Professor David Shirley is the Executive Dean of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), at Edith Cowan University. Previously, holding posts as the Director of the Manchester School of Theatre and the Head of the School of Theatre at Rose Bruford College in Kent, David has extensive experience of performer/director training at both national and international levels.
Having trained as an actor at the Arts Educational Schools and studied at RADA, David has extensive experience as a performer on stage, screen and radio. He is also a director and a playwright. In 2018, his biographical play, A Life in Pieces, about the life and work of novelist and musician Anthony Burgess was staged at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester as part of the 2018 Manchester Literary Festival.
The founding Chair of the Conference of Drama Schools Research Forum and an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (Taylor and Francis), he is actively engaged in promoting research initiatives across the performer training sector. His own research includes a range of articles and book chapters reflecting on the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky, Sanford Meisner, Lee Strasberg, Samuel Beckett, Declan Donnellan and Katie Mitchell.
Formerly the Chair of the UKs Federation of Drama Schools (FDS), David is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and a member of the Advisory Board of the Stanislavsky Research Centre at the University of Leeds.
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