Professor Konstantinos Thomaidis
Associate Professor in Voice, Theatre & Performance
I am an actor, director, musician and researcher with a primary interest in voice. Since 2007, my research has focused on the cultural politics of voice pedagogy, a critique of universalist, logocentric and essentialist approaches to voice, and the development of methodologies for vocal praxis, for practising and understanding voice as emergent, processual, generative and disruptive.
I have co-founded and edit the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies and the Routledge Voice Studies book series. In 2015, I co-edited Voice Studies: Critical Approaches to Process, Performance and Experience (Routledge), a book that has been described as ‘a much-anticipated and highly useful collection of essays … enriching our understanding of vocal expression and the possibilities that a burgeoning field of voice studies has to offer’ (Twentieth-Century Music, Cambridge Journals). In 2017, I completed Theatre & Voice (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer 2017), whichs has been reviewed as marshalling 'a near encyclopaedic knowledge of artistic practice and history' (Journal of Contemporary Drama in English), and in 2019, I co-edited a volume on Time and Performer Training (Routledge 2019). Since 2018, my research on voice revolves around the notion of 'listening back' and specifically methodologies of vocal autobiography (autobiophony) and retrieving voices considered irrevocably lost (vocal archaeology).
Alongside voice, my main research interests are performer training, sound-based theatres, movement for actors and site-specific performance. For my academic work, I was shortlisted for the Early Career Researcher Prize of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) in 2019 and the Excellence in Editing Award for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) in 2020.
I have worked as an actor, director, choreographer and musician in Greece, Poland, Germany, the UK and the US. Recent positions have included: Head of Movement for Opera in Sapce (London; ACE-funded), Associate Artist of Experience Vocal Dance Company (NYC & London) and core member of Waving not Drowning (Grotowski Institute, Poland & London). I am the Artistic Director of Adrift Performance Makers.
• Embodied politics of voicing, physiovocal training, intersectional approaches to voice (particularly ethnicity, race, age, gender, ability & voice)
• Vocal autobiography, vocal archaeology, vocal heritage, listening back
• Interdisciplinary voice studies, philosophies of the voice, voice ethnography, methodologies of vocal research, vocal practice-as-research
• Performer training in the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on Grotowskian and post-Grotowskian practices
• Physical theatre, movement for actors, dance theatres, peripatetic performance
• Greek theatre (sonic dramaturgy, acoustics, training for and directing Greek performance)
• Performance studies, transnational and cross-cultural performance
• Devised music theatre, site-specific opera, and sound-based dramaturgy
• International theatre, with an emphasis on Greece, Poland and South Korea
Alongside Ben Macpherson (University of Portsmouth) and Amanda Smallbone (University of Winchester), I am the joint founder and convenor of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, a cross-institutional initiative designed to foster the development of voice studies as an interdisciplinary and international field. Alongside a series of publications, since 2013, the Centre has hosted a variety of events, such as a symposium on ‘The Philosophy and Praxis of Voice,’ the 2014 TaPRA interim event ‘The Voice of Training,’ and workshops with invited practitioners (including Royal Shakespeare Company Head of Voice & Text Lyn Darnley).
In 2016-17, I collaborated with Virginie Magnat (University of British Columbia) on the special issue Voicing Belonging: traditional Singing in a Globalized World. As an outcome of this collaboration, I co-organised the joint UBC/Exeter symposium 'Culture, Creativity & Wellbeing' (University of Exeter, 2018). The project developed into the Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-being (2019-2021), funded by a UBC Eminence Grant and the Wellcome Centre.
I am interested in hearing from students exploring the intersections of voice, sound and performance studies and in supervising work in any area related to my research interests. If you wish to discuss a potential doctoral project, feel free to contact me via email (email@example.com), attaching a short (400-500 words) proposal and a CV. I am equally interested in thesis-focused and practice-based projects.
In the past, I have supervised a practice-as-research PhD on anti-logocentric somatic training for actors (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London) and examined PhDs on actor training for contemporary opera singers (Portsmouth), sacred performance (Exeter), the use of the microphone in classical singing (Newcastle, Australia) and inclusive breathing pedagogies for Shakespeare (South Wales).
