Alissa Mello

Alissa Mello, Postdoctoral Research Fellow and lead researcher, is a theatre artist, scholar and a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the University of Exeter. Their interests include women and performance, gender, identity and practice. Publications include journal articles, book chapters, and as an editor: Sandglass Theater: The Time Before the Glass Turns Over (2022) with Andrew Periale, Women and Puppetry: Critical and Historical Investigations (2019) with Claudia Orenstein and Cariad Astles that was the recipient of the 2022 UNIMA-USA Nancy Staub Award and finalist for ATHE’s 2020 Excellence in Editing Award. Two forthcoming edited volumes under contract with Routledge are: 

  •  Race, Gender and Disability in Puppetry and Material Performance, co-edited with Paulette Richards and Laura Purcell-Gates
  • Making Meaning with Puppets: Material, Performance, Perception with Dassia Posner and Claudia Orenstein.

Their early performance career was in dance and along the way transitioned to puppetry. They were a founding member of Inkfish, and performed and choreographed with Theodora Skipitares, Anna Kiraly, Jane Catherine Shaw and Ishara Puppet Theater. They were a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at Listaháskóli Íslands (2018) and from 2019 – 2022 the Managing Director at Sandglass Center for Puppetry and Theater Research. Since the beginning of 2023, they have been the editor of UNIMA-USA’s biannual journal Puppetry International available for purchase online.

Kate Newey

Kate Newey, Primary Investigator, is Professor of Theatre History at the University of Exeter. She works in women’s writing and nineteenth century British popular theatre. Her publications include Co-Editor of Literary and Cultural Criticism from the Nineteenth Century (Routledge, 2022, 4 vols), Politics, Performance and Popular Culture (Manchester UP, 2016), Women’s Theatre Writing in Victorian Britain (Palgrave, 2005), and John Ruskin and the Victorian Theatre co-authored Jeffrey Richards (Palgrave, 2010). She was an editor of Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film for 10 years. Kate has contributed numerous essays on the nineteenth century theatre and popular culture to collections published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge, Blackwells and Ashgate. 

Kate has held research grants from the Australian Research Council for her work on British women playwrights, and from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for her work on John Ruskin and the theatre. She was recently Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project Theatre and Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth-Century. She has held research Fellowships at Harvard University, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre, University of Texas (Austin). 

From 2024, Kate is lead researcher (Principal Investigator) on a project funded by the European Research Council: Women’s Transnational Theatre Networks, 1789-1914.

Richard Holding

Richard Holding, Developer, Digital Humanities Lab, University of Exeter. Richard creates web resources for Digital Humanities research projects. His skills include the development of custom mapping solutions using the Leaflet JavaScript library, the creation of websites for managing and displaying digital collections using Omeka and eXist-db, and the design of websites and blogs in WordPress. Richard also advises academics and professional services staff on Digital Humanities aspects of bid writing for funders including the AHRC, identifying appropriate technologies and contributing details of development requirements for Data Management Plans.

Michael Kelly

Special thanks to Michael Kelly, Design Consultant.