Dr Pablo Pakula BA Hons, MA, PhD

Dr Pablo Pakula

Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Teaching Fellow

Contact details

Address
The Old Library (SOVAC)
998 Bristol Road
Selly Oak
Birmingham
B29 6LG

I am a practice-based scholar and I joined the department as a Teaching Fellow in September 2017, specialising in practically teaching theatre and performance. Besides being a university teacher and lecturer for over twelve years, I have been developing my practice as performance-maker, live artist and event curator since 2006.

At the University of Birmingham I have also set up creative, extra-curricular projects like ‘Live Art for the Green Heart’.

I was one of the founding members of Accidental Collective, and co-directed this Kent-based performance company till 2016 (creating over ten pieces, performing across the UK, securing major Arts Council funding, enabling development opportunities with fellow artists, and engaging with regional communities). The company’s work mixed genres and forms, often emphasising notions of interactivity and site-specificity.

As a solo live artist, I make work from the position of an outsider. Hybridity and otherness are cornerstones to my practice; which is process-led, socially-engaged and driven by queer politics. I have presented my work at venues like Camden People’s Theatre (2016, 2017, 2019), festivals like Buzzcut (2015) and Tempting Failure (2018), as well as live art clubnights like Deep Trash (2014, 2018) and PUPPY (2019).

Qualifications

  • PhD (2010) Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Kent
  • M.Drama First-class Honours(2006), Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Kent

Biography

Hailing originally from Spain, though also half German, I arrived to the UK in 2000 with a scholarship to complete the International Baccalaureate at UWC Atlantic College (Wales). Since then, and having made Britain my home, I identify as a European mongrel.

In 2006 I graduated with First Class Honours from a four-year M.Drama programme at the University of Kent, specialising in Contemporary Performance Practice. Thanks to AHRD funding, I went on to complete a PhD in association with The British Grotowski Project run by Professor Paul Allain.

As well as teaching at the University of Kent, I have taught at Central School of Speech and Drama and Canterbury Christ Church University as an associate and/or visiting lecturer.

I have trained and participated in workshops by a number of key practitioners: Guillermo Gomez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra, Gob Sqad, Rena Mirecka, Zygmunt Molik, Jola Cynkutis and Khalid Tjabji. I have also twice collaborated with dance/physical theatre company Gekidan Kaitaisha from Japan (2001, 2004); as well as being a member of the original team that worked with Richard Schechner to develop Imagining O (2011-12).

Teaching

My teaching at the department capitalises on my expertise as a practitioner and is mostly practical in nature. I convene and co-teach the core first year modules (Studio Practice, Theatre and Performance Practice), as well as second year core modules Theatre Lab and Theatre Praxis. In the third year, I also convene and teach on Live Art, and convene the Practical Project in Drama, a practice-as-research module.

Besides my teaching, I am passionate and active in creating extra-curricular opportunities for students, such as ‘Live Art Art for the Green Heart’.

I have also convened and taught: Rehearsing Dramatic Texts, a second year module for English students; Collaborative Strategies, focusing on ensemble work; Curating Performance, a third year practical module.

Research

My research is primarily practice based, so the main output is not always a conventional publication, but is often a piece of performance.

I am currently investigating the dramaturgy of lists, notions of musicality, and the exploration of strategies to problematise meaning-making processes.

Overall, my practice is particularly drawn to ritual structures, task-based actions, corporeality and materiality, as well as the use of totemic objects. Where possible and appropriate, I also employ strategies that go beyond discursive language, giving my work a visceral and heightened experiential character.

Other activities

Other Activities

 

  • I am passionate and active in creating extra-curricular opportunities for students, such as ‘Live Art Art for the Green Heart’.
  • In September 2019 I ran the live art and performance residency STOMPING GROUND! in Galera (Spain) for the first time.
  • In 2015, I co-organised and co-facilitated Theatre, Interactivity, Democracy with Dr. Duska Radosavljevic (Unicorn Theatre, London): 
  • Between 2011 and 2014, as part of Accidental Collective, I helped conceive and run Pot Luck, an artists’ development platform funded by Arts Council England and Kent County
  • Council for two seasons (11 events in total, 9 venues, 115 artists, 6 commissions). Pot Luck was the Canterbury Award Winner 2012 as 'Cultural Pioneer'.
  • In 2013, I was the Public Engagement Project Leader: conceived, organised and ran Lifting the Curtain: Theatre Research @ Kent (The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury).
  • Later on that same year, I co-organised and co-facilitated ‘Lifting the Curtain: On Audience and Authorship’ with Dr. Duska Radosavljevic, Chris Johnston from Rideout/The Argument Room and Daisy Orton, (ICA, London).
  • In 2009, I conceived and co-organised the two day international symposium ‘Grotowski: after – alongside– around – ahead’ (University of Kent, Canterbury).
  • In 2005 I co-founded Accidental Collective with Daisy Orton. This contemporary performance company based in Kent has created work for non-theatre spaces as well as studios. 

 

 

Publications

  • 'The Gentle Rhythm of Walking is Often a Tonic for Thought' in Performance Artist's Workbook: On teaching and learning performance art - essays and exercises. ed. Pilvi Porkola, vol. 61 The Publication Series of the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki

With Roanna Mitchell

  • ‘Imagining O encountering India: Recounting and embodied Experience’ in Studies in South Asian Film & Media, vol.4 (2), October 2012, pp.179-188

Publications as part of Accidental Collective

  • ‘Making Your Parachute On The Way Down’ in DIY (Do. It. Yourself) ed. Robert Daniels, 2014, The University of Chichester
  • 'DIY---HOPE' in DIY Too ed. Robert Daniels, 2015, The University of Chichester
  • 'Waiting for Hope' (Exeunt, 24/11/14)
  • 'An Invitation' (Exeunt, 5/02/15)
  • 'Accidental Collective: "It's a million miles away from what we thought we were making."' (Exeunt, 6/11/15, interview with David Ralf) 
  • Richard Schechner’s lecture 9-11 as avant-garde performance?', in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, vol.1 (2), September 2010, pp.247-247
  • 'Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction and Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader by John Keffee and Simon Murray', in Theatre Research International, vol.34 (1), 2009, pp.94-95

 

‘The British Grotowski Project: a review’ in Slavic and East European Performance, vol.28 (1), Winter 2008, pp.39-47