Dr Sian Rees

Dr Sian Rees

Lecturer Acting and Performance

  • Academic
  • Research
Dr Sian Rees

Dr Sian Rees works in the Acting & Performance department. Sian is a lecturer, researcher, and theatre practitioner with particular interest in engaging with interdisciplinary Practice-as-Research projects which relate to Theatrical Dissent.

Dr Sian Rees


Sian joined UCA in 2018. Prior to this she was engaged in an AHRC funded Practice-as Research PhD at Goldsmiths University. Previously, she completed an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. and graduated from Exeter University in Drama.

Sian also has varied industry experience, having worked as a performer, theatre-maker, director and dramaturg; engaging in a range of political performances, new writing projects, site-specific works, immersive projects, and digital artworks.

Research statement

Sian completed her AHRC funded Practice-as-Research PhD at Goldsmiths University in 2018, which explored Theatrical Dissent and examined the efficacy of performance in contemporary political protest. It paid particular attention to guerrilla performance interventions, play as a mode of resistance and liberation of space, time, and imagination in the creation of Temporary Autonomous Zones. She is experienced in creating Practice-as-Research projects and for her PhD created a performance which consisted of an audio walk, live encounters with performers, pervasive gaming, and a theatricalized intervention inspired by the folkloric practice of Rough Music.

Her current research interests are in further exploring iterations of Theatrical Dissent, particularly in response to the ‘post-truth’ era.

  • November 2018: ‘Performative Objects: Theatricalizing Dissent and Disrupting Power’, King’s College, London (Action: Arrest, Performance, Protest, and the Law symposium).
  • November 2017: ‘Pervasive Gaming as Resistance’ Exeter University (Liberating Arts Conference).
  • July 2016, ‘Practice as Research: Play as a Mode of Resistance’, Warwick University (Performing Politics/Politicising Performance Conference).
  • November 2015, ‘Don’t Keep Calm. Reclaiming Austerity Politics through Theatre and Folklore’, Manchester University (Making Theatre in the Midst of Austerity Conference).
  • September 2015, ‘“Adventure is Addictive”. Destabilising, Dismantling and Reframing through the Art of Play’, King’s College, London (Techniques of Art and Protest Conference)
  • March 2015, ‘Collaborating, Participating and Celebrating the ‘Local’ in a Tallinn Fun Palace’, Nordic Summer University, Tallinn, Estonia (Exploring the Local through Artistic Research Conference).   
  • February 2015, ‘Declaring War upon the British Public: the Impact of the Cultural Staging of Austerity’, Goldsmiths University (Sites of War Conference).
  • December 2014 , ‘Prefiguration at Burning Man. Fleeting Intimations of a Better World?’, Manchester University (Prefiguration in Contemporary Activism conference).
  • May 2014, ‘Rough Music, a Folk Theatre of Cruelty or an Obnoxious Game?’ Goldsmiths University (Vision and Articulation Graduate conference).                                                                          

Rees, S. (2018) ‘Fun Palaces as a Radical Laboratory of Fun. Examining the Politics behind the Participation and Celebration of the ‘Local’ in Fun Palaces’. In Being There: Exploring the Local Through Artistic Research. Aarhus: NSU Press.

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

  • AHRC Studentship (Goldsmiths University), Glynne Wickham Scholarship (SCUDD),
  • Research Training Support Grant (Goldsmiths University), IdeasTap Award for Brighton Fringe Festival (2013 and 2014).