Theatre-maker and ecological raconteur. Research specialisms in practices of location and relation. Co-director of highly acclaimed UK/Australian performance company Doppelgangster and Chair of MKA: Theatre of New Writing (AUS). More than fifteen years experience of teaching theatre and performance in Further and Higher Education.


Dr Tom Payne is a theatre-maker and Lecturer in Performance Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. He is also Co-Director General of Doppelgangster, a UK/Australian performance company that has been internationally recognised for exploring urgent themes related to climate change and migration. Doppelgangster is an Associate Company at Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Wales). Since January 2016 he has been the Chairperson of the ground-breaking MKA Theatre of New Writing (Melbourne) with whom he co-directs the Hot!Hot!Hot! Climate Arts Festival.

Between 2014-2017 he was an Environmental Humanities Researcher at Bath Spa University where he was a Postdoctoral Researcher for Towards Hydrocitizenship, a transdisciplinary Arts and Humanities Research Council project exploring water and the eco-social against a backdrop of climate change and the Anthropocene. 

He has a PhD in Theatre and Performance from Aberystwyth University. His thesis is entitled 'Locating National Theatre Wales: A Practice Based Enquiry into the Theatre Map of Wales and Practices of Location' (2015). This industry-based research was co-supervised by Doctor John E. McGrath (Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival), Professor Mike Pearson (Brith Gof and Pearson/Brookes) and Professor Adrian Kear (Aberystwyth University). 

He has trained with Mike Pearson, Eddie Ladd, Simon Whitehead, Dead Good Guides and Fern Smith. He has worked with National Theatre Wales, Pearson/Brookes, Rimini Protokoll, Miranda Whall, Volcano Theatre Company, Emergence, MKA Theatre of New Writing, Culture Colony and Good Cop Bad Cop. 

He has taught performing arts and media in Further and Higher Education since 2001 and has worked as a Sustainability Champion and Online Learning Champion. In 2014 he transformed a 500-year-old barn into a performance space as part of a research enquiry into practices of location and relation.


Sheffield Hallam University offers BA (hons), BA top-up (one year), MA and PhD opportunities in Acting & Performance. 


Each year staff and students take part in exciting performance led research projects and professional theatre productions. 


Find out more about our final year students and learn about the course from our recent graduates. 

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