Wiebke Acton

Wiebke Acton


I’m a part-time, practice-based PhD researcher at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds. Spanning Performance, Migration, Translation and Identity Studies, my research investigates the notion of the transmigrant performer, specifically how transmigration and cultural adaptation impact their work and their identity formation. The work of transmigrant performers involves a mobility that requires continuous switching between creative industries and languages; how does that affect their performance practice? Their commuting between countries demands repeated cultural adaptation; how do they make sense of themselves as artists?

As a professional theatre artist and a cultural commuter between Germany and the U.K., I understand myself to be representative of the transmigrant performer. Focusing on my positionality, my research is conducted through performance-making. My first practice research project involved the development of the performance ‘As The Crow Flies’. The piece was created in collaboration with German theatre artists and in partnership with Globe Berlin. The show premiered in July 2022 in Berlin. Following a successful run at the Globe throughout the summer, I translated the piece into English and performed it in Manchester and Leeds in November of the same year.

My project builds on my existing practice as a theatre artist and literary translator. I graduated from Drama School Hamburg in 2005, and have been working as a performer in Germany and the U.K. since then. In 2014, I received my MA in Translating Popular Culture from City University, London. As part of my dissertation titled ‘Translating Theatre for a Young Audience’ I translated Charles Way’s play ‘The Gift’ which is now published in Germany. 

More on my professional work as a performer and translator can be found on my website

Research interests

  • creative practice as research
  • transcultural performance
  • multilingual performance
  • theatre translation
  • cultural adaptation
  • transmigrant studies
  • performance and identity


  • MA Translating Popular Culture, City University London
  • PGCert Principles and Practice of Translation, City University London
  • Acting Degree, 3 years, Hamburg Drama School, Germany