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About Prof Allan Owens

I am Co-Director of the Centre for Research in to Creativity, Education and the Arts through Practice (RECAP), University of Chester Distinguished Teaching Fellow and National Teaching Fellow.

My current practice, research and publications focus on applied drama and theatre, drama education, creative pedagogy, the intercultural dimension of drama and in particular the use of research methodology that reaches beyond text.

In the past decade I have worked in 18 countries in on-going long-term projects in Palestine, Finland, Japan, Spain, Sweden and Estonia. I have led trans-professional teams in long-term inquiry and capacity building projects, run intensive short programs, developed research initiatives and staged pre-text based interactive performances in collaboration with colleagues locally, nationally and internationally.



  • BA Drama and Theatre: Dissertations and Independent Negotiated Studies


  • MA Creative Practices in Education
  • MA Drama
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education Drama: Intercultural Dimension
  • MA Educational Leadership: Creativity, Innovation and Leadership
  • EdD Cultural Practices



Interests (Projects?):

  • #60 Pre-texts Tour: sixty interactive performances around the world. January-December 2017
  • Beyond Text: Arts Based Methods in Research, Assessment and Evaluation. Lead partner in this 3 Year (2016-2019) Key Action 2 Strategic Alliance Project with partners in Estonia, Finland, Palestine and Spain:
  • Erasmus + International Credit Mobility: 2016-2017 Postgraduate Collaboration at Masters Level Creativity & Education.
  • Erasmus + International Credit mobility:2017-2018 Doctoral Capacity Building, University of Chester & University of Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine.
  • In-Out / Outside In: Positive encounters with cultural diversity in Teacher Education. A 3 year (2015-2018) Strategic Alliance Project with Partners in Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Sweden.
  • I am on the International Advisory Boards for the:International Journal for Applied Drama and Theatre Research, DATE Asia; Journal for Drama and Theatre Education in Asia; National Association of Teachers of Drama (NATD UK) and Board Member and Trustee for StoryHouse


I am currently supervising 10 Doctoral students researching into:

  • Personal, social and political: analysis of a youth theatre experience for young people aged 11-18.
  • The role of the drama pedagogue in artist-teacher settings
  • Presence that makes a difference: transformative agency in applied theatre and drama.
  • The Ecotone: drama as the clearing in between schooling and art in Compulsory School in Sweden.
  • Queering Blackpool: an ethnographic study.
  • Evocative Reporting as an arts based evaluative method.
  • Refining pedagogical practice: Case study Bwindi Region, Uganda.
  • Developing critical thinking in study skills through drama.
  • Experiences of displacement: academics abroad.
  • Professional development in Drama Education in Palestine.


Published Work


* Selected by the journal’s editorial team as a Highly Commended paper in the

  • 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.
  • Hulse, B., & Owens, A. (2017). Process drama as a tool for teaching modern languages: supporting the development of creativity and innovation in early professional practice. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, Taylor Francis: Routledge.
  • Owens, A. and Adams, J. (2017) Hong Kong Youth Federation
  • Holtham, C., Dove, A, and Owens, A.(2011). Building on Cultural Spaces and Places for enhancing the intuitive capabilities of students of business and management, Art Design & Communication in Higher Education, Intellect Journals, Vol.10 (2) 2011 ISSN1474-273X.
  • Holtham, C. and Owens, A. (2011). Using the Urban To Span the Boundaries Between Diverse Disciplines: Drama Education and Business Management, Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Vol. 6, No. 3, ECE Conference Special Issue December 2011, pp. 292-305.
  • Owens, A. And Al Yamani, H. (2010), ’Using process drama to understand self and other: the Palestinian situation’, in: Freeman, J. (ed) Research Through Practice in Performance: Blood Sweat and Theory, (pp.21-32), Oxfordshire: Libri. ISBN 978-1-907471-04-9.
  • Holtham, C. , Ward, V. and Owens, A.(2010). Slow knowledge work – designing space and learning.
  • Hulme, R., Cracknell, D. , Owens, A. (2009). Learning in Third Spaces: developing trans-professional understanding through practitioner enquiry, Journal of Educational Action Research, Volume 17, Issue 4, December 2009, pp.537-550.

Edited Chapters:

  • Owens, A., Pässilä, A. and Korhonen, P. (2017) Resilience and the art of making mistakes. Saija Laukka (edit) The Art of Making Mistakes. Draamatyö, Helsinki.
  • Pässilä, A. and Owens, A. (2016) Sensible Sensitivity: Arts Pedagogy in Management Development. Peter Stokes, Neil Moore, Simon M Smith, Caroline Rowland, Peter Scott (eds.) Organizational Management: Approaches and Solutions. Kogan Page
  • Owens, A. (2014). Translating and Understanding: pre-text based drama (pp. 45-68). (Ed.) Pekka Korhonen ja Raija Airaksinen, Helsinki: Draamatayo. ISBN-9 78- 9-526 -670416
  • Owens, A. (2011), Pilgrim: Taichi-kikaku, in: Freeman, J. (ed) The Greatest Shows on Earth: Word Theatre from Peter Brook to the Sydney Olympics. (pp125-144), Oxfordshire: Libri. ISBN 9781 90747154 4
  • Owens, A. (2008) The Magic Bullet and the Kaleidoscope: metaphors for thinking through practice (p.350-364) , “Talkin ‘bout my Generation". Archäologie der Theaterpädagogik II. (Eds) Streisand,M. , Giese, N., Kraus,T., Ruping,B., Schibri-Verlag: Berlin und Milow. (Book, 492 pages)ISBN 978-3-937895-68-0
  • Owens, A. (2005) ‘Planning for the Possibilities of Dissensus in Process Drama’, Hyva Hankaus; Teatterikorkeakkoulun Julaisusarja nro 38, eds Korhonen & Airraksinene, Helsinki, Draamatyo, ISBN 952-9765-38, PP.8-16.
  • Owens, A. (2004). ‘Generative Space: Skinship and Vulnerability in Intercultural Applied Arts Work. Drama Research Vol.3 National Drama, ISSN 1470 0484 P.55-65.


