Kasia Lech is a scholar, actor, storyteller, puppeteer. Her research and creative practice explore theatre through practice-based and traditional scholarship and primarily focus on verse, multilingualism, and transnational experience. Her monograph Dramaturgy of Form: Performing Verse in Contemporary Theatre examines verse in twenty-first-century theatre practice across different languages, cultures, and media. She is currently working on Multilingual Dramaturgies: Towards New European Theatre, forthcoming with Palgrave. Kasia trained at the Polish National Academy of Theatre Arts and performed internationally. She co-founded Polish Theatre Ireland – an intercultural theatre company based in Dublin – and is an Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief at TheTheatreTimes.com, and a co-convener of Translation Adaptation Dramaturgy working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research.
Kasia is interested in supervising PhD projects that examine dramaturgy, verse and poetry performance, multilingual theatre, acting, transnational theatre, European theatre, theatre and animal rights, and puppetry.
Dramaturgy of Form: Performing Verse in Contemporary Theatre. Routledge, 2021.
“Lockdown Verses and Anxieties of Presence: How Polish Theatre Rhymed a Case for Its Purpose on the Pandemic Stage.” Critical Stages/Scènes critiques. Special issue: Theatre Criticism in the Age of Self-Isolation and Social Distancing.
“Claiming Their Voice: Foreign Memories on the Post-Brexit British Stage.” Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture. . Ed. Yana Meerzon, David Dean, and Daniel McNeil. Palgrave, 2020.
Springer Nature 2020 Highlights - top research that made an impact.
Research and knowledge exchange
From 2018: Transnational Childhood in collaboration with Dr Ruth Sanz Sabido, Dr Vanessa Hawes, and Dr Agnieszka Gordon
From 2017: Multilingual Dramaturgies
2015-2018: CUlturosity (Early Career Teaching Award)
2014-2016: Performing Translation: Bubble Revolution http://www.bubblerevolution.com/
Knowledge Exchange Projects
2019: Performap.com (co-author) an Interactive Digital Map of Global Theatre and Performance Festivals
2018: "Spotlight on Poland" for TheTheatreTimes.com: one of the largest English-language digital resources on contemporary Polish theatre. The project is under the patronage of Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and in collaboration with partners Biweekly.pl, East European Performing Arts Platform, Theatralia/Yorick, Cosmopolitan Review, Contexts.com.pl, BuenosAiresHerald.com, and Culture.pl.
From 2016: Regional Managing Editor for Poland at TheTheatreTimes.com
From 2014 Bubble Revolution www.bubblerevolution.com (Knowledge Exchange Award, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Canterbury Christ Church University)
Kasia has secured funding from the following organisations in Ireland, Poland, and the UK: Irish Research Council, Polish Aid Foundation Trust, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, Split Infinitive Trust, Ballymun Intercultural Club, and Mayor of Szczecin.
Teaching and subject expertise
I am an awarded educator with a transnational and intercultural background, and two decades of conservatory and university teaching experience in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Poland. This is enhanced by work in primary and secondary education settings and interdisciplinary applied arts projects with public and private organizations in the three countries. My experience of theatre-making with diverse communities in a variety of settings and roles has given me knowledge about international performing arts and criticism in multiple socio-political and historical contexts. I have created and sustained innovative digital resources and engaged in collaborative cross-curricular projects. All this underlies my capability of teaching a broad range of subjects in the areas of theatre theory and practice, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary modules for example exploring storytelling, multilingualism, inclusion, or performative writing. At Canterbury Christ Church University, I teach modules on acting, performance making, dramaturgy, digital theatre, professional practice, and final dissertations.
2021: “Dramaturgical practices in contemporary multilingual theatre," Stockholm University of the Arts
2020: “Criticism and Foreignness. Provocation,” Performance and Criticism: Cross-borders and Cross-community Dialogues, European Theatre Research Network, Yard Theatre, London. (Rescheduled due to Covid19)
2017: “They came here and stole our jobs, and then they took our language: Polish-Irish-English hybrid and its potential in theatre translation.” My Story, My Words: Migration and Translation. National University of Ireland, Galway.
2020: “Verse, Actor, and Heteroglossia. Training Actors for Contemporary Theatre Forms” International Platform Performer Training: Words in, of and for Performer Training, University of Kent.
2021: "Challenging Anxieties of Intelligibility: Dramaturgical Practices in Contemporary Multilingual Theatre in Europe." Gate Theatre Research Network (GTRN) Conference: Theatre Languages / Languages of the Stage: Marginality, Culture and Performance in Contemporary Europe, National University of Ireland, Galway.