I am currently first supervisor for:
- Francesco Bentivegna’s research project on theatre and synthetic/artifical voices
- Faye Rigopoulou's research project on the ageing female voices in musical theatre
- Sophia Edlund's research project on voicing humanimal thelxis
- Sarah Holden-Boyd's research project on weight-lifting and voice training
- Chinasa Vivian's Ezugha's research project on glossolalic performance
and second supervisor:
Howl Yuan's research project on contemporay performance and dark tourism.
I have facilitated successful applications of current PhDs to the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust and the David Cawthra Memorial Fund.
Research through practice
I have contributed to more than 40 professional productions, from text-based theatre and opera to site-specific dance and sound installations.
A selection related to my research interests and publications:
2021, Collaborating Expert, Ichneutai, Sophocles, Dir. Mikhail Marmarinos, Epidaurus and Odeion Herodou Attikou.
2021, Voice Coach, Ajax, Sophocles, Dir. Simos Kakalas, Athens Festival.
2020-2021, Music Director, Choir Coach & Lyrics Translator, The Events, David Greig, Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera (& 8 State Theatres in Greece).
2017-20, Actor/Director, A Voice Is. A Voice Has. A Voice Does., Adrift Performance Makers, Norwegian Theatre Academy, University of Portsmoutha and Exeter Drama (ongoing tour).
2019-2020, Voice Coach, Moor Voices, MED Theatre, Dartmoor, UK (ACE-funded).
2018, Director/Conductor, An Ongoing Choir, Adrift Performance Makers, Drama 50th Celebration, University of Exeter.
2018, Movement DIrector, Liederkreis by Schumann, Opera in Space, The Bussey Building, London, UK.
2017, Actor (Chorus), Heracles: Chorus and Space, dir. Mikhail Marmarinos, Ancient Greek Theatre Lab of the National Theatre of Greece, Delphi, Greece.
2016, Actor (The Fool), King Lear: Composition, with Filareti Komninou, Theatro Technis, Athens, Greece [Part of the Shakespeare All-Nighter].
2016, Interactive Theatre, Artistic Director, Few, Happily Few, Theatro Technis, Athens, Greece.
2015-16, Director and Dramaturge (with Natalia Theodoridou), Portable Soundscapes: An Acoustic Travelogue, Adrift Performance Makers, NTR, UK.
2015, Movement Director, The Shadow and the Snake by N. Theodoridou, Dir. Komno Krikelikou, Schema Ektos Axona, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2015, Immersive Opera, Movement Director and Dancer, Stabat Mater by G.B. Pergolesi, Opera in Space, St Johns Museum, London, and Acoustic Isle Festival, Ryde, Isle of Wight.
2014, Opera, Movement Director and Performer, Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell, Dir. Richard Pyros, Opera in Space, Kings Place, London.
2014, Opera/Devised Theatre, Director, Stabat Mater: Fragments by G. B. Pergolesi, Opera in Space, St Luke’s Hall, London [the showing opened Chelsea Arts Collective]
2013, Immersive Opera, Movement Director, Hansel and Gretel by E. Humperdinck, Dir. Richard Pyros, Opera in Space, The Bussey Building, London [Arts Council Funded]
2013, Opera, Dancer and Choreographer, Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell, Dir. Richard Pyros, Opera in Space, The Bussey Building, London [Arts Council Funded]
2012, Theatre, Actor (Hamlet), Ophelia, Interrupted, Dir. Andrei Biziorek [Residency at the Grotowski Institute, Poland, December 2011 and May 2013; performances in St Peter’s Church, Belsize Park, The Space, Ovalhouse Theatre, Clarence Mews, The Albert and The Studio Theatre in London, and The Grotowski Institute, Brzezinka, Poland May 2012-July 2013]
2012, Theatre, Movement Director and Actor (Don Perlimplin), Don Perlimplin and Belisa by F.G. Lorca, Dir. Komno Krikelikou, Theatre Ora, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2011, Vocal Theatre, Performer, The Feral Choir, Dir. Phil Minton, Barbican, London.
