View on Find an Expert


  • Academic

Research expertise

  • A phenomenological approach to the experiential nature of performance, and gender/queer theories and dramaturgies. (queer; gender and sexuality; directing and dramaturgy; phenomenology and affect theories)
Alyson completed a Practice as Research (PaR) PhD at the University of Melbourne (2009). The thesis, ‘Experiencing Kane: an affective approach to Sarah Kane’s experiential theatre in performance’, included direction of Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis at Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, 2007. She holds an MA in Theatre Studies and BA Hons in Russian from Leeds University, UK, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Drama from Goldsmiths College, London. Alyson has worked as a lecturer in theatre studies/drama in the School of Creative Arts, The University of Melbourne, Queen’s University Belfast and Brunel University, London. Alyson is a freelance director and dramaturg, and has worked in a broad range of situations over the last 30 years: from the four-stage Los Angeles Theatre Center, through Fringe, independent and community theatre, to making forum theatre with secondary students. Alyson’s research, artistic practice as a director, teaching and activism converge around gender and sexuality, particularly queer performance and dramaturgies and contemporary representations of HIV and AIDS. She has written widely on these areas, most notably co-editing the collection Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer (Palgrave, 2015) with Dr Stephen Farrier, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. This book has been shortlisted for the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) editing award. Her next collection, ‘HIV and AIDS Performance in the Twenty-First Century: An International Collection’, with Dr Dirk Gindt, Stockholm, is forthcoming (Palgrave, 2017/18). Alyson’s focus is around the representation of women and the nexus of queer theories and feminism. Alyson is committed to queer representation and works closely with the community, largely through her work with Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Belfast, for which she established and convened a performance research programme Queer at Queen’s at Queen’s University. She co-founded the Queer Futures Working Group for the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR), which is a vibrant network developing the work of queer performance scholarship. She co-edited a special forum on the WG for Theatre Research International (2015) Much of Alyson’s practice as a theatre maker and scholar is realised in large-scale practice-led research projects. These include her thesis, on directing Sarah Kane’s work 4.48 Psychosis (2002 – 9), developing dramaturgical and directing strategies that responded to theories of affect; Bison (2008 – 11), encompassing directing Lachlan Philpott’s play of that name in Belfast and London, and writing about gay male sexualities, cultural translation and HIV; The Trouble with Harry (2010 – 2014), which included directing the premiere of Philpott’s historical play The Trouble with Harry in Belfast (2013) and for the Melbourne International Arts Festival (2014. Her writing theorises this work through queer theories of temporality and historiography. The production won Green Room awards for direction and best production in the Independent category. Her most recent work is GL RY (2013 – present) on HIV and AIDS in contemporary performance. Her main areas of research and supervision are in gender and queer theory/performance, directing and dramaturgy, phenomenological approaches to performance, social justice and disability in the arts. She is committed to developing modes of practice led/as research throughout her teaching at all levels.

Subject Areas

  • Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies

Available for supervision

Alyson is currently supervising practice-led PhDs and MFAs, including work on questions of dramaturgy, directing and scenography. She has supervised research higher degrees focusing on gender and sexuality in performance, particularly queer performance/dramaturgies. She is very happy to hear from potential students hoping to work either through practice or library/fieldwork based methods.

Contact Details

Phone Number: 9035 9185
email: alyson.campbell@unimelb.edu.au
Web: http://vca.unimelb.edu.au/performingarts/contact/dralysoncampbell
Media Only contact?: Y