2019: "Multilingual Dramaturgies as a Journey Towards More Democratic Theatre-Making." Performing Multilingualism in Europe and Beyond, University of Kent.
2018: “Verse and Heteroglossia in Contemporary Irish, American, British, and Polish Theatre.” Verse Drama in the 20th and 21st centuries on the English-speaking Stage. Université de Montaigne, Bordeaux.
2018: “(No-longer) the Ibsen’s ‘Language of the Gods’: Verse and Underrepresented Communities in Polish and British Theatres.” International Federation for Theatre Research, University of Arts, Belgrade.
2017: “Polish and Spanish memories on the post-Brexit British stage.” Migration/ Representation/ Stereotypes, University of Ottawa.
2016: “Translating Conflict into The Wedding: Radosław Rychcik’s Staging of Stanisław Wyspiański’s Verse Drama Wesele [The Wedding] as a Foreignized Translation.” Translating Theatre: “Foreignisation” on Stage, Europe House, London.
2016: “Acting as the Act of Translation: Domesticating and Foreignizing Strategies as Part of the Actor’s Performance in the Irish-Polish Production of Bubble Revolution.” International Federation for Theatre Research, Stockholm University.
2016: “Cultural Awareness and Learning Communities: Embedding Equality and Diversity Training into New Student Induction Activities.” Co-presented with Kath Abiker. Inspire: The Higher Education Academy Arts and Humanities Conference, Brighton.
2015: “Rediscovering National Memory through Foreignization: Radosław Rychcik’s Staging of Polish Romantic Drama.” Je me souviens (I Remember), Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Montréal.
2014: “’Our Breasts Are Also Dripping’: Rhymes, Pigs, Motherhood, and Humanity in Anna Augustynowicz’s Production of Migrena by Antonina Grzegorzewska.” International Federation for Theatre Research.
2015: Performance, Ecology, and Responsibility: Interdisciplinary Symposium, Canterbury Christ Church University, with Dr Marissia Fragkou; 2012: Conflict, Crisis, Change: Interdisciplinary Conference, University College Dublin, with Dr Miriam Haughton et al.
Publications and research outputs
Lech, Kasia. Multilingual Dramaturgies: Towards a New European Theatre. Palgrave, 2021 (in progress).
Lech, Kasia. Dramaturgy of Form: Verse in Contemporary Theatre. Routledge, 2021.
Lech, Kasia. "Haunted by Polishness: Transnational and Transgenerational Experiences of Migration and Precarity in Janusz Głowacki and Martyna Majok 'American' plays." Handbook on Theatre and Migration, eds. Yana Meerzon and S. E. Wilmer. Palgrave, 2022.
Lech, Kasia. “Lockdown Verses: Polish Theatre and Online Theatre During the COVID -19 Pandemic.” Critical Stages. Special issue: Theatre Criticism in the Age of Self-Isolation and Social Distancing. Editors Yana Meerzon. Savas Patsalidis, Aisling Murphy, 2020.
Lech, Kasia. “Roughening up of the utterance” or “It’s not all mountains and sheep and Emily Dickinson.”: How Contemporary Practitioners Test Boundaries of Verse Drama?" Coup de Théâtre. Special issue on verse drama, 2020.
Lech, Kasia. “Claiming Their Voice: Foreign Memories on the Post-Brexit British Stage.” Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture. . Ed. Yana Meerzon, David Dean, and Daniel McNeil. Palgrave, 2020.
Lech, Kasia. “Acting as the Act of Translation: Domesticating and Foreignizing Strategies as Part of the Actor’s Performance in the Irish-Polish Production of Bubble Revolution.” Dramaturgy of Migration: Staging Multicultural Encounters in Contemporary Theatre. Ed. Yana Meerzon and Katharina Pewny. Routledge, pp. 39-50.
Lech, Kasia. “Verse in Contemporary Irish Theatre.” The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary Irish Theatre. Ed. Eamonn Jordan and Eric Weitz. London: Palgrave, 2018, pp. 599-613.
From 2019: Verse, Actor, and Heteroglossia. Training Actors for Contemporary Theatre Forms
From 2018: TLab Transmedia Performance Lab with Dr Magda Romanska et al.
2018: Transnational Childhood: interdisciplinary and interactive exhibition of transnational childhood memories. Principal Investigator.
2014-2016: Performing Translation: Bubble Revolution
A complete list of my references appears in the Institutional Repository.