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Karen Benjamin

Senior Lecturer In Drama & 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.


My background is in performing, having worked professionally in TV and theatre after graduating with a degree in Drama & Dance. I was Artistic Director of my own community theatre company for 7 years and have experience of working with a wide range of children and young people, including managing an Adventure Playground in Glasgow for Disabled children.

At the university, I deliver modules in Devising & improvisation, Physical Theatre and Theatre in Education as well as directing musicals.

As a trainer and facilitator, I have written many training courses for playworkers, including Level 2 & 3 qualifications and I have been involved in several European Projects promoting transfer of knowledge. Most recently, I’ve been 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 am a member of The Writer’s Lab at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham and I perform professionally with Box of Frogs, Birmingham’s premier comedy improv troupe. I continue to work on independent theatre projects.


  • 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.


More publications from Karen Benjamin can be found in the Research Repository.