Professor Jonathan Pitches

Professor Jonathan Pitches


As Professor of Theatre and Performance in PCI and Head of School (2020–onwards) I have research interests in all aspects of performer training and directing, in environmental performance and in blended learning. I co-edit the Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training and recent large edited projects include: Stanislavsky in the World (with Stefan Aquilina, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2017) and Great Stage Directors - Copeau, Komisarjevsky and Guthrie (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama 2018). I have developed an all-consuming interest in the relationship between theatre, performance and mountains and finished a 24 month AHRC-funded fellowship to write about this in November 2018. My formal partner on this project was Kendal Mountain Festival. A monograph associated with this project - Performing Mountains – was published in 2020. I am co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Vsevold Meyerhold (again with Stefan Aquilina), published in late 2022.  

I was appointed to the Chair of Theatre & Performance in the School in 2006, serving as Director of Research, Director of Impact and Innovation, and leading the School's submission for REF 2014 (contributing again for 2021). I led the Practitioner Processes Research group for nine years and have convened the Performance Training Research Group in the School. I very much enjoyed being the first Blended Learning Champion for the faculty (2013-16) and have developed an expertise in online learning design, both as a practitioner and researcher.

I am the Deputy Director of the Stanislavsky Research Centre a role which reflects my ongoing interest in performer training, beginning with Russian approaches to actor training and expanding out internationally. Although not strictly a practice-led researcher, (my PhD thesis was 100,000 words long!) I have always based my research and writing on a deep curiosity and engagement with laboratory training practices and this interest has taken me to Brazil, Italy, Japan, China, India, Malta, Prague and Australia to explore these practices with students and professional actors.


  • Professor of Theatre and Performance

Research interests

I have research interests in all aspects of performer training and directing, in environmental performance and in blended learning. My specialisms include:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • MPhil
  • BA Hons

Student education

I teach across the portfolio of modules within the School and from Undergraduate to PhD. 

I have over ten PhD completions as a supervisor and have examined more than 25 doctoral theses across the range of formats:

  • conventional written theses
  • practice-led research
  • doctor of creative industries
  • PhD by publication.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Russian Centre
  • Place & Performance
  • Centre for Global Health Histories

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>