Dr Chris Hay

Honorary Senior Research Fellow

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Chris is an Australian theatre and cultural historian teaching and researching in the Drama program in the School of Communication and Arts, currently working on an ARC DECRA-funded project about the origins of live performance subsidy in Australia between 1949 and 1975. In this work, as in all of his research, Chris is particularly interested in what funded cultural output can tell us about national pre-occupations and anxieties. Along with this historical focus, Chris is working on a book project about contemporary Australian mainstage theatre after the Kevin07 election, as well as the Australian component of a project on the cultural history of the Eurovision Song Contest outside Europe. Chris's teaching responsibilities at UQ include theatre history, performance production, and script analysis. Chris welcomes applications for higher degree research at MPhil or PhD level in any of these areas.

Chris joined UQ from the University of New England (UNE), where he was Lecturer in Theatre Studies in 2017 and directed UNE's major production of Spring Awakening in his own translation. Between 2014 and 2016, Chris was Associate Lecturer in Performance Practices at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney, where he taught into the theoretical components of the practice-led Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees. Chris was awarded his PhD from the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, with a thesis entitled “Learning to inhabit the chair: Knowledge transfer in contemporary Australian director training”. This research was later published as the monograph Knowledge, Creativity and Failure (Palgrave, 2016). Chris currently serves as Vice-President of ADSA (the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies), an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Deputy Editor of Performance Paradigm, and a Convenor of the Historiography Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).

Research Interests

  • Theatre directing and directors
  • Creative arts pedagogy
  • Early Modern performance practice
  • Actors and actor training
  • Eurovision Song Contest
  • Australian theatre history


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2024) Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Landon-Smith, Kristine and Hay, Chris (2024). Playing with Difference in Actor Training. Critical Acting Pedagogy. (pp. 34-45) London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003393672-4

  • Hay, Chris (2023). The bildungsroman goes to acting school. The Routledge companion to theatre-fiction. (pp. 313-324) edited by Graham Wolfe. London, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis.

  • Hay, Chris and Carniel, Jessica (2023). Armchair researchers: modes of ethnographic research for understanding and experiencing the Eurovision Song Contest. The Eurovision Song Contest as a cultural phenomenon: from concert halls to the halls of academia. (pp. 237-248) edited by Adam Dubin, Dean Vuletic and Antonio Obregón. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003188933-19

  • Maxwell, Ian and Hay, Chris (2022). Nesting Dolls. The Routledge Companion to Vsevolod Meyerhold. (pp. 380-395) edited by Jonathan Pitches and Stefan Aquilina. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003110804-34

  • Hay, Chris and Carleton, Stephen (2022). Macabre children on the Australian stage: Angela Betzien’s cycle of crime plays. Theatre and the macabre. (pp. 95-112) edited by Meredith Conti and Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press.

  • Carleton, Stephen and Hay, Chris (2022). Australian biographical theater on the post-truth stage. Theater in a post-truth world: texts, politics, and performance. (pp. 135-154) edited by William C. Boles. London, United Kingdom: Methuen Drama / Bloomsbury Publishing. doi: 10.5040/9781350215887.ch-006

  • Landon-Smith, Kristine and Hay, Chris (2022). Empowering the somatically othered actor through multi-lingual improvisation in training. Stages of reckoning: antiracist and decolonial actor training. (pp. 149-163) edited by Amy Mihyang Ginther. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003032076-12

  • Maxwell, Ian and Hay, Chris (2022). Nesting dolls: sketches in search of Meyerhold in Australia. The Routledge companion to Vsevolod Meyerhold. (pp. 380-395) edited by Jonathan Pitches and Stefan Aquilina. London, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis. doi: 10.4324/9781003110804-34

  • Hay, Chris (2020). Failure, fear, and alternate routes. Failure pedagogies: learning and unlearning what it means to fail. (pp. xi-xv) edited by Allison D. Carr and Laura R. Micciche. New York, NY, United States: Peter Lang.

  • Carniel, Jessica and Hay, Chris (2019). Conclusion—Eurovision—Australia Decides. Eurovision and Australia. (pp. 259-279) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-20058-9_13

  • Hay, Chris and Prior, Jacquelyn (2019). Introduction—“Good Evening, Europe—Good Morning, Australia!”. Eurovision and Australia. (pp. 1-14) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-20058-9_1

  • Hay, Chris (2019). Pyjama Fandom: Watching Eurovision Down Under. Eurovision and Australia. (pp. 239-258) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-20058-9_12

  • Hay, Chris and Landon-Smith, Kristine (2018). The intracultural actor: embracing difference in theatre arts teaching. New directions in teaching theatre arts. (pp. 157-173) edited by Anne Fliotsos and Gail S. Medford. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-89767-7_10

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision