Valerie Kaneko-Lucas

Valerie Kaneko-Lucas.jpg

Position: Programme Director, Theatre and Performance Studies
Faculty: Drama, Film and Media
Areas of Expertise: Global and cross-cultural approaches to theatre, Scenography and Theatre Design, Directing, Script development, Applied drama

Professional Biography

Dr. Valerie Kaneko-Lucas is Programme Director of Theatre and Performance in the HASS Faculty, where she teaches on Foundation, B.A. and M.A. programmes.  She is a theatre scholar, scenographer, director, and writer, and trained at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff, and Theatre Die Raben (Germany).  

Her creative research includes performance design, devised and site-based performance, new writing for the stage, and applied theatre, notably a British Council five-year intercultural programme: Shakespeare in Palestine, and Hidden Voices, a new work created in partnership with Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter. 

Dr. Kaneko-Lucas is Co-Convener of the Scenography Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research and Joint Honorary Secretary of the Society for Theatre Research London.


  • Ph.D. in Literature - University of Essex, 1991
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Studies (Directing and Design) – University of Wales Cardiff, 1988
  • M.A. Sociology of Literature – University of Essex, 1981
  • B.A. (Honours) English and German Literature (Berkeley and Santa Cruz) – University of California, 1975

Relevant Past Employment

  • 2008 – 2010 Head of Regent's American College London, Regent's University London
  • 2007 – 2008 Head of Division of Performance Studies University of Northampton
  • 2003 – 2007 Director of Outreach & Engagement for the College of the Arts and OSU
  • Extension Department of Theatre The Ohio State University
  • 2004 - Senior Lecturer Drama Studies – Bath Spa University College
  • 2001 – 2002 Guest Professor and Visiting Artist The Ohio State University
  • 1995 – 2001 Senior Lecturer and Programme Convener Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Roehampton University London
  • 1990 – 1995 Lecturer Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Roehampton University London
  • 1989 – 1990 Lecturer Department of English University of Wales College of Cardiff
  • 1987 – 1988 Assistant Director, Sherman Theatre Cardiff
  • 1981 – 1983 Lecturer Department of Literature University of Essex

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Society for Theatre Research Executive
  • American Society for Theatre Research
  • International Federation for Theatre Research

Teaching & Course Development

  • Programme Director, Theatre and Performance
  • Course Leader, BA (Hons) Acting and Global Theatre

Course development

  • MA Creative Leadership
  • BA (Hons) Acting and Global Theatre
  • MA Writing for Screen and Stage
  • BA (Hons) Screenwriting and Producing
  • Ba (Hons) Creative Industries
  • Foundation Certificate in Acting

Teaching of modules at Foundation, BA, and MA modules within both UK and US programmes.

Research Supervision

  • Supervised 12 Masters of Fine Arts and 2 Master's thesis to completion


    • Examination of Ph.D., Masters of Fine Arts and Masters students – internal
    • Examination of taught MA and undergraduate programmes – external and internal
    • External Examiner, BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Performance, Goldsmith’s College, University of London
    • External Examiner, BA (Hons) Musical Theatre and BA (Hons) Acting, La Salle College of the Arts, Singapore


Research Interests

Dr. Kaneko-Lucas's research interests include hybridity, transnationalism, and representation, especially in relationship to the post-Empire diaspora.  As a working theatre-maker, her practice as research explores the interfaces of scenographic practice with image, site, and memory. She is a contributor to the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Theatre and Performance, Alternatives Within the Mainstream: British Black and British Asian Theatre, Reconstructing Hybridity, ‘Black' British Aesthetics Today and Design and the Postmodern Stage.

As a theatre-maker, she works in the areas of directing, design, devising and scriptwriting, both within the UK and abroad. As an invited speaker at international and national conferences, she has addressed the articulation of ethnocentric ideologies and their reception by marginalised groups.



  • Larionow, D., Kaneko-Lucas, V and Vivian, D. (eds) (forthcoming) Spaces of Performance. Prague; Czech Theatre Institute
  • Review of Mary F. Brewer,  Lynette Goddard, and Deirdre Osborne (eds) (2016)  Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama, New Theatre Quarterly 32(02):198  May 2016


  • Osborne, D. (ed) (2008) ‘Introduction to The Sons of Charlie Paora.'  Chapter in Hidden Gems. London: Oberon Books
  • Arana, V. (ed) (2007) ‘There's No Justice: Just Us: Black Britons, British Asians and the Criminal Justice System in Docudrama.'  Chapter in ‘Black' British Aesthetics Today. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Nyman, J. (ed) (2007) Performing British Hybridity: Fix Up and Fragile Land.  Chapter in Reconstructing Hybridity: An Anthology of Critical Essays.  Amsterdam: Rodopi Press.
  • Godiwala, D. (ed) (2006) ‘Shameless' – Women, Sexuality, and Violence in British Asian Drama.' Chapter in Alternatives Within the Mainstream. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Kowalewicz, K. (ed) (2000) In the Footprints of the Masters: Tradition, Innovation, and Tacit Knowledge. Chapter in Meetings With the Odin Teatret.  Lodz: University of Lodz Anthropology/Sociology/Theatre Series.
  • Irene Eynat-Confino and Eva Sormova (eds.), Re-visioning the Victorian Stage: Postmodern Elements in the Work of Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott.  Chapter in Design and the Postmodern Stage, Prague: Ekon for Divadelni Ustav.