Academic Papers:

  • Suomalainen, S., Pässilä , A. Owens, A. (2016) ‘Landscape Alive Project’, Paper presented at, Smart Cities in Smart Regions 2016: First International Smart Cities in Smart Regions 2016 Conference, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, May 10 - 12, Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland.
  • Pässilä, A., Owens, A. and Holtham, C. (2016) Strategic steps towards Equality through Arts. Conference paper presented in Arts of Management in Organisations, 2016, September, Bled, Slovenia.
  • Vasconcelos Tavares, S., Pässilä, A., and Owens, A. (2016) Arts in the Military- A theatrical Performance Exercise. Conference paper presented in IFKAD 2016, Dresden, Germany.
  • Pässilä, A., Malin, V. and Owens, A. (2016) Arts and business oriented thinking:the problematic when trying to bring together two different worlds. Conference paper presented in AOM 2016, August, Anaheim, USA.
  • Biagioli, M. Pässilä, A., Owens, A., and Chamberlain, O. (2015) Play-scripting: Testing a means of accounting social value. Conference paper presented in Cultural Mapping: Debating Spaces and Places-Conference Paper. 22nd & 23rd October.
  • Pässilä, A. and Owens, A. and Sproedt, H. (2015) Turning to Learning: Organising Reflection and Creating Space for Reflexive Practices via Arts Based Initiatives in the Workplace. Conference paper in European Group for Organization Studies Conference, Athens, Greece. 9th July 2015
  • Turning to Learning: Organising Reflection and Creating Space for Reflexive Practices via Arts Based Initiatives , European Group for Organisation Studies (EGOS). Copehagen, Denmark.
  • Passila, A. ,Owens, A. and Pulkki, M., Learning Jam: the back story of creating polyphonic understanding in work based practice, International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD): Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: connecting the knowledge dots, Bari, Italy. 10/11/12 June 2015
  • Lehikoinen,K , Passila, A, and Owens, A,.‘Critical Reflection and the arts as third spaces’, Organisation, Learning and Knowledge Conference (OLKC) , Milan. 9/10/11 March 2015

Performance Based Research:

  • Owens, A. ,Green, N., Ohashi, Y. and Esi, T. (2017) Going Somewhere, Pre-text Interactive Performance’ April 23rd, 26th, 27th ,28th , Tokyo, Nihon Kogakuin, Kamata. 29th Odaka, Minamisoma City, Fukashima.
  • Passila, A. and Owens, A. The Prof and Alice: Arts-Based Methods for Organizational Change, Academy of Management (AOM) , Vancouver, Canada. /8/9/10/11 August 2015
  • - Echo of Dreams (2015) Pre-text Interactive Performance’ with Naomi Green and Taichi Kikaku Theatre Company, Shin Nakano and Fukashima Province, Japan. 25TH-29TH April 2015
  • Owens, A. (11.04.2014-18.04.2014) ‘Wagamama no Kyogen Pre-text.’ Research based process drama in to the concept of ‘Kosuki’ in professional and social contexts. In collaboration with Naomi Green & Yosuke Ohashi- Taichi-kikaku Theatre Company. Tokyo, Japan.
  • Owens, A. (18.05.2010-06.08.2012) ‘Urashima Pre-text’. Research based process drama into perceptions of time and use of the pre-text form in professional contexts. In collaboration with Nomi Shimizu Green and Taichi-kikaku Theatre Company. Tokyo. UK, Japan, Finland.
  • Owens, A. (28.06.2008 -08.06.2012), Returning to Haifa Pre-text’. Research based process drama into the limits of self-other imagining through drama pre-texts in the Palestinian-Israeli Situation. With Hala Al Yamani UK, Palestine.
  • Owens, A. (09.03.2007). Momo Taro and LearPre-texts . Research based process drama into perceptions of education and truth.The Theatre Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland.
  • Owens, A. (18.04.07- 21.04.07). The Bird in the Cage Pre-text. Research based Process Drama investigating the relationship betweenfreedom and resistance.The New National Theatre, Tokyo, Japan; NEC, Katayanagi Institute, Tokyo, Japan; National Children’s Theatre Association of Japan, Tokyo, Japan.

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PhD (Warwick), MA (Keele), BA (Hons) (Sheffield), PGCE, ADB (Ed), FHEA, FRSA, NTF.