Programme Director - Acting
Dan Ford is a Programme Director for the Drama Programmes at St Mary’s University and Lecturer in Acting. He trained as an actor at LAMDA and holds an MA in Writing and Performance from the University of York. Dan has previously taught BA Acting at the University of Northampton and BA Writing Directing and Performance at the University of York.
As an actor, his experience ranges from West End plays and television to devised, interactive and site-specific practice. West End credits include hit comedy Fat Pig directed by Neil LaBute and the Pulitzer Award winning Three Days of Rain with James McAvoy, directed by Jamie Lloyd. Regional theatres include Live Theatre Newcastle, Hull Truck, Theatre Royal Bath, and The Lowry. Companies Dan has worked with include Coney (“the future of British theatre now,” The Guardian) and Analogue (“The Bright Young Things of British Theatre,” The Observer) and Slung Low (“Might just be the greatest theatre company around,” Time Out).
As an artist and researcher, Dan’s interests include theatre and technology, interactive and participatory performance, contemporary American Drama
Dan is a regular collaborator with interactive theatre-makers Coney, an Arts Council Nationla Portfolio Organisation, with whom he creates innovative performance for playing audiences. Recent projects include working with the free expression and literary organisation Free Word to premiere Your Connection is Not Private, an exploration of online privacy and the 2017 Investigatory Powers Act. With Coney he has also created A Tale of Two Cities: Adventure 1 a real time journey of surveillance through the heart of the financial district that leads its audiences to consider their relationship to the finance and topography of the City.
Other recent research projects include Framed a live interactive murder mystery streamed over Facebook by the TV Channel Alibi in which the story is decided by Facebook users, and Generation of Z, a promenade immersive performance that played to 17 000 people. Both explored multiple narratives, audience choice and technological advances in theatre-making.
He appeared recently on Radio 4 voicing Richard III in An Excellent Dumb Discourse, Shakespeare in Silence. This was an extension of his work with Silents Now a research project into Shakespeare films of the Silent Era, on which he has also presented at the Adaptations Conference at University College Cork.
Dan is currently studying for his PhD with the University of York. His thesis The Actor in Immersive Theatre examines the skills, labour and authorship of the actor in contemporary immersive and interactive theatre in the UK. Informed by his own practice, ethnographic research and hours of interviews, His research results in a series of practical recommendations for drama schools, actors and theatre companies on how better to structure and manage the training, work and performance of this sector.