2011, Physical Theatre, Performer, The Present of Things Past, Dir. Andrei Biziorek, Rag Factory, London
2011, Opera, Director, Movement Director and Dancer, The Semele Project-Version2 by G.F. Handel, Opera in Space, St Peter’s Church-Streatham Festival, London [East Dene on the Isle of Wight; Mica Moca Project, Berlin; Georgian Society, London; Quay Arts Centre, IoW; Herstmonceux Castle, July 2011-September 2012]
2011, Theatre/Production Workshop, Movement Director, The Rise and Fall of Gestures Drama by Peter Greenaway, Hightide Productions, London.
2011, Opera, Movement Director, Semele by G.F. Handel, Opera in Space, Georgian Group, London.
2010, Physical Theatre, Performer, What Happened to the Tyrant?, Dir. Goze Saner. CPT, London.
2009, Vocal Theatre, Performer, The Feral Choir, Dir. Phil Minton, Tate Britain, London.
2009, Dance, Performer, The Finger Project, Chor. Donald Hutera, The Place, London.
2009, Physical Theatre, Performer, Can’t you Come Back, Mom?, Dir. Natasha Georgiou, Cleio Theatre, Thessaloniki, Greece.
2009, Physical Theatre (MA exams), Performer, How to Understand People, Chor. Josh Ward, Boilerhouse Theatre-RHUL, Egham.
2009, Installation, Performer and Member of the Construction Team, Scattered Crowd by William Forsythe, Sadler’s Wells, Midland Goods Shed, London.
2009, Vocal Dance, Movement Collaborator, Lied und Tanz, Chor. Experience Bryon, 92ndY, NYC.
2008-09, Theatre, Performer, Chi Chi Bunichi, Dir. Daphna Attias, UK tour, various venues in Poland and National Theatre of Iasi, Romania (ACE and RVH-funded)
2008, Vocal Dance, Performer, Return by David Wolfson, Dir. Experience Bryon, Embassy Studio, London.
2008, Physical Theatre, Performer and Co-devisor, Atopos, The Dendrites Company, Cockpit Theatre, Newington Dance Space and CPT, London.
2007/08, Physical Theatre, Performer and Co-devisor, A Gaze that Scours the Landscape, Dir. Libby Worth, UK tour and International Festival of Debrecen, Romania.
2005-06, Theatre, Performer, Tzitzimitzichotziria by Stella Michailidou, Dir. Stella Michailidou, Peiramatiki Skini tis Technis, Thessaloniki, Greece.
You can read about Chi Chi Bunichi in The Londnonist, Dido and Aeneas in The Guardian and A Younger Theatre and Hansel and Gretel in TimeOut. I gave several intereviews (in Greek) on my MD work for The Events, including The Huffington Post and Athinorama.
Contribution to discipline
Founding co-convenor of the Centre of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, 2013-present
Founding co-editor of the Journal of interdisciplinary Voice Studies (Intellect) 2015-present
Founding co-editor of the Routledge Voice Studies book series, 2015-present
Co-convenor of the Performer Training Working Group at the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA), 2013-2016
TaPRA Execuitive Committee (Working Group Co-Ordinator), 2016-2019
Founding co-convenor of the Sound, Voice and Music Working Group at TaPRA, 2018-2020
Member of the first iteration of the Nordic Network of Vocal Performance Research, 2016-present
Member of the research team for the Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-being, 2019-present
Founding member of the Therino Manteio Ancient Greek Drama Workhsop (Dodoni, Greece), 2018-2020.
Since 2017, I have taught in the following modules:
- Staging the Text DRA2067
- Voice Theatres DRA3091 (also convenor; nominated in the category of Most Innovative Teaching, Teaching Awards 2018)
- Voice for the Actor DRA2086 (also convenor)
- Practitioners in Context DRA1009 (also co-convenor)
- Contemporary Performance Practices DRAM136 (also co-convenor)
I obtained an Integrated MA in Drama & Theatre (Distinction) from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. As part of the 5-year, full-time programme, I followed the Acting Pathway and trained with leading actors and directors in Ancient Greek theatre, Method acting, Stanislavski-based acting, acting for film, folk storytelling, physical theatre and speech training for Greek drama. I then received a MA in Physical Theatre and Performance (Distinction) from Royal Holloway University of London, where I trained in the methodologies of Gardzienice, Feldenkrais and Anna Halprin. At Royal Holloway, I also completed my Ph.D. thesis on the intersections of voice and body in intercultural pedagogies of singing, supervised by Ali Hodge, David Williams and David Wiles.
