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Artist Support

As an integral part of it’s mission, the Department of Theatre at The University of Chichester supports leading professional artists making work in the UK and abroad. Supported artists come from a wide range of performance contexts – live art, children’s theatre, dance visual performance etc – but all are committed to high quality performance in radical and challenging contexts and reflects our understanding of the integral link between the university theatre sector and independent research and development. 

Leading artists supported by the Department in recent years include:

Alongside this list of independent associate artists, sits our team of Senior Lecturers who are also leading artists in their fields: ensuring that their current industry expertise finds its way back into the studios in which they teach. 

Abigail Conway

Abigail Conway is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Chichester and visual artist and creator of live art performance. Abigail's interests lie in working with material objects, craft and actions to create playful site-specific installations and immersive encounters for audiences. 

She is committed to exploring intimacy, within instruction-based works. She is founder, and director, of Subject to_ change, a live Art Company, which makes small and large-scale, audience led, installations, to which the show home sweet home has toured to national and international acclaim. Subject to_change create live art works that are playful, immersive and transformative. The Company is committed to questioning the role of art in society by giving priority to audience engagement and their creative perception.


​Bootworks Theatre

Bootworks are a collective of artists, Robert Daniels, James Baker (both Senior Lecturers in the Department of Theatre) and Andy Roberts (Director of the Showroom Season) create performance for unusual spaces. Their work appears in a wide variety of contexts; in cafes, garages, foyers, libraries, tents, studios and pubs. They embrace a DIY & filmic form and style; that always proves to be fun and accessible, personal and nostalgic.

Their work has been presented extensively across the UK, including the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre, The National Museum of Scotland, and once at a funeral. They’ve presented projects in 12 different countries worldwide in collaboration with the British Council; from a live-action silent film staged on the lake inside the Museum of Art in Kochi, Japan, to a 5-minute Oliver Jeffers adaptation for one child at a time at an orphanage of 78 children 4-hours drive outside of Cairo.


Brian Lobel

Brian is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Chichester.  He creates performances about bodies: politicized bodies, marginalized bodies, dancing and singing bodies, happy bodies, sick bodies and bodies that need a little extra love. After being sick as a young adult, he became fascinated with unique bodily experience and how it is conceived, discussed and witnessed by others, leading him directly to his current performance practice. While his work takes many different forms — installation, stage shows, cabaret, interactive performance and publications — each project is keenly interested in how you (the audience) relate both to him and to others.


Search Party

Search Party playfully explore ideas of place, duration and intimacy. Established in 2005, Search Party is the collaboration of artists Pete Phillips and Jodie Hawkes, who are Senior Lecturers in Theatre at the University of Chichester. Search Party are committed to making immediate, hopeful performances that re-negotiate the relationship between artist and audience, creating temporary communities and inviting spectators to become co-collaborators in the live event.

Search Party make duo performances for theatres, galleries and public spaces, and have performed in venues and festivals in the UK and Internationally, including Culturegest (Lisbon, Portugal), The National Review of Live Art (Glasgow, UK), ANTIfestival (Kuopio, Finland), Plateux (Frankfurt, Germany), Nuit Blanche (Amiens, France), PAD (Mainz, Germany), InTacto (Vitoria de Gadiz, Spain), ArtBatFest (Almaty, Kazakstan) and Junction Arts Festival (Launceston, Australia).