Dr Mark Crossley

Job: Associate Professor, Research / Reader Performing Arts

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Visual and Performing Arts

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2078131

E: mcrossley@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/arts


Key research outputs

  • Resilience, mental health and urban migrants: a narrative review
    Resilience, mental health and urban migrants: a narrative review Coope, Jonathan; Barrett, Andy; Brown, Brian J.; Crossley, Mark; Sivakami, Muthusamy; Raghavan, Raghu The purpose of this paper is to provide a narrative review of the literature on mental health resilience and other positive mental health capacities of urban and internal migrants. The methodology for this narrative review included a search of articles published up to 2017. The abstracts were screened and relevant articles studied and discussed. Literature on the particular mental health challenges of urban migrants in India was also studied. References found in the literature relating to neuro-urbanism were also followed up to explore broader historical and conceptual contexts. Several key sources and resources for mental health resilience were identified – including familial and community networks and individual hope or optimism. Nevertheless, much of the literature tends to focus at the level of the individual person, even though ecological systems theory would suggest that mental health resilience is better understood as multi-layered i.e. relevant to, and impacted by, communities and broader societal and environmental contexts. This paper provides insight into an aspect of migrant mental health that has tended to be overlooked hitherto: the mental health resilience and positive mental health capacities of urban migrants. This is particularly relevant where professional ‘expert’ mental health provision for internal migrant communities is absent or unaffordable. Previous work has tended to focus predominantly on mental health risk factors, despite growing awareness that focusing on risk factors along can lead to an over-reliance on top-down expert-led interventions and overlook positive capacities for mental health that are sometimes possessed by individuals and their communities. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Systematic review of applied theatre practice in the Indian context of mental health, resilience and well-being
    Systematic review of applied theatre practice in the Indian context of mental health, resilience and well-being Crossley, Mark; Barrett, A.; Brown, Brian J.; Coope, J.; Raghavan, Raghu This systematic review seeks to evaluate the documented uses of applied theatre practice within an Indian context. At its most particular level, the review focuses on theatre interventions within migrant slum (basti) communities and, where in evidence, the conjunction of applied theatre with research and practice from mental health and well-being, in exploring these latter issues within such communities and the level and modes of their resilience. The review also draws upon related global research to contextualise and inform the Indian context. At present, systematic reviews are not prevalent within the research fields of theatre or specifically applied theatre , yet such reviews arguably offer the breadth of objective evidence required to interrogate the efficacy of such practice. This review is therefore intended to rigorously map the existing academic research and the more diffuse online dialogues within India that are pertinent to the subject; to consider the relations, contradictions, absences and inconsistencies within this literature, and from this to articulate key findings that may be integrated into the planning and delivery of new initiatives within this field. In this regard it seeks to survey the current state of knowledge, identify problems, evaluate current theory as well as develop new theoretical paradigms.
  • Intermedial Theatre: Principles and Practice
    Intermedial Theatre: Principles and Practice Crossley, Mark This book aims to make complex ideas accessible. It offers a rigorous, yet readable, insight into key aspects of intermedial theatre principles and practices as they manifest themselves here and now in the first quarter of the 21st century, infused as it is with digital media and the new hybrid experiences this creates. Each chapter author addresses sophisticated ideas in relation to intermediality, but infused with their own experiences of making and spectating, addressing the reader directly throughout. Themes, practices and even certain productions (notably Complicite’s The Encounter) are revisited by different authors but with a new perspective each time, dependant on the focus of the chapter. The approachable analytical style is illuminated and grounded with a wide range of clear practitioner examples, selected by the chapter authors or written about by theatre-makers themselves in the final chapter. Every chapter concludes with a Practical Ideas section written by each author, offering the reader some thoughts on how to translate the concepts within the text into theatre practice.
  • Devising Theatre with Stan's Cafe
    Devising Theatre with Stan's Cafe Crossley, Mark; Yarker, James Stan’s Cafe are one of the most innovative British theatre companies, making work in Birmingham and performing across the globe since 1991. To mark the quarter of a century since they began, this book has been created to capture what underpins their collaborative style and the devising methodologies they apply. For the first time, the artistic director James Yarker, and an extensive number of company members offer their insights, with chapters focusing on key areas of the production process from ideas, to rehearsing and directing, text, space and time, performance and audience. Each chapter also includes ‘Stan in Action’ activities that readers can use to inspire their own devising. Co-authored by Mark Crossley and James Yarker, the book is a rigorous but very accessible text that will appeal to theatre makers, academics, students and a general readership interested in contemporary performance and eager to know more about a company with a rich history and a unique approach to theatre-making.