Other Outputs


  • 2011 - Conference Chair, Designing the Performance Spaces Conference, Czech Theatre
    Institute Prague, in collaboration with the Prague Quadrennial of Theatre Design
  • 2010 – current, Coordinator, ArtSpace, annual arts festival of Regent's University London
  • 2010 Conference Chair, Scenography Stages the Nation, Society for Theatre Research and Regent's University London
  • 2008 Conference Chair, Directions in Theatre Research, Royal National Theatre and the Society for Theatre Research
  • 2006 Conference Chair, Performing the British Asian Diaspora Conference, Society for Theatre Research, London
  • 2005 – 2007 Ohio State University Extension, State Specialist – The Arts

Creative work (indicative)

  • 2016  Designer, Love and Information, Marylebone Theatre
  • 2016  Designer, Red Demon, Marylebone Theatre
  • 2015 Designer, Tieta, Manchester Fringe Festival
  • 2015 Designer, Skin in Flames, Stone Crabs Theatre, The Park Theatre London
  • 2015 Designer, Cockroach, Marylebone Theatre
  • 2015 Designer, Turf, Marylebone Theatre
  • 2015 Director and Designer, Chekhov Shorts, Latissimus Theatre Company, White Bear Theatre, London
  • 2014 Director and Designer, Play to the Gallery,  Sainsbury Theatre, National Gallery London
  • 2014 Director and Designer, Kissinger and Tell, Naked Theatre, Abbeyfest, London
  • 2013 Director and Designer, Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It: An Evening of Chekhov Shorts, Latissimus Productions,  Etcetera Theatre
  • 2012 Designer, The Asphalt Kiss, Stone Crabs Theatre Company,  New Diorama Theatre
  • 2009 Director and Designer, Regardless, a new play by Roberto Trippini, Italoshorts Festival, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts
  • 2008 Designer, De Botty Business, a new play by Benjamin Zephaniah, Hackney Empire London
  • 2007 The Beyonder, an independent film scripted by Valerie Lucas and C. Alec Rossel; filmed and produced by Janet Parrott.
  • 2005 Voices from the Camps, devised from primary source documents of the Japanese American Internment. Recipient of the Organization of Chinese Americans Award
  • 2003 The Wonderful O, adapted from the work of James Thurber, Thurber Center, Columbus, Ohio USA
  • 2002 Director, The Memory of Water, Roy Bowen Theatre, Columbus, Ohio   USA
  • 2000 Director and designer, Provenance Helpline, Etcetera Theatre, London and Royal Academy
  • 2000 Designer, Ling Chung the Dragon, Tam Tam Theatre. UK and European tour
  • 1999 Co-director and designer, Macbeth, British Council tour to the Palestinian National
    Theatre and to universities in the West Bank and Gaza
  • 1995 Co-director and designer, A Midsummer Night's Dream, British Council tour to universities in the West Bank and Gaza

Conference Papers Given

  • 2015 "The Unholy Trinity: Designer, Director and Writer in Collaboration," International Federation for Theatre Research, University of Hyderabad
  • 2015 "The Unholy Trinity: Designer, Director and Writer in Collaboration," International Federation for Theatre Research, University of Hyderabad
  • 2014 "Staging Contemporary China: Chimerica and The World of Extreme Happiness," International Federation for Theatre Research, University of Warwick
  • 2013 "Ninagawa’s Japanese Shakespeares," International Federation for Theatre Research, University of Barcelona
  • 2012 Panellist, Black Women Playwrights, National Theatre Studio.  An event which is part of the programming for the Black British Theatre Archive of the National Theatre
  • 2012 "Two Planks and a Passion:  the Habima Theatre’s Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe," Current Innovations in Theatre Design, Czech Art Institute
  • 2011 “War Horse as Community Metaphor”: International Federation for Theatre Research, Osaka University
  • 2010 “Hosts and Ghosts: the Question of Authenticity in Site-Based Performance,” Society for Theatre Research
  • 2009 “Site Under Construction: Immersive Site-Specific Performances,” International Federation for Theatre Research, Ludwigs-Maximilian Universität, Munich
  • 2008 “Binglishing the Classics,” International Federation for Theatre Research, Seoul
  • 2008 “Diasporan Dreaming: The Windrush Generation Onstage,” On Whose Terms – Black British Writing, Goldsmith's College, University of London.
  • 2007 “Authenticity of Site-Specific Performance,” New Spaces of Authenticity Conference, Prague. Part of the Prague Quadrennial program.
  • 2006 “Performing British Hybridity: Tanika Gupta's Fragile Land,” Performing the British Asian Diaspora Conference, Society for Theatre Research, London
  • 2006 “Insight on Sites: Contemporary British Site-Specific Performance,”
    International Federation for Theatre Research, Helsinki
  • 2006 “Islamophobia and Other Sorrows,” Performance Studies International Conference, London
  • 2004 “Daphne Dare: A Designer's Progress,” Society for Theatre Research, Winter Lecture Series, London

Grants Awarded

  • 2015  HASS Faculty Research Grant
  • 2014  HASS Faculty Research Grant
  • 2013  HASS Faculty Research Grant
  • 2012  HASS Faculty Research Grant
  • 2011 HASS Faculty Research Grant for research in traditional Japanese theatre in Osaka, Japan
  • 2006 International Travel Grant, The Ohio State University
  • 2005 Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Research Grant
  • 2005 OSU Cares Grant (for Theatre Outreach and Engagement), Ohio State University.
  • 2005 School of Arts International Travel Fund, The Ohio State University
  • 2001 Society for Theatre Research, Research Award
  • 1999 Research and Development Office Grant, University of Surrey Roehampton; matching external funding from the British Council.

Last updated: 08 December 2017