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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Sarah is Principal Lecturer (Programmes) for the department of Communications, Arts and Media.

She teaches a range of media and performance skills on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including writing for performance, direction for actors, and presenting for the camera. Sarah also teaches a wide range of contextual theory and practice-as-research in all creative disciplines. Sarah is an experienced External Examiner and is a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

Sarah graduated with a first class degree in Performing Arts from the University of Hertfordshire and continued her studies at Lancaster University where she completed her doctoral thesis by practice in experimental film and theatre.

Sarah has published on arts practice-as-research methodology and Performance/Live Art and continues to research through her own performance practice. Her current research interests are in applied approaches to interactive and participatory performance, immersive events and gameplay.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Lancaster University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2006

Master, Lancaster University

Award Date: 1 Nov 2002

Bachelor, University of Hertfordshire

Award Date: 1 Jul 1999

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Research Output

Playing the Zombie: Participation and Interpassivity in Gothic XR

O'Brien, S., 19 Feb 2020, In : Body, Space and Technology. 19, 1, p. 76-96 20 p., 19(1).

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 26 Downloads (Pure)

    Delegated Performance in Phantasmagorical Extended Reality (XR)

    O'Brien, S., 8 Sep 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Do as I do, my love: Theatre play

    O'Brien, S., 18 Nov 2018

    Research output: Non-textual formPerformance

  • Press / Media

    Middlesbrough academic's play warned of dangers of pregnancy drinking

    Sarah O'Brien


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities