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Dr Adelle Hulsmeier

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Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Screen Performance

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Screen Performance. I teach Screen Performance and Performing Arts courses.

I am an External Examiner for BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Performance at Queen Margaret University, Scotland.

I am a Senior Fellow of Advance HE. Winner of a National Teaching Fellowship Award (NTFS, 2020), Winner of a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE, 2019), graduate of Advanced HE's Aurora Programme for Leadership Development for Women in HE (2022).

I achieved my PhD in Shakespeare in 2019, I have an MA (with Distinction) from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London; and a BA (Hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies from the University of Hull.

I manage the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries' collaboration with Northumbria Police, and I have also developed and led the academic partnership with Live Theatre, Newcastle. I have created extensive links and networks with clients external to the University and attempted to embed external engagement opportunities across the curriculum. Ensuring students experience authentic workplace experience, ahead of graduation, has become the heart of my passion for capturing their innate innovation and creativity, which ensures a visionary, yet achievable focus for the curriculum.

My career trajectory and teaching have been characterised by my conviction to embed the notion of social change as an integral part of teaching and learning, which in turn impacts on a capacity to drive positive change through a transformative educational experience. My teaching focuses on collaborative learning, transcending institutional and civic boundaries, and driving and underpinning curricula with participatory action research which develops the critical reflexivity of students.

My research is threefold. 
1) Embedding employability in the curriculum via client-led and academic/industry collaborations. Creating an exchange platform for sharing good practice and enhancing the scope for further collaborative approaches to the curriculum and pedagogy. 
2) Participatory practice, creating work that is led by the community and for the community, mostly to create social change and transformative educational experience. 
3) Shakespeare and Applied Theatre and how Shakespeare's plays may contribute to a socially transformative encounter.

I teach modules that are rooted in social change, the theory and practice of acting and performance, applied theatre, Shakespeare, screen performance, and multi-disciplinary performance in the areas of cabaret and popular performance.


Teaching and supervision

I teach BA (Hons) Performing Arts and BA (Hons) Screen Performance.

Module Leader:

  • Screen Showcase 
  • Acting for Screen 1
  • Cabaret
  • TV Drama Projects**
  • Multi-Platform Performance

Module Tutor:

  • Approaches to Creative Practice*
  • Independent Study

*Since 2015 I have actively strengthened partnership collaborations, shaping and managing a partnership between the University and Live Theatre, Newcastle. This coincides with the planning and delivery of a range of modules within Performing Arts, (Approaches to Creative Practice, Screen Showcase, Creative Enterprise Project, Final Showcase). The partnership aims to; afford relationships with theatre members and increase their capacity and capability in delivering module content to the students, provide the student body with networking opportunities with a range of professionals working in the industry, and give the students access to the operational workings of a contemporary, professional theatre and its programme. This offers a more vocational focus to student learning and these encounters are aimed to offer confidence and identify pathways into the creative industries. 

** Since 2013 I introduced and continue to manage the collaborative relationship with Northumbria Police, affording drama and film production students, particularly those taking the module TV Drama Projects, the opportunity to produce and act in films that increase awareness of complex category serious crime. 

Research interests for potential research students

  • Shakespeare
  • Applied theatre
  • Performance
  • Screen performance
  • Drama education
  • Theatre for social change 
  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship on the curriculum 


Future/pending research projects:

Local Theatres: Participation, Inclusion, Imagination
Project Co-Lead, Sunderland 
A major study of local theatres across the UK relative to where localism has re-entered the political lexicon. 

Active research projects: 

Embedding Employability on the Curriculum

In a joint research project with Hayley Jenkins, our project collates a 'live' exchange of enterprising innovations currently embedded in curricula across our faculty as a means of articulating good practice and enhancing the scope for more successful collaborative approaches to pedagogical practice and entrepreneurship education. Our project:

  • Shares practical guidance to support colleagues in embedding enterprise within the curriculum
  • Provides a platform to share good practice and navigate challenges in embedding enterprise in the curriculum
  • Enhances embedded industrial practices, collaborations, and innovations.


Participatory Practice

1) Partnership with Northumbria Police
I manage the collaboration with Northumbria Police, and sustain and nurture the partnership which affords performance and film production students the opportunity to produce films that increase awareness of complex category serious crime. Invaluable as a training resource for the police and invested partners from counselling services, law, healthcare, secondary, tertiary, and Higher Education*, these films are integrated into education and training. All collaborate with our Level 6 undergraduates. To date, over 50 films have been produced by approximately 1000+ students. All films have addressed key issues of serious crime including the capacity to consent, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, cyber-safety, modern-day slavery, male rape, county lines, policing during covid, and Peer on Peer abuse.

*Changing Lives, Sunderland Counsellors, Edge North East, SARC, Slater & Gordon, Association of Chief Police Officers, Healthcare Professionals (e.g. GPs, GUM services, University Wellbeing Departments, Accident and Emergency Departments), and Voluntary Organisations.

