Pascale Aebischer is Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Performance Studies at the University of Exeter. Her research concentrates on performances using a range of media, with a particular focus in recent years on digital performance and theatre broadcasts. It is this expertise and her involvement with stakeholders in the theatre industry that made it possible for her to lead the first AHRC-funded Covid-19 project on Digital Theatre Transformation: A Case Study and Digital Toolkit for Small to Mid-scale Theatres in England from June to October 2020. The project concentrated on sharing the learning made from the digital transformation of Creation Theatre (Oxford) and Big Telly (Northern Ireland) at the start of the first Pandemic Lockdown. Working with the companies, representatives from Equity, and the audiences of the shows, the project team produced a set of guidelines for performers and a digital toolkit for use by academic and small-scale theatre companies in the UK and the US as they find new ways of working using digital platforms. Pascale Aebischer’s most recent books are Shakespeare, Spectatorship and the Technologies of Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and the co-edited Shakespeare and the ‘Live’ Theatre Broadcast Experience (Bloomsbury, 2018).
Des Fitzgerald is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Exeter, based at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. Working across the medical humanities and Science and Technology Studies, his work examines new developments in the psychological and brain sciences. He has written on the autism spectrum, urban neuroscience, mind-wandering, interdisciplinarity, and green space, among other topics. He is the author of Rethinking Interdisciplinarity Across the Social Sciences and Neurosciences (with Felicity Callard; Palgrave, 2015); Tracing Autism (University of Washington Press, 2017); and The Urban Brain (with Nikolas Rose; Princeton University Press, 2022).
Sarah Hartley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter where she researches science and technology governance. She is a qualitative social scientist studying efforts to open up governance to new actors through case studies involving global health, sustainable agriculture and conservation. Current research explores the governance of gene drive technology and has she has several projects funded by the British Academy and Wellcome exploring collaboration in gene drive development and risk governance in Africa, North America, Australia and Europe. She publishes in a wide variety of journals including Social Science and Medicine; Environmental Science and Policy; Science; Journal of European Public Policy; Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences; Science, Technology, & Human Values; and the Malaria Journal. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Responsible Innovation (ranked 3/55 in Ethics and 2/48 in History & Philosophy of Science) and has a PhD in Politics and Environmental Studies (University of Toronto).
Victoria Tischler is Associate Professor in Public Health, Sustainability and Environment at the University of Exeter. She is a chartered psychologist with expertise in interdisciplinary research, teaching and public engagement. She has expertise in working with those who have lived experience of illness and socio-economic deprivation, through collaboration with stakeholder groups for example people living with dementia, those from BAME populations. She is PI on the AHRC-funded Covid-19 rapid response project Using multisensory culture boxes to promote public health guidance and to support the wellbeing of people with dementia in care homes, which is using Participatory Action Research to co- design, remotely deliver and test public health and creative activities for people with dementia in care homes across England during the pandemic. She has received specialist media training from the British Psychological Society and has appeared regularly as a commentator on the connections between creativity and health e.g., on Antiques Roadshow Detectives, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 One to One and the Digital Human. She will use her skillset to commission and produce webinars and blogs with a focus on medical and health humanities, to facilitate a Lived Experience (LE) panel that co-designs project outputs with those who have direct, lived experience of the pandemic, and to support creative dissemination of the project.
Benedict Morrison is a director, writer, editor, actor, and Lecturer in literature, film, television, and queer studies at the University of Exeter. He has collaborated on work that has been shown on the BBC, as well as at the Venice Biennale, the Berlin Film Festival, and the London Film Festival. In 2021, he is taking over directorship of the international LOCO London Comedy Film Festival at the British Film Institute. He will produce the film outputs for our communication campaign.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Rachael Nicholas is the Postdoctoral Research Associate on the project. She has research expertise in digital theatre, audience response, and the creative industries. Her PhD (University of Roehampton) investigated the ways that audiences engage with digitally-distributed Shakespeare performance and she was previously PDRA on the AHRC-funded Covid-19 project Digital Theatre Transformation: A Case Study and Digital Toolkit for Small to Mid-scale Theatres in England.
Garth Davies is the University of Exeter’s Head of Press and Public Affairs, a former senior press officer in Downing Street and Government Communication Service Professional who also worked in the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, Department of Health & Social Care and NHS. Garth Davies will provide overarching communications advice and guidance on the project.