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Photo of Dr Evelyn O

Dr Evelyn O'Malley

Senior Lecturer


01392 724776

I joined the department of drama at Exeter in 2016, having worked as a lecturer in theatre at Falmouth University.

My research interests are within the environmental humanities, with current projects looking at weathering as performance and climate in the theatre. My monograph Weathering Shakespeare: Audiences and Open-Air Performance (2020) appears in Bloomsbury Academic's Environmental Cultures series. With Prof. Randall Martin, I co-edited a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin on Eco-Shakespeare in Performance and I am contributing practice-research to the SSHRC Cymbeline in the Anthropocene project. 

I am currently principal investigator on a Covid-19 rapid response project funded by the AHRC Outside the Box: Open Air Performance as a Pandemic Response, with Prof. Cathy Turner (Drama) and Prof. Tim Coles (Business). The project works with civic partners in Exeter and artists across the UK to identify spaces that might be used safely for innovative open-air performance, aligned with the environmental aspiration to Build Back Better in the cultural recovery. 

I am also leading an AHRC engagement project on Singing and Dancing in the Rain: Climate Change as Youth Musical Theatre, collaborating with young people from Doorstep Arts, Torbay and scientists from the Met Office for COP26. 

I am also co-investigator on an AHRC-funded project, Atmospheric Theatre: Open-Air Performance and the Environment, led by Dr. Chloe Preedy (English), which investigates how attending an open-air dramatic performance might influence playgoers' awareness of their aerial environment. As part of this project we are co-editing a special issue of Performance Reserach journal 'On Air.'

I was recently co-investigator on the interdisciplinary NERC-funded Climate Stories project, led by Prof. Peter Stoff (MET Office Hadley Centre/ Mathematics) using storytelling approaches to science communication with climate scientists and meteorologists.

I am working on two projects about the sea on an ongoing basis. The first, 'Taking the Ferry', concerns the performance of the Irish sea between Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead as a site for women’s abortion journeys. An article titled 'Taking the Ferry: performing queasy affects through Irish abortion travel in Thorny Island and My Name is Saoirse' was published in Contemporary Theater Review (2019). The second project, 'Dancing as the tide comes in', is an ongoing project that considers what it means to keep dancing in response to global sea-level rise, thinking through questions of identity, heritage, and diaspora since the Brexit referendum in the UK in 2016. 

I trained in musical theatre at the Arts Educational Schools, London. Practice continues to inform my research and teaching. I am from a place called Baile an Bhóthair (the town on the road) in Dublin, Ireland and now cycle Exeter's roads with toddler on the handlebars. 

Research through practice

Working with the Willow Globe and University of Exeter Drama students, I am contributing to Randall Martin's Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project Cymbeline in the Anthropocene, with participants around the world. 

External impact and engagement

External impact and engagement


Contribution to discipline

I am on the editorial board for The Routledge Theatre & Performance Series in Audience Research. 

I have served as peer reviewer for publishers and journals such as Palgrave, Shakespeare Bulletin andStudies in Theatre and Performance.