  • Editorial Introduction and Editorial Essay 'Falling between': Opportunities and challenges of intermediality
    Editorial Introduction and Editorial Essay 'Falling between': Opportunities and challenges of intermediality Chatzichristodoulou, Maria; Crossley, Mark This article frames the special issue by offering a broad reflection on the historical development of ideas that have informed debates concerning intermediality and its pedagogical contexts. It opens with a brief articulation of media and intermedial theory to inform the debate. The challenges of contemporary media hybridity are then set within an historical context by tracing the origins of current (perceived) knowledge dichotomies and hierarchies into the philosophical canons of western antiquity. In examining distinctions between the different types of knowledge and expression that form the constituent parts of contemporary intermedial theatres, the article considers philosophical debates, traces historical trajectories and probes social dynamics from Aristotle to the present. Moving on to the current historical and social context of intermedial practice and pedagogy, the article examines specific challenges and opportunities that emerge from our own intermedial age. This multifaceted and trans-historical approach leads the authors to suggest that old hierarchical and divisional structures impact upon contemporary practices, affecting how those are perceived, received and valued.
  • In Search of an Intermedial Drama Pedagogy
    In Search of an Intermedial Drama Pedagogy Crossley, Mark This essay focuses on the response of drama pedagogy to the contemporary developments in intermediality and the hybridity of media in performance contexts. Drama is becoming increasingly difficult to define as a medium as practitioners experiment with a myriad of new media, combining live and digital processes in theatre. The possibilities and tensions of this evolution have been well documented over the last forty years or more and the research field of intermedial theory has grown rapidly. What, however, are the challenges and opportunities that intermediality creates for drama pedagogy and what theories, methodologies, possibilities and concerns have been proposed to date? Has the response been concerted and wide-ranging or is this territory under explored?
  • In search of an Intermedial Pedagogy within Higher Education Drama and Performing Arts Degrees
    In search of an Intermedial Pedagogy within Higher Education Drama and Performing Arts Degrees Crossley, Mark
  • Review Theatre Topics: Bastard or Playmate: Adapting Theatre, Mutating Media and Contemporary Performing Arts, Robrecht Vanderbeeken, Christel Stalpaert, David Depestel and Boris Debackere (eds) (2012)
    Review Theatre Topics: Bastard or Playmate: Adapting Theatre, Mutating Media and Contemporary Performing Arts, Robrecht Vanderbeeken, Christel Stalpaert, David Depestel and Boris Debackere (eds) (2012) Crossley, Mark Book review
  • From LeCompte to Lepage
    From LeCompte to Lepage Crossley, Mark Intermedial practice is becoming a ubiquitous feature of contemporary theatrical performance with complex, interdependent relationships being established between live and digital media. As professional practitioners continue to extend the boundaries of this form and theoretical perspectives are constantly refreshed to respond to such work, what are the implications for pedagogy within higher education? This article seeks to consider how educational professionals within the university sector may begin to construct an ‘enabling correlation between contemporary practice and emergent intermedial theory’ so as to facilitate dynamic learning opportunities for students. This article is informed by the research undertaken within the Intermediality and Performance Research Cluster within DMU.
  • The River Flows On: Student performer engagement with the texts and methodology of Robert Lepage.
    The River Flows On: Student performer engagement with the texts and methodology of Robert Lepage. Crossley, Mark Between September 2008 and February 2009, a cohort of third year Drama Studies undergraduates at De Montfort University (DMU) in the UK adapted and then performed ‘The Seven Streams of the River Ota’ by Robert Lepage. In my capacity as a module tutor, I acted as a director for the project. The original professional production developed between 1994 and 1996 was indelibly connected to and constructed upon the individual, creative contributions of the artistic company (performers and technicians) that Lepage assembled. It is therefore, arguably, a multiple set of autobiographical narratives. By perceiving the text in this way, as a reflexive creation, it prompts several pedagogical questions: • What potential is there for student performers to find creative ownership when they are approaching the text for the first time? • Can the ‘embers’ of the written dramatic text ignite a new performance text for the students? • What teaching and learning challenges are created when undergraduate drama students are asked to navigate between written (dramatic) and devised (performance) text within one production? The aim of this paper is to illuminate and analyze these questions through the specific rehearsal process and performance case study and reflect upon the possibilities and challenges created for drama students in the intersection between an extant dramatic text of Lepage and the personalized, devising imperative of his working methodology. In particular there will be a focus on the potential for the RSVP process (see description in main text) and the concept of ‘décalage’, as used by Lepage, to be perceived as a pedagogical framework upon which students may construct ownership and authorship over their own learning and creative practice. My intention is also to highlight some of the tensions created through such a methodology that embraces indeterminacy. Note – the citations I draw upon are consciously and unapologetically centered upon texts on or by Robert Lepage (rather than works related to educational theory) as my intention, as already stated, is to offer his methodology as a pedagogical model.

