Dr Yaron Shyldkrot
- Position: Lecturer in Scenography and Design-led Performance
- Areas of expertise: light and sound design; theatre in the dark; performance design; immersive theatre; unique sensory experiences in performance; scenography; atmospheres, performing robots; Practice as Research (PaR).
- Email: Y.Shyldkrot@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 0511
- Location: G.07 stage@leeds
- Website: | Twitter | ORCID
I joined the School of Performance and Cultural Industries as Lecturer in Scenography and Design-led Performance in September 2022. Before coming to Leeds, I was a Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of Sheffield and a visiting lecturer on the BA Performance Arts and MA Advanced Theatre Practice courses at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). I was also a teaching associate on the BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance, BA (Hons) Dance, and MA Creative Practices and Direction courses at the University of Surrey, where I completed my PhD.
My research and artistic work focus on and utilise contemporary performance practices to explore different relationships between uncertainty, perception and performance. My PhD examined the substantial role of darkness in performance and addressed the implications of ‘being in the dark’ - metaphorically and literally. Using practice-based methods, I explored different compositions and designs of uncertain and multi-sensory experiences. My thesis offered practical reflections on how to generate theatre in the dark in ways that highlight its ethical, political and ecological potential for living differently. Following my PhD, I have been exploring different representations of robots and the use of AI in performance.
Most recently, Tunnel, an audio walk I devised, was showcased at the public engagement festival Being Human. Robotic voices guided listeners and the piece blended original music, field recording and computer-generated voices to investigate encounters with unreliable and glitching machines. I am currently working on a monograph titled Misbehaving Machines, where I explore how recent performances intervene in the staging of Robots and AI, resisting familiar depictions – primarily in cinema, literature and click-baiting media – with an eye to foster alternative understandings of technological projects.
My research and teaching build on over fifteen years of experience as a practitioner-researcher and theatre maker. I have worked as a solo artist and collaboratively, with significant experience as a director, deviser, dramaturg, lighting designer, writer and workshop facilitator. I initiated and was involved in numerous performances, installations, workshops and projects that have been presented in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain and Croatia. Specifically, I co-founded and am co-directing Fye and Foul, a theatre company exploring sound, darkness, immersion and new forms of writing. The company’s work has been shown at Barbican Centre (London), Bristol Old Vic, Brighton Fringe, HAU (Berlin) and Dobiarteventi Festival (Italy) among others, and was supported by the Wellcome Trust and RichMix.
In my research and creative practice, I find collaboration and connections with research communities and professional networks crucial. I am a member of several research networks and am currently a co-convenor of the Intermediality working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). Previously, I served on the Executive Committee of the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) (2016-2018). I was also an editor for The Journal of Arts Writing by Students (JAWS) (2017-2018).
My research seeks to grapple with different states of uncertainty, indeterminacy and doubt, which I believe to be prominent characteristics of everyday experience in the western world. I have published on the use of haze and darkness for atmosphere production, light and visual obfuscation, glitches and precarious identities in sound-led theatre, with forthcoming publications exploring different encounters with darkness and malfunctioning robots. I am particularly interested in practice-based and design-led research methodologies for investigating our relationship with technology and each other, the blurriness between natural and artificial, the edges of sound and vision and the many possibilities in and of darkness. While my main focus is contemporary performance practices, my work spans a variety of disciplines, including digital media, creative and visual arts, sound studies, robotics, film, literature, and cultural studies.
My main research interests include:
- Unique sensory experiences in performance.
- Scenography, atmosphere, light and sound design.
- Performing robots and nonhuman performance.
- Theatre in the dark and immersive theatre.
- Practice as Research (PaR).
- PhD, University of Surrey.
- PGCert Learning & Teaching in HE.
- MA, Advanced Theatre Practice, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
- BA (Hons), TAU.
- International Ambiances Network
I teach on the MA Performance Design programme and the undergraduate Theatre and Performance programme.<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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>