Karen Morash is the Lead Academic Tutor for the online BA Theatre Studies at Rose Bruford College. She completed a PhD at Goldsmiths (where she also lectured), focusing on the role of the playwright within the collaborative devising process.
Karen has worked as a producer and dramaturg in various capacities, including with Head for Heights (headforheights.org.uk), the theatre company she founded with Sue Dunderdale and Prof. Catherine Boyle. The company produces work in translation, using a unique collaborative process, with a specialism in work from South America. She is also an award-winning writer, whose performance and poetry work has featured on number of London fringe stages and festivals, including the Southwark Playhouse, Cockpit Theatre and the New Diorama, and within publications including Room, Bare Fiction, Understorey, Literary Mama, the Live Canon Anthology 2018-2019 and others.
Karen’s area of expertise centres on Theatre Studies.
She teaches on the DMTA (Design, Management and Technical Arts) courses teaching students about personal artistry; practice in context; research skills; and guidance on creative projects and supervises independent research projects.
Goldsmiths, PhD ‘An Investigation into How Engagement with the Context and Processes of Collaborative Devising Affects the Praxis of the Playwright: A Practice-as-Research PhD’, 2018.
MA Text and Performance (RADA/King’s College London)
PGCE English and Drama (University of Cambridge)
BA (Hons) English and History (University of King’s College)
Karen’s recent poetry has appeared in Raceme; Gyroscope; Atrium; Apex Poetry; Spelt; Ink, Sweat & Tears; Room; Understorey and anthologies including Welcome to Britain; Songs of Love & Strength; Live Canon Anthology 2019 and 2018. She was longlisted for the 2023 National Poetry Prize, shortlisted twice for the Live Canon International Prize, and won first prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly competition.
In 2022, Karen worked on Another Time This Time – an AHRC project on Experiential Translation where she was brought on to direct and dramaturg before transitioning to a researcher and lead on the project.
Currently, Karen is open to approaches for PhD supervision in broad areas related to play/performance writing (including pedagogical approaches to); dramaturgy; twentieth-century/twenty-first century British theatre; feminist theatre; collaborative devising practice. She is particularly keen to supervise potential practice research projects.
Karen is the Dramaturg and Company Director for the Head for Heights Theatre Company
She also serves on the Board of Directors for Zuppa Theatre Company
‘Devising in an Online Space’, presented at SCUDD conference (online) 2020.
‘Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater: The Position of the Playwright within the Discourse on Practice-as-Research’ presented at Creative Practice in the Age of Neo-Liberalism conference, University of Bedfordshire, 2018.
‘The Forgotten History of Playwriting Manuals (1888-1936)’, International Federation for Theatre Research Conference, Belgrade, 2018.
‘Acting Unpleasantly: Why harassment is so common in theatre’ for The Conversation, 2017.
‘The Never-Ending Search for a Suitable Workspace: Becoming an Academic-Artist-Parent’, presented at the BeComing Academic Conference, University of Sussex, 2017.
‘The Silent Playwright: Strategies for Holistic Performance’ presented at the Sociology of Theatre and Performance Research Group’s ‘Silent Voices’ colloquium, Goldsmiths 2016.
‘The Director’s Writer: Bryony Lavery’ presented at Birmingham City University’s ‘Contemporary British Theatre: Towards a New Canon’ international conference, 2010.
‘Dancing on a Knife’s Edge: Performing Violent Co-Dependency in Bryony Lavery and Frantic Assembly’s Stockholm’, in Dramaturgy of Sex on Stage in Contemporary Theatre, edited by Kate Mulley, Routledge, upcoming 2024.
‘When You Don’t Speak the Language: the role of the Dramaturg in collaborative translation’ in Translation in the Performing Arts, edited by Enza de Francisci and Cristina Marinetti, Routledge, upcoming 2024.
‘Bryony Lavery: Nerves of Steel and a Forgiving Heart’, in Women, Collective Creation, and Devised Performance, edited by Kathryn Mederos Syssoyeva and Scott Proudfit, Palgrave, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55013-2_13
Twenty-First Century Drama: What Happens Now’ in Platform 12 (2), 2018 https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/media/8411/11_bookreviews.pdf
‘Contemporary Women Playwrights: into the Twenty-First Century’, in NTQ, 31 (1), 2015 www.doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X15000123
‘Resituating the Writer’s Workshop: Collective Strategies for Playwriting Pedagogy’ in Critical Stages 26, December 2022 https://www.critical-stages.org/26/resituating-the-writers-workshop-collective-strategies-for-playwriting-pedagogy/
‘Playwriting Manuals, 1888-1925: Jerome K. Jerome, Alfred Hennequin, Agnes Platt, and Moses Malevinsky’ in NTQ 38 (4), 2022 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X22000264
‘Teaching Writing for Performance Online: Dynamic Approaches to the Online Workshop’, in BST (Body, Space & Technology) 21, 2022 https://www.bstjournal.com/article/id/8040/
Karen takes interest in Pedagogical practices for playwrights; the work of Caryl Churchill and Bryony Lavery; writing/dramaturgy within devising processes; online pedagogy and performance; late twentieth-century/early twenty-first-century British playwriting. She is also interested in approaches to neurodivergent teaching practices as well as alternative pedagogies in playwriting.