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About Jamie Harper

Jamie trained on the Directors’ Course at LAMDA and went on to win the JMK Directors’ Award and National Theatre Cohen Bursary which led to a year as Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. In 2013, he received a Churchill Trust Travelling Fellowship to research the intersection of game design and drama at University of Miami and, following this project, he has made several participatory performance works that incorporate play including: Archipelago, The Lowland Clearances and The City Limits for Camden People's Theatre, People Vs Democracy at the Free Word Centre, Nudge, which was the runner up for Headlong Theatre’s 2016 Digital Artist Award, Washing Machine for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Migrations of Cool at the Arebyte Gallery in Hackney Wick. He is an active member of the Nordic Larp (live action role-play) community and has presented larp works at international festivals including Grenselandet in Oslo, Blackbox CPH in Copenhagen and Minsk Larp Festival in Belarus. He has recently completed a practice-led PhD in participatory performance at Newcastle University.


Jamie currently teaches the following modules:

  • PA4802 (Performance and Technology)
  • PA4203 (Performance Histories)
  • PA5210 (Interpretation: Performing Through Text)


Jamie’s research is concerned with the aesthetics and politics of participatory performance, with a specific focus on live action role-play and games. His doctoral research investigated how participatory performance might be designed in collaboration with specific groups in order to address issues of concern for the people involved. He also explored the role of participatory self-documentation and memory in pedagogical practices. His current work addresses the aesthetics of space and time in play, taking a critical perspective towards valorisations of immersive immediacy in contemporary performance and digital media.

Published Work

Harper, Jamie, ‘Meaningful Play: Applying game and play design practices to promote agency in participatory performance’, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 15:3 (2019), pp. 360-374

Harper, Jamie, ‘An argument for the use of systems thinking in participatory drama design’, PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research, 1:2 (2017), pp. 36-41

Harper, Jamie, ‘Context, Context, Context: Narrative Design in Larp as Context Authorship’, in Once Upon a Nordic Larp…Twenty Years of Playing Stories, ed. by Linn Carin Andreassen, Simon Brind, Elin Nilsen, Grethe Sofie Strand and Martine Svanevik (Oslo: Knutepunkt, 2017), pp. 287-290

Harper, Jamie, ‘Notes on Agency and Design: A Love Letter to Larp from the Hinterland of UK Participatory Drama’, in Larp Realia: Analysis, Design, and discussions of Nordic Larp Kangas, ed. by Kaisa Kangas, Mika Loponen and Jukka Särkijärvi (Helsinki: Ropecon, 2016), pp. 130-138

Harper, Jamie. ‘A Study of Serious Games: Changing the World Through Play’, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Website (2015)


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Directing (LAMDA)
  • BA (Hons) in English Literature (University of Sheffield)