Past research projects: 

National Theatre's Public Acts, in collaboration with Royal Holloway, University of London
Public Acts builds sustained partnerships with theatre and community organisations across the UK who share a vision of theatre as a force for change. In collaboration with Royal Holloway, I employed a research assistant to work closely with Sunderland Empire and the Fire Station, Sunderland. Collaboratively we create an end report which combined an analysis of both individual and community benefits, for participants of the City of Sunderland, around career opportunities through participation with theatre and the arts. 

Blast Beach: Reading the Rocks
Principal Investigator, project manager, producer, and coordinator for Sea Air project: Reading the Rocks. This project was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This was a multi-media-based project based around and informed by interviews with communities who are living around and/or influenced by Blast Beach, Seaham. Over a six-month period, varying individuals were interviewed to create a documentary that highlights the influence of the coast upon the people who live and are influenced by it. Geologists, East Durham Artist's Network (EDAN), miners, and local community members will be interviewed about the coast and its meaning and influence on their work, practice, and everyday lives. This work was screened at EDAN's Maglime exhibition and again as part of Seaham Carnival.   

Shakespeare and Applied Theatre
My research into Shakespeare within Applied Theatre settings explores the challenges faced when combining Shakespeare’s plays for purposes of transformation. It explores how applied theatre may embody strains between the instrumental and the transformative. It undertakes a historical reading of a range of Shakespeare’s works in order to demonstrate the importance of the cultural, political, and historical contexts of Shakespeare’s plays. It explores the intentions of applied theatre within three salient community settings (prison, disability, and therapy) exploring how Shakespeare’s work is used within these settings and why. All aspects are explored in order to demonstrate how the challenge of making Shakespeare’s plays work in an applied theatre setting is more complex than it may at first appear.

1. Shakespeare' Disabled, Disabled Shakespeare (2020) Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Social Justice: Bloomsbury Press, ISBN 9781350140387
2. Applied Shakespeare: A Transformative Encounter? (2023) Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, ISBN 978-3-031-45413-4

My research outputs are relevant to the areas of drama for social change, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, partnership and client-led curriculum design and action-based research.


Number of items: 11.


Hulsmeier, Adelle and Jenkins, Hayley (2021) Enterprise Exchange: Analysing the levels of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Activity Embedded in Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries (FACI) Programmes at the University of Sunderland. Embedding Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education: A Case Study Series. (In Press)

Hulsmeier, Adelle (2020) Working beyond end-point assessments to deliver employability experiences: The University of Sunderland’s Crime Awareness student film projects in collaboration with Northumbria Police and its Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Enhancing Graduate Employability: a case study compendium. pp. 11-15.

Book Section

Hulsmeier, Adelle (2021) Understanding Signature Pedagogies: How film can tackle important civic issues. In: The CATE Collection: Together in Collaborative Educational Leadership. Advance HE. ISBN 9781916359369

Hulsmeier, Adelle (2020) Shakespeare's Diabled: Disabled Shakespeare. In: The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Social Justice. Bloomsbury Press, London. ISBN 9781350140387

Hulsmeier, Adelle (2020) It’s warm up North: training and opportunities for actors living in North East England. In: Actors' and Performers' Yearbook 2021 Essential Contacts for Stage, Screen and Radio. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350159471

Conference or Workshop Item

Hulsmeier, Adelle (2022) Working in Partnership with Local services to Deliver Employability Experience Beyond End-Point Assessments. In: National Conference of Employability 2022, 2nd March 2022, Online. (In Press)

Hulsmieer, Adelle (2018) Applied Film for a Live Client Brief: Crime Films in Collaboration with Northumbria Police. In: Employability Symposium: An Enterprising Mind-Set for Employability 2018. HEA Academy, York. 15/05/18., 15 May 2018, York.


Hulsmeier, AC (2023) Applied Shakespeare: A Transformative Encounter? Springer - Palgrave Macmillan Cham, London. ISBN 978-3-031-45413-4


Hulsmeier, Adelle (2019) Applied Shakespeare: a transformative encounter: An analysis of Shakespeare’s use within applied theatre settings, for transformative purposes. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.


Hulsmeier, Adelle, Roberts, Dave and Smith, William Blast Beach: Digging Deeper. [Film/Video]


Suzy, O'Hara and Lottie, Steele (2024) SeaScapes Co/Lab Podcasts. [Audio]

This list was generated on Mon Jul 22 07:05:04 2024 BST.

  • Shakespeare
  • Applied theatre
  • Performance
  • Screen performance
  • Drama education
  • Live theatre
  • Theatre for social change 
  • Employability on the curriculum 

Professional memberships:

  • Senior Fellow, Association of Higher Education
  • DisCrim Network: Vulnerability and Criminal Justice Network
  • SCUDD: Standing Conference for Drama Departments

  • 2023 VCTF Award 
  • 2022 Aurora Programme 
  • 2020 National Teaching Fellowship Award (NTFS) Advanced HE 
  • 2019 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) Advanced HE 
  • 2019 Senior Fellow of the Advanced HE (SFHEA)

In the media:

Adelle Hulsmeier in the news

Last updated 30 May 2024