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Karen Benjamin

Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts

I have a background in Professional Theatre and workshop facilitation. I specialise in improvisation and devising, as well as educational theatre programmes. I work freelance as a director and perform comedy improv. Chevron icon


I have a background in performing having initially worked professionally in TV and theatre after graduating with a Drama & Dance degree. I was Director of my own Community Theatre Company for seven years and have experience of working with a wide range of children and young people, including having managed an Adventure Playground in Glasgow for Disabled children. I am a trainer and facilitator and have written many training courses for Playworkers, including Level 2 & 3 qualifications. At the University I deliver Modules in Acting, Devising and Theatre in Education, as well as being involved in European Projects promoting transfer of knowledge. Most recently working on ARTPAD (Achieving Resilience Through Play & Drama) an Erasmus + research project culminating in a training course for teachers and educators on how to use drama techniques and approaches within the classroom.

I continue to direct shows outside of the University and perform with Box of Frogs, a Comedy Improv group in Birmingham.


  • BA (Hons): Drama and Dance, University of Worcester, 1980
  • PGCE: Drama Specialist, University of Central Birmingham, *
  • DipH, Playwork, University of Gloucestershire, *

Membership of professional bodies

Equity The Actors Union

Teaching & Research


Karen teaches improvisation skills and devising techniques, as well as implementing Stanislavski methods through directing. She is skilled in educational theatre and drama teaching techniques which are explored through performances and modules. Karen also delivers Laban technique, a movement approach for actors.