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Communications, Drama and Film

Photo of Dr Evelyn O

Dr Evelyn O'Malley

Senior Lecturer


01392 724776


I joined Drama at Exeter in 2016.

My research interests are within the environmental humanities, with current projects looking at weathering in open-air performance and musical theatre. My first monograph Weathering Shakespeare: Audiences and Open-Air Performance (2020) appears in Bloomsbury Academic's Environmental Cultures series. The book won the Association of Literature and Environment (UKI)’s prize for best monograph in ecocriticism and environmental humanities in 2022 and was shortlisted for the Society for Renaissance Studies book award. With Randall Martin, I co-edited a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin on Eco-Shakespeare in Performance and contributed practice-research to the SSHRC Cymbeline in the Anthropocene project, in partnership with the Willow Globe. 

I was principal investigator on a Covid-19 rapid response project funded by the AHRC Outside the Box: Open Air Performance as a Pandemic Response (2021), with Prof. Cathy Turner (Drama) and Tim Coles (Business School). The project worked with civic partners in Exeter and artists across the UK to identify spaces that might be used safely for innovative open-air performance, aligned with the environmental aspiration to Build Back Better in the cultural recovery. 

I led an AHRC-funded COP26 engagement project on Singing and Dancing in the Rain: Climate Change as Youth Musical Theatre (2021), collaborating with young people from Doorstep Arts and Met Office scientists to create new musical theatre content. 

I was co-investigator on an AHRC-funded project, Atmospheric Theatre: Open-Air Performance and the Environment (2018-2021)led by Chloe Preedy (English), which investigated how attending open-air dramatic performances influences playgoers' awareness of their aerial environment. As part of this project we co-edited a special issue of Performance Research journal 'On Air' (2022).

Building on previous work with Prof. Cathy Turner (Drama), I was co-investigator on an AHRC-funded Creative Peninsula Knowledge Exchange project led by Tom Trevor (Visual Culture). We commissioned two performances to engage with outdoor cultures in the South West and are developing a summit exploring collaborative approaches to ‘place-making’ and culture-led regeneration in Devon and Cornwall.

As part of initiatives funded by the Associate Dean for Research (internal) I have been supporting the creation of a Green Stage space on Streatham Campus, in conjunction with the network O-P-E-N, of which I am a founding member (2022).

I was co-investigator on the interdisciplinary NERC-funded Climate Stories, led by Prof. Peter Stott (MET Office Hadley Centre/ Mathematics) using storytelling approaches to science communication with climate scientists and meteorologists.

I am presently Admissions tutor for Drama.

I have postgraduate research students looking at topics connected to environmental humanities, Shakespeare in performance, musical theatre, and open-air performance and would welcome enquiries about possible PhD projects in these areas.

I trained in musical theatre at the Arts Educational Schools, London and performance practice continues to inform my research and teaching. 

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Research through practice

Working with the Willow Globe and University of Exeter Drama students, I am contributing to Randall Martin's Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project Cymbeline in the Anthropocene, with participants around the world. 

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2024 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |


  • Turner C, O'Malley E. (2024) Between closed space and open air: performance at the threshold, Cambridge Companion to Theatre and Ecology, Cambridge University Press.
  • O'Malley E. (2024) ‘Peace and Quiet and Open Air’: Performing weathering in New York in screen musicals of the Covid-19 pandemic, Studies in Musical Theatre, volume 18, DOI:10.1386/smt_00148_1.
  • O'Malley E. (2024) ‘Me and the Sky’: Smashing the Glass Ceiling in Come from Away, Neoliberal Feminism and Climate Change, Studies in Theatre and Performance.
  • Preedy C, O'Malley E. (2024) Turbulent Ecodramaturgy: The Winds of Pericles, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism.



  • Garcia G, Coles T, Turner C, O'Malley E. (2021) Outside the Box: Open Air Performance as a Pandemic Response - artists questionnaire.


  • O'Malley E. (2020) Weathering Shakespeare Audiences and Open-air Performance, Bloomsbury Academic.





  • O'Malley EM. (2016) My Tree Trail, Tree Tales A Celebration of Exeter's Trees, Little Toller Books, 14-15.
  • O'Malley EM. (2016) Locating the audience: how people found value in National Theatre Wales (book review), Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles, DOI:10.1080/14682761.2016.1244978.
  • O'Malley EM. (2016) Imagining Arden: Audience responses to place and participation at Taking Flight Theatre Company’s As You Like It, Participations: journal of audience and reception studies, volume 13, pages 512-529.
  • O’Malley E. (2016) You Do (Not) Assist the Storm, Performance Research, volume 21, no. 2, pages 81-84, DOI:10.1080/13528165.2016.1162542. [PDF]


  • O'Malley EM. (2015) Deep and Dynamic Landscapes: Audience Responses at Antony and Cleopatra, Minack, Cornwall, June 2013, Politics of Place, volume 3, pages 17-27.


  • O'Malley EM. (2014) Adventures in the Forest of Arden. [PDF]

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External impact and engagement

External impact and engagement

Contribution to discipline

I am on the editorial board for The Routledge Theatre & Performance Series in Audience Research. 

I have served as peer reviewer for publishers and journals such as Palgrave, Shakespeare Bulletin andStudies in Theatre and Performance. 

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