Dr Molly Mullen
PhD., MA (Distinction), BA (First Class Honours)
Molly is a senior lecturer in applied theatre. To this role she brings over ten years of experience producing theatre education, youth theatre, community arts and children’s theatre projects in the UK and New Zealand. Molly's research examines the opportunities and constraints experienced by artists involved in creating socially committed theatre, drama and performance. Her doctoral research provides insights into the ways in which applied theatre companies negotiate tensions between their political, aesthetic, pedagogic and ethical values, and the demands/constraints of financing their work. She has an ongoing research interest in issues relating to funding, business practice and management in applied theatre. Her other current research and practice foci include applied performance and ecology, drama and performance in early childhood education and the arts in criminal justice contexts. She works primarily with arts-based, ethnographic and participatory research methodologies and draws on a range of poststructuralist, feminist and performance theories.
Research | Current
Creating change: Examining the economies of arts organisations working towards social justice and wellbeing for young people in Auckland, New Zealand: This study examines the tensions experienced by community arts organisations as they negotiate funding and policy conditions to promote social justice and wellbeing for young people.
Tuhia ki te ao - Write to the natural world: This TLRI project explores how people communicate a relationship and kinship with the natural world within the secondary school context. Through the project the research team will gain understanding of how literacy shapes a sense of our place in the world - our environment, our culture and our identity.
Other ongoing research interests include:
- Funding and management in applied theatre
- Applied performance and ecology
- Drama and performance in early childhood education
- Arts-based research in education and applied theatre
Teaching | Current
- EDUC 737 Arts in Communities
- EDUC 756 Applied Theatre: Performance of Hope
- EDUC 100G The Creative Process
- EDUC 213 Education and Social Justice
- EDPROFST 754 Critical Research Methodologies in Education
- EDUC 774 Education and Empowerment
- EDUC 116 Introduction to Educational Thought
- EDUC 204 Philosophy and Sociology of Education
Simon Dennan, We Chant Down Babylon: Reimagining Oceania through Critical Reggae Pedagogy, Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process
Kat Thomas, Intimate Aesthetic Revolutions, Doctor of Philosophy with Creative Component, [joint supervisor], in process
Penny Lin, Dissolving language: "There are many stories to tell", Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process
Moema Gregorzewski, Emerging as the Others of our Selves? Exploring applied theatre as Critical Multicultural Eduucation in Post-Normal times, Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], in process
Linlin Xu, Written feedback dynamics in intercultural doctoral supervision, Doctor of Philosophy, [joint supervisor], (Complete)
2012 University of Auckland Universitas 21 Doctoral Student Mobility Scholarship to spend three months researching at the University of Hong Kong's Faculty of Education
2011 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
2011TaPRA Postgraduate Bursary awarded to present a peer reviewed paper at the Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference in London
2005 Recipient of a Professional Preparation Masters Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK
Areas of expertise
Applied theatre (drama and performance practices in education, community and institutional settings)
Methodologies for research in arts, youth, community and educational contexts
2010-present Member of the Critical Research Unit in Applied Theatre at the University of Auckland
2013-present Chair of Postgraduate Committee, School of Critical Studies in Education
2013-present Member of Drama New Zealand, the New Zealand association for drama in education
2014-present Member of the Autralasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Mullen, M., Matthewman, S., & Sykes, L. (2017). Finding Te Parenga: Informing environmental identities through drama. New Zealand Journal of Research in Performing Arts and Education: Nga mahi a rehia, 7, 5-18.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sasha Matthewman
- Mullen, M., & Johansson, M. (2017). More than words: Culturally and environmentally responsive literacies in The Arts. Set: Research Information for Teachers, 2017 (3), 38-44.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Michelle Johansson
- Mullen, M. (2017). The 'diverse economies' of applied theatre. Applied Theatre Research, 5 (1), 7-22. 10.1386/atr.5.1.7_1
- Wood, B., & Mullen, M. (2016). Rangi Ruru Walk: social and spatial connections through hybrid intermedial practices. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 21 (3), 406-412. 10.1080/13569783.2016.1189820
- Mullen, M., & Thomas, K. (2016). Collaborative creativity in community settings. In O'Connor P (Ed.) The possibilities of creativity (pp. 117-134). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- Mullen, M. (2015). Managing applied theatre. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 20 (3), 267-270. 10.1080/13569783.2015.1059260
- Matthewman, S., Mullen, M., & Patuwai, T. (2015). The River Talks: An ecocritical ‘kōrero’ about ecological performance, community activism and ‘slow violence’. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 20 (4), 442-463. 10.1080/13569783.2015.1065726
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sasha Matthewman
- Mullen, M. (2014). Inviting entanglements: Researching within applied theatre companies. Applied Theatre Research, 2 (1), 33-47. 10.1386/atr.2.1.33_1