Alison Reeves

Alison Reeves

Principal Lecturer in Theatre, Acting & Performance

School of Arts

Theatre, Film & Media Production

Contact Details

tel: 01905 855291

Alison Reeves is a drama practitioner with a particular interest in Applied Theatre and directing. She worked with 'Language Alive', a bilingual Theatre in Education (TIE) company in Birmingham, and established links and ran workshops with The National School of Drama TIE company in New Delhi. As a founder member of 'Voicebox' TIE company, she established the Equal Voices international arts festivals which show-cased work from the Birmingham and Delhi companies. She took students back to the TIE Company in Delhi to run workshops in 2019.

Alison formerly directed plays for the MA Playwriting Studies course at the University of Birmingham and lectured in Drama in Education at Warwick University. At the University of Worcester she teaches a wide variety of modules and has continued to develop her TIE and Applied Theatre practice and research.

Alison has directed five touring TIE programmes that aim to challenge Higher Education stereotypes and raise expectations: Why Bother? (2011); Is it Worth It? (2012); It's Up to You! ( 2013 -14); Move on Up! (2014 - 16) and Nursing a Future (2016) These have been funded by the University and have employed Worcester's Drama and Performance students. It's Up to You! was presented at National Universities Week 2014 at The Natural History Museum and won a National Higher Education Liaison Officers Award (HELOA) in 2014 based on its innovative interactive approach.

Most recently she has worked with drama students to create participatory performances developing communication skills and empathy for nursing students. She has published articles and presented conference papers based on this work with Dr Sue Neilson.

In 2016 she was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in recognition of her work developing learning and teaching initiatives and is the Deputy Head for the School of Arts.


  • 2016: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 1992: University of Central England, MA Drama in Education
  • 1986: Birmingham Polytechnic, PGCE Drama
  • 1985: University of Birmingham, BA (Hons)Drama and Theatre Arts

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

Theatre and Education
Applied Theatre
Directed Public Performance
Plays, Acting and Contexts


Research Interests

Teaching Communication and Empathy through Applied Theatre

Arts and Health 

Theatre of the Oppressed


Recent Journal Articles

Neilson, Susan and Reeves, Alison (2019) The Use of a Theatre Workshop in Developing Effective Communication in Paediatric End of Life Care. Nurse Education in Practice, 36, 7-12 ISSN 1471-5953

Reeves, Alison and Neilson, S. (2018) ‘Don’t Talk Like That: It’s Not Just What You Say But How You Say It’: The Process of Developing an Applied Theatre Performance to Teach Undergraduate Nursing Students Communication Skills around Paediatric End – of – Life Care. Journal of Applied Arts and health, 9 (1) 99-111 (13) ISSN 2042457 Online 20140 -2465

Recent Conference Papers

Teaching Empathetic Practice Advance HE Conference – Northumbria University - July 2nd 2019

Khattam - Shud – The story is not completely finished IDIERI 9 – The Tyranny of Distance – University of Auckland July 5th – 10th 2018

Development of communication skills through interactive development RCN – International Nursing Research Conference – University of Birmingham April 16th – 18th 2018

It’s not what you say it’s how you say it - An Arts and Health Regeneration Project TaPRA at The University of Salford August 30th –September 1st 2017

Nursing a Future - Performing Care Symposium at The Central School of Speech and Drama - December 15th 2016

The Silent Majority: an exploration of voting software within Theatre in Education programmes - Inspiring Curiosity Conference at Belgrade Theatre Coventry - October 21st -22nd 2015

Heroism and Adventurism: Can Applied Theatre Practices give participants the experience of being the heroes and heroines of their own stories? - TaPRA at Royal Holloway University - September 3rd -5th 2014

Move on Up! - Supporting Student Learning Conference at the University of Worcester - June 19th 2014



Development and direction of Theatre in Education programmes (2011- 2016) designed to raise educational aspirations of pupils in schools and colleges.

2016                      Nursing a Future
2014/2015/2016    Move on Up!
2013/ 2014            Its Up to You!
2012                      Is it Worth It?
2011                      Why Bother?


Other Responsibilities

Board Member of C and T Theatre Company

External Examiner for BA Applied Theatre Course at Birmingham City University

Learning and Teaching Coordinator School of Arts