Click here for a full listing of Mark Crossley's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

Intermediality, Intermedial Pedagogy, 20th Century Comedy Studies, Robert Lepage and Applied Theatre.

Areas of teaching

Contemporary British performance, intermedial performance, site specific performance, physical theatre, devised performance.


BA Special Honours Drama and Theatre Studies - Birmingham University 1989

PGCE Drama – University of Central England 1993

MRes Arts in Further Education – University of Warwick 2007

PHD Arts pedagogy - University of Warwick 2013

Courses taught

Drama Studies BA (Hons)

Performing Arts BA (Hons)

MA Performance Practices

Conference attendance

Sample of recent papers presented

Proximity and intimacy – innovative practice within special needs theatre education. Co-authored with Bamboozle Theatre Co. NYU Education Forum April 2016 (New York University USA)

‘The Rise, Fall and Rise of the Northern Comic from the 1970’s to the present day’; Salford International Comedy Conference, Salford University, June 2009

‘Would I rather be Almodovar?’ Intermedial pedagogy within UK higher education; TAPRA symposium, Sheffield University, May 2010

‘In search of an intermedial pedagogy within higher education drama and performing arts degrees’ IUTA 8th World Congress Proceedings DMU, UK June 2010

‘In between realities’: In search of an intermedial pedagogy’ TAPRA conference, University of Galmorgan Sept 2010

‘Can we ever be together in the intermedial? Thoughts (and concerns) on the shared performer experience in intermedial practice.’ TAPRA conference Sept 2011. Kingston University, UK

Internally funded research project information

DMU funding to present a paper at TAPRA 2011 and submit journal article to IJPDM.

Professional esteem indicators

Academic advisory panel for Pearson Education (Edexcel) – advising on new Drama and Theatre Studies GCSE and A Level specification (2012 – current)

Academic advisor for WJEC examination board – advising on new Drama and Theatre Studies A Level specification (2014)

Palatine (Performing Arts Learning and Teaching Innovation Network) funding application reviewer (2010 – 11)

Reviewer of Palatine grant funding proposals. Ad hoc basis 2010 – 2011

Editor – Comedy Studies journal (Routledge) 2009 onwards.

Mark Crossley

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