I have trained further with Gardzienice, the Grotowski Institute, Piesn Kozla/Song of the Goat, Odin Teatret, Experience Vocal Dance (NYC/London), the National Theatre of Greece, and the National Gugak Center (Seoul, South Korea). Always curious about training, I have participated in a number of workshops and masterclasses with artists such as Anne Bogart/SITI Theatre Company, Theodoros Terzopoulos/Attis Theatre, Anatoly Vasiliev, Punchdrunk, Fiona Shaw, Jatinder Verma/Tara-Arts, Valère Novarina, Michel Chion, Complicite, Body Weather Amsterdam, Jasmin Vardimon, Frantic Assembly, Improbable, Helen Chadwick Song Theatre and Anne-Lise Gabold, among others.
Between 2008 and 2013, I taught at Royal Holloway University of London and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and I was part of the team that developed and taught the first iteration of the BA Vocal and Choral Studies at the University of Winchester. Before joining the Drama Department at the University of Exeter, I was Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Portsmouth (2013-2016). I have also been invited to teach for the BA European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford, the MA Performance Training at the University of Plymouth, the MA Applied Theatre at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, the MA Physical Theatre and Theatre Pedagogy at the Estonian Academy of Theatre and Music, Tallinn, Estonia, the GEOKS Centre in Bali, Indonesia, and the Norwegian Theatre Academy. I have also taught voice for open-air Greek theatre at the Anicent Theatre of Dodoni, as part of the 'Therino Manteio' workshop (Ioannina, Greece, 2018 and 2019) and sonic dramaturgy and voice for directors for the Drama School of the National Theatre Of Greece.
I have presented my research at IFTR, ATHE, TaPRA, Song Stage Screen, and other international conferences. Between 2013 and 2016, I convened the Performer Training Working Group at TaPRA, alongside Mark Evans and Libby Worth, and from 2016 to 2019, I currently sat at the Executive Committee of TaPRA as the Working Group Coordinator. In 2018, I co-founded the Sound, Voice & Music Working Group of the association and co-convened it until 2020 with Adrian Curtin and Leah Broad.
I have co-founded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Voice Studies, the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies and the Routledge Voice Studies book series. My research has received various awards and grants by the A. Onassis Foundation, the Leventis Foundation and the Greek Scientific Society. For my body of work in establishing interdisciplinary voice studies, I was shortlisted for the TaPRA Early Career Research Prize (2019) and, for the Special Issue 'What is New in Voice Training?', I received the Honorable Mention for Excellence in Editing Award by ATHE (2020). My teaching has been nominated in the categories of Excellent Feedback (2014, Portsmouth) and Innovation (2018, Exeter).
As a practitioner, I have been involved in more than 40 performances, including: Dido and Aeneas, Hansel and Gretel, Stabat Mater, Liederkreis and Semele for Opera in Space (choreographer, director & performer; national and international tours; twice funded by the ACE), The Present of Things Past, Whilst this Machine Floats and Ophelia, Interrupted for Waving not Drowning (performer; various venues in London and The Grotowski Institute, Poland), Return and Lied und Tanz for Experience Vocal Dance (performer and assistant choreographer; London and 92Y, NYC), Chi Chi Bunichi (performer; national and international tour; funded by ACE), The Finger Project (dancer; The Place, London), and Phil Minton's Feral Choir (Barbican and Tate Britain, London). In Greece, I have collaborated with the Greek Festival, the Greek National Opera, Opera of Thessaloniki, Peiramatiki Skini of 'Techni', Theatro Technis Karolos Koun and 8 Regional Theatres across the country. I am the Artistic Director of Adrift Performance Makers.