Dr Chris Hay

ARC DECRA Snr Research Fellow

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 53246


Chris is an Australian theatre and cultural historian teaching and researching in the Drama program in the School of Communication and Arts, currently working on an ARC DECRA-funded project about the origins of live performance subsidy in Australia between 1949 and 1975. In this work, as in all of his research, Chris is particularly interested in what funded cultural output can tell us about national pre-occupations and anxieties. Along with this historical focus, Chris is working on a book project about contemporary Australian mainstage theatre after the Kevin07 election, as well as the Australian component of a project on the cultural history of the Eurovision Song Contest outside Europe. Chris's teaching responsibilities at UQ include theatre history, performance production, and script analysis. Chris welcomes applications for higher degree research at MPhil or PhD level in any of these areas.

Chris joined UQ from the University of New England (UNE), where he was Lecturer in Theatre Studies in 2017 and directed UNE's major production of Spring Awakening in his own translation. Between 2014 and 2016, Chris was Associate Lecturer in Performance Practices at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney, where he taught into the theoretical components of the practice-led Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees. Chris was awarded his PhD from the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, with a thesis entitled “Learning to inhabit the chair: Knowledge transfer in contemporary Australian director training”. This research was later published as the monograph Knowledge, Creativity and Failure (Palgrave, 2016). Chris currently serves as Vice-President of ADSA (the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies), an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Deputy Editor of Performance Paradigm, and a Convenor of the Historiography Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).

Research Interests

  • Theatre directing and directors
  • Creative arts pedagogy
  • Early Modern performance practice
  • Actors and actor training
  • Eurovision Song Contest
  • Australian theatre history


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Sydney


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  • Master Philosophy

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PhD and MPhil Supervision

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Completed Supervision