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Kate Burnett

kate burnett


School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Theatre Design


Kate teaches on the Theatre Design BA (Hons.) course within the Design for Performance subject area in Visual Arts. She is currently Second Supervisor for one PhD project on Shakespeare’s apocryphal plays in production. First supervisor Peter J Smith, Department of English, NTU.

Career overview

Kate is an award winning professional theatre designer. She has worked with regional, national and touring theatre companies, also large scale schools and community performance projects for orchestras, opera companies and art galleries.  Between 1994 – 2015 she has curated and co-curated five national exhibitions of design for performance for the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD). Selections from these have been exhibited at the international Prague Quadrennial, also in regional UK galleries, the Theatre Museum, Covent Garden and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2007- 08 and 2015-2016). Kate was editor of the World Stage Design 2013 (WSD2013) catalogue and a member of the WSD2017 Selection Panel and Jury in Taipei.

Research areas

  • Curating & documenting the processes of Scenography
  • Design for alternative spaces and audiences
  • Pedagogy of Scenography and interdisciplinary applications
  • Drawing and Scenography

Research Group: Design for Performance

External activity

  • 2017 Member of Selection Panel and Jury, World Stage Design 2017 held at Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan 1-9 July 2017.
  • 2016 Consultant, Back to the Drawing Board exhibition (Designers Peter Rice and Pat Alberg), Keele University, 9/11/2016 – 26/1/2017
  • 2016  Visiting Professor,  Musashino University of Art & Design, Tokyo, Japan (Visited 18-24/4/2016)
  • 2015  - Curator, Make/Believe - UK Design for Performance 2011-2015 SBTD Open National Exhibition: NTU, Nottingham January 2015, UK National Curator for Prague Quadrennial June 2015,  Exhibition Curator, V&A Museum July 2015 – January 2016
  • 2015 Visiting Professor, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • 2015 – current, External Examiner, RCS BA Production Arts and Design- 2013
  • current, External Examiner, UAL, London College of Fashion, BA Courses: Costume for Performance; Hair, Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance; 3D Effects for Performance & Fashion
  • 2010 – Guest speaker, Education in Theatre Design / Scenography, PaCPA, Tokyo
  • 2007-2008. Curator, Collaborators: UK Design for Performance, 2003 - 2007: SBTD National Open Exhibition, 1851 Gallery, NTU; UK National Curator for Prague Quadrennial 2007; Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2007-08
  • 2008 External Assessor, Approval Panel for Single Honours Scenographyand Theatre Design BA (Hons), Aberystwyth University
  • 2005 – 2007 External Examiner, Edinburgh College of Art, MA Performance Costume
  • 2002 - 2006 External Examiner, Rose Bruford College, Theatre Design BA (Hons); Technical Theatre Arts BA (Hons); Costume Production BA (Hons)
  • 2002 – 2005, Co-Curator, 2D>3D Design for Theatre and Performance, 1999-2003. SBTD National Open Exhibition, Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, 2002-03; Prague Quadrennial 2003; Theatre Museum, London and regional tour 2003-05
    2000 – 2001 Member of the HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2001) Artand Design Panel.


  • 2015 Prague Quadrennial, Special Jury Award for 'Excellence and Diversity' to Make/Believe exhibition.
  • 2003 Prague Quadrennial, Golden Triga awarded for 2D>3D exhibition (co-curated with Peter Ruthven Hall)
  • 1995 Prague Quadrennial, Gold Medal awarded for Make Space! Exhibition (co-curated with Peter Ruthven Hall)

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Theatre and Performance Department
  • 2015 Make/Believe exhibition £55,000; 2007 Collaborators exhibition £45,000
  • Arts Council England: 2007 Collaborators exhibition £90,000; 2003 2D>3D exhibition £75,000
  • 2009 Nottingham City Council Post-16 ALIVE project in Work Related Learning, £130,000
  • 2005 – 2007, South Yorkshire, Nottingham, Lincolnshire Health Authorities WOW Project in Work Related Learning Environments 14-16yrs. £56,000
  • SBTD (Society of British Theatre Designers)
  • OISTAT (International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians)

Press expertise

  • Theatre Design
  • Design for Performance
  • Scenography
  • Curation of Design for Performance