Staff Directory

Ruth Shade known as Dr Ruth Shade

Ruth shade ynu 295x300

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Qualifications

PhD; MA; Dip Rose Bruford College; QTS; registered with the General Teaching Council of Wales

About

Dr Ruth Shade was born and brought up in the south Wales Valleys. She trained as an actor and Drama teacher at one of the UK’s top Drama Schools, before becoming a lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Dance in Further Education colleges in London and the south east of England. She was Head of Drama and Dance at a tertiary college in Hampshire. She has also been the artistic director of a medium-scale, professional, touring venue, and a Drama advisory teacher. She has directed more than fifty theatre productions, including large-scale community theatre projects and musical theatre. She moved into Higher Education and was a university lecturer in the West Midlands, becoming Course Leader in Drama and Theatre, Principal Lecturer in Drama, and Head of Drama and Performance. She has an MA in Drama; and a PhD, whose subject is contemporary, professional, English-language theatre practice in Wales.
Ruth has presented at numerous conferences and published widely on the subject of performance, including stand-up comedy and rock music. She is the author of the book Communication Breakdowns: Theatre, Performance, Rock Music and Some Other Welsh Assemblies (University of Wales Press). She has been an external examiner at BA, MA and PhD levels. Having returned to the Cynon Valley, she taught Drama in Valleys’ secondary schools, while developing her stand-up comedy material. She was a finalist in a Wales-wide stand-up comedy competition in 2011. She became Academic Development Coordinator for UHOVI in 2011. In 2013, she took over as Associate Director of HE for Coleg Gwent, before being appointed as Associate Head of the School of Drama and Music, FCI. She enjoys travel (and won a national travel-writing competition), gardening, writing (she was a finalist in a BBC radio playwriting competition), and listening to rock music turned up to 11.

Responsibilities

Ruth is Associate Head of the School of Drama and Music

Publications

2013

September: TaPRA Conference, Glasgow, joint research paper: Passing the parcel – a comparative exploration of HE training for stand-up comedy and popular music performance.

March: guest lecture/presentation to MMus students at Bath Spa University:
The lost encomium: Robert Plant and the song that has not remained
the same.

2010
May: panel speaker at the University of Salford/MMU International Comedy Conference with a paper entitled: The bitch bites back: women, profanity, and the tyranny of bourgeois morality.

2009
October: paper entitled: The bonus of laughter: comedy, clowning and the subversive power of playfulness for the inaugural event of the new British Institute of Humour Studies (AHRC funded), University of Surrey.

September: University of Wolverhampton, School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure, Graduation Ceremony at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Encomium for Frank Skinner.

September: Cardiff, University of Glamorgan, Symposium on Welsh media and culture: ‘What’s Occurring?, paper: There’s a crack in my plate: Welsh women in comedy.

June: Roehampton University, London, ‘Teaching Stand-Up Comedy to Undergraduates’, a one-day symposium organised by PALATINE, paper: Values, mindsets, bias and personal preference: assessing and grading stand-up comedy.

February: ‘Playing for Laughs’, Leicester De Montfort University conference (part of the Leicester International Comedy Festival), paper: Take my mother-in-law: ‘old bags’, comedy and the socio-cultural construction of the older woman.

January: University of Wolverhampton, School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure annual school research conference, paper: Take my mother-in-law: ‘old bags’, comedy and the socio-cultural construction of the older woman.

2007 University of Wolverhampton, School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure, External Examiners’ Event, paper: Geting students’ to wright more betterer.

2006 University of Wolverhampton, School of Sports, Performing Arts and Leisure, External Examiners’ Event, paper: Values, mindsets, bias and personal preference: some observations about department/external examiner relationships.

2000 Centre for Performance Research, Aberystwyth, ‘Restless Gravity’ conference, key-note speaker in the ‘State of the Nation’ debate on theatre in Wales.

2000 University of Hull, international conference on Image and Identity, paper: Valley girls: reconfiguring the dramatic representation of Welsh ‘mams’
and ‘slags’.

1998 Gregynog (University of Wales Research Centre), paper: Methodology, theatre studies and the academy.

1996 University of Wales, Aberystwyth, paper on the Arts Council of Wales: Panopticism and Welsh theatre practice.

Publications

2010: (Feb) ‘Take My Mother-in-Law: ‘old bags’, comedy and the socio-cultural construction of the older woman’, Comedy Studies journal, Bristol: Intellect Books, ISSN 2040-610X.

2004: Publication of my book Communication Breakdowns: Theatre, Performance, Rock Music and Some Other Welsh Assemblies, Cardiff: UWP.

2003: Essay on the Manic Street Preachers’ production of a new play about the Iraq war, by Patrick Jones, at the ICA in London in The New Welsh Review (No.62, Winter 2003).

‘Living on the Frontiers: Emlyn Williams’, Planet: the Welsh Internationalist (Aberystwyth: Berw Cyf), No. 150, December 2001/January 2002, pp. 105-107.

‘Valley Girls: Theatre’s Welsh ‘Mams’ and ’Slags’’, Planet, No. 146, April/May 2001, pp. 11-20.

‘Direct Activists: the Roots of Welsh Rock Music’, Planet, No. 145, Feb/March 2001, pp. 25 -36.

A section on Catatonia in the Book Review 2000, Planet, No.144, January 2001.

‘Revisiting the ‘Athens of Wales’: Aberdare, Theatre and Disenfranchisement’, article on theatre in Aberdare and the south Wales Valleys for Planet, No. 141, June/July 2000, pp. 65-70.

‘Plays in Transition’, review of three plays by Ian Rowlands, Planet, No. 142, August/September 2000, pp.103-104.

‘The March of Progress: the Arts Council of Wales’s Drama Strategy’, Planet: the Welsh Internationalist, No. 139 (Aberystwyth: Berw Cyf, Feb/March 2000), pp. 54-58.

1997, ‘Who’s Paying for All This?’ (an article on the Arts Council of Wales) for the Theatre in Wales web site.

Drama: The Journal of National Drama, (ND Publications) book reviews of:

The Cambridge Guide To Asian Theatre (Vol. 2, No. 2, 1994), p. 26.

Shakespeare’s Caliban: A Cultural History (Vol. 2, No. 1, 1993), p. 24.

The Tale of Four Dervishes (Vol. 1, No. 2, 1993), p. 29.

Essay on Greece and Turkey, ‘Finding Yourself In Greece’, Cosmopolitan, June 1989, pp. 158-160.

‘Female Parts: One Woman Plays’, Gambit International Theatre Review, Vol. 10, No. 38 (London: John Calder, 1981), pp. 137-139.

(See also in the same edition, ‘Focus On Theatre Underground’, pp. 147-164, for a review of my work as an actor.)

Several essays for Gambit on playwright Howard Barker and also book reviews:-

‘All Passion Is a Risk’, Gambit International Theatre Review, Vol. 11, No. 41 (London: John Calder, 1984), pp.101-109.

Notes for Landmark by Steve Gooch (Essex: Theatre Action Press/Pluto Press, 1982), pp. i-xv.

Research

Research Interests:

• Subversiveness and risk-taking in popular culture.
• Class relationships: theatre practices and the working-classes – e.g. the ‘popular’ and working-class performance traditions.
• Storytelling and performance.
• Female comedians and performers in popular culture.
• Welsh (English-language) performance practices.
• The role of games, play and clowning in improvisation.
• Stand-up comedy and comedic performance.

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