Mark Shields

Mark Shields


I am currently a full-time postgraduate researcher and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, specialising in actor training pedagogy. My research considers the relational ethics of Stanislavsky’s actor training pedagogy through a queer reading of An Actor’s Work: A Student’s Diary (2010), edited by Jean Benedetti. As a postgraduate researcher, I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Leeds, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Within the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, my teaching responsibilities as a module tutor have included PECI 1704 Exploring Performance: Cultures and Contexts, PECI 2713 Performer Training in the 20th and 21st Century, and PECI 1701 Studio Practices. 

I am currently undertaking an internship with Pedagogic Research in the Arts (PRiA) in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures at the University of Leeds. My role with PRiA includes developing, coordinating, and supporting the organisation of events and communications, most recently in support of Curriculum Redefined and the Inaugural PRiA Slow Conference.

I am a graduate of the Royal Central School of Drama with an MA with distinction in Actor Training and Coaching. During this time, I had the pleasure of learning with Bella Merlin and John Gillett (Konstantin Stanislavsky), Sinead Rushe and Gretchen Egolf (Michael Chekhov), Ian Morgan (Jerzy Grotowski), Lucinka Eisler (Jacques Lecoq), James Palm (Practical Aesthetics), Peader Kirk (Meyerhold and Devised Pedagogy), Lukas Angelini (Viewpoints) and Ita O’Brien (Laban). I also studied the Uta Hagen technique with the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York.

I have acted as casting director and acting coach on two productions, collaborating with director Dr Dionysia Bouzioti on her projects Bacchae (2019) and Medea Inside (2021), winner of Best Experimental Film at the Budapest Film Festival. I have also made and directed several performances throughout my career, including representing the University of Leeds at Light Night 2009 and the Culture 24 and Museums at Night Initiative with the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery. I have participated in residencies and intensive workshops with Out of Joint, Complicite, Frantic Assembly, Quarantine, and Song of the Goat Theatre and a member of the Young Vic Directors Network and the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA).

I contributed a chapter to Twenty-First Century Musicals: From Stage to Screen in 2017, and I am also editing Stanislavsky and Gender: Histories and Horizons (forthcoming), both published by Routledge based on a webinar I organised and moderated for the Stanislavsky Research Centre on Stanislavsky and Gender

I continue to teach as a visiting lecturer and in the community, including the Pegasus Theatre, and have recently privately coached two actors successfully through auditions for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Research interests

  • Actor and Performer Training

  • Pedagogy

  • Queerness

  • Ethics

  • Verbatim and Documentary Theatre

  • Queer Theatre and Performance

  • Drag

I am a member of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries Performance Training, Preparation and Pedagogy Research Group.


  • MA Actor Training and Coaching
  • BA Theatre and Performance

Research groups and institutes

  • PRIA