhall School’s Production Arts programme.
During his career in higher education, Andy Lavender has led on many management projects including the development of what became the largest platform of postgraduate courses in theatre & performance in the UK and the introduction of a successful PhD platform (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama); oversight of new course developments in digital media arts and film and television production, and extensive work on the merger of a conservatoire with a university (University of Surrey); and a raft of industry engagement initiatives, including new partnership activities with Warwick Arts Centre, the largest multi-arts venue outside London (University of Warwick).
He is also the Subject Specialist in Theatre for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and chaired the Institutional Review of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2012. Lavender has served on a number of validation and review exercises in Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore and the UK, and consultancy work includes reviews of research and practice-as-research for a number of institutions in England and Scotland.
Recent writing includes the monograph Performance in the Twenty-First Century: Theatres of Engagement (Routledge 2016), and journal articles in Performance Research (on ‘costumed’ protests), Contemporary Theatre Review (on theatre and the internet); and Theatre Journal (on immersive and participatory theatre), and a chapter on new multimodal performances in a book entitled Intermedial Theatre: Principals and Practices (Red Globe Press 2019).
Practice-based research includes Agamemnon Redux (Paris, Athens and Warwick), exploring motion capture for live performance (part of the Mask and Avatar project conducted with colleagues from Paris 8 University); and a forthcoming exploration of Virtual Reality Theatre at Lyric Hammersmith (July 2020) with colleagues from Royal Holloway (University of London) and the University of Warwick.
Lavender is currently co-editing a book entitled Lightwork: texts on and from collaborative multimedia theatre, for Intellect’s Playtexts series. This gathers texts of productions (1997-2011) by Lightwork, of which he was artistic director, along with commentaries by collaborators. In his work as a theatre practitioner he has devised shows with actors, designers and writers; worked on adaptations of texts; engaged with puppetry, robotics, and various digital technologies; and enjoyed extensive collaboration with costume, lighting, set, sound and video designers and movement directors.
Photo - Paul Cochrane