Chris Hay


College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

+61 8 82012204
place Bedford Park (249)

Chris Hay is Professor of Drama at Flinders University, a position he took up in October 2022 after previous appointments at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), the University of New England (UNE), and the University of Queensland (UQ). He is an Australian theatre and cultural historian, whose work examines funded cultural output for what it can tell us about national anxieties and preoccupations. His new book, Contemporary Australian Playwriting: Re-visioning the Nation on the Mainstage co-written with Stephen Carleton, has just been published by Routledge.

Chris currently holds a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council for his project on the origins of live performance subsidy in Australia between 1949 and 1975. A major output of that project is the Shadow Canon Collection, an online resource collecting unpublished Australian plays and making them available to performers and researchers to deepen engagement with our national theatre history, which will go live in 2023.

As a theatre director, Chris is particularly interested in German Modernism. His recent work directing students includes Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening in his own translation at UNE, and Max Frisch’s The Arsonists at UQ. He works with the intracultural acting methodology pioneered by Kristine Landon-Smith, in a collaboration they began at NIDA. Their co-authored acting manual, Embedding Diversity in Performer Training, is forthcoming in 2024.

Outside of the University, Chris is the Vice-President of ADSA Ltd, the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies, and a co-convenor of the Historiography Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR). He is the Deputy Editor of the open-access e-journal Performance Paradigm, and an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Training, where he co-edited a 2021 special issue on Performer Training in Australia.


PhD, University of Sydney

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Sydney

PG Cert of Learning and Teaching in HE, Rose Bruford College

Topic coordinator
DRAM2100 Modern Drama: The Rise of the Director
DRAM1002 Contemporary Drama