Journal Articles Refereed

CAMPBELL A, FARRIER S (2015), Queer Practice as Research: A Fabulously Messy Business, Theatre Research International, Vol 40, Issue 1 , DOI: 10.1017/S0307883314000601
CAMPBELL A, WALSH F (2015), Contemporary Queer Theatre and Performance Research: A Forum by the Queer Futures Working Group. Introduction, Theatre Research International, Vol 40, Issue 1 , DOI: 10.1017/S030788331400056X
CAMPBELL A (2011), From Bogeyman to Bison: a herd-like amnesia of HIV?, Theatre Research International, Vol 36, Issue 3 , DOI: 10.1017/S0307883311000447
CAMPBELL A (2011), Translating ‘gaytown’: the collision of global and local in bringing Australian queer play Bison to Belfast, Australasian Drama Studies, Vol 59, Issue 1
CAMPBELL A (2011), Adapting musicology's use of affect theories to contemporary theatremaking: Directing Martin Crimp's Attempts on Her Life, Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance, Vol 4, Issue 3
CAMPBELL A (2005), Experiencing Kane: An affective analysis of Sarah Kane's 'experiential' theatre in performance, Australasian Drama Studies, Vol 46, Issue 1
CAMPBELL A (2005), Experiencing Kane: An affective analysis of Sarah Kane's experiential theatre in performance, Australasian Drama Studies, Vol 46, Issue October 2005

Research Book Chapters

CAMPBELL A (2015), Taking an Affective Approach to 'Doing' Queer Histories in Performance: queer Dramaturgy as a Reparative Practice of Erotohistoriography. In FARRIER S (Eds.), Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer (ISBN:9781137411839)
CAMPBELL A, FARRIER S (2015), Introduction: Queer Dramaturgies. In FARRIER S (Eds.), Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer (ISBN:9781137411839)
CAMPBELL A, FARRIER S (2015), Crip/Queer Performance: A Dialogue with Margrit Shildrick and Robert McRuer. In FARRIER S (Eds.), Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer (ISBN:9781137411839)
CAMPBELL A, FARRIER S (2015), Introductions to Parts 1,2,3. In FARRIER S (Eds.), Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer (ISBN:9781137411853)
CAMPBELL A (2014), The Trouble with Harry - Introduction. In PHILPOTT L (Eds.), The Trouble with Harry (ISBN:9781783190829)
CAMPBELL A (2013), Le Monkey Homosexuel: The role of Ruth McCarthy's queerzines in Northern Ireland in the 1990s and 2000s. In PATMAN (Eds.), Performing Feminisms in Contemporary Ireland, Carysfort Press (ISBN:9781904505624)
CAMPBELL A (2010), Bison and Colder. , Bison and Colder (ISBN:978-1-921390-06-7)
CAMPBELL A (2006), It aint over 'til. , TRAFFIC: number eight 2006, Melbourne University Publishing

Edited Books

CAMPBELL A (2015), Queer Dramaturgies: International Perspectives on Where Performance leads Queer (ISBN:9781137411839)



WHoLE, Belfast
The Pirates of Portrush, Belfast, This work took the tropes of traditonal British pantomime and presented a radical queer alternative. It featured a storyline specific to Northern Ireland, to do with gay conversion therapy and religious fundamentalism. It marked the first work in queer space The Barracks. Research questions focus on drag king and lesbian perforamnce and audience; the tropes of panto rendered queer; queer dramaturgies; dramaturgies of blended cabaret and theatre modes; queer spaces and audiences.
GL RY Belfast, Tea Dance and GL RY:US, Belfast


The Trouble with Harry (Australian Premiere), Northcote Town Hall, Australian premiere of new Australian play. Part of the Melbourne Festival programme.


The Trouble with Harry, The Mac, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Director of the production. presentation of a new piece of Australian theatre at a queer arts festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Bison, Brian Friel Theatre, Outburst Queer Arts Festival 2009


4.48 Psychosis, Red Stitch Theatre, Director

Education and Training

  • PhD in Theatre Studies PhD , University of Melbourne, 2009
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Education PGCE , University of Leeds, 1996
  • Master of Arts Theatre Studies MA , University of Leeds, 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours Russian Studies BA Hons Russian Studies , University of Leeds, 1989

Awards and honours

  • Australian Drama Studies Association, 2004