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Sean Myatt

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Theatre Design


Sean is involved in the planning and teaching of modules on the BA Theatre Design, and Costume Design and Making, including Erasmus and work based learning. He also was instrumental in the development of the MA in Puppetry and digital animation and the teaching of it.

Current project: Foundations for Object Theatre – An AHRC Funded Network

There is currently great interest in the study of the object across different subject areas such as psychology, philosophy, anthropology and cultural studies. Objects are increasingly being studied and utilised in contemporary practice in performance, community arts, dance and puppetry. However, although the use of objects and their cultural meanings have been documented, very little has been written about object theatre as a separate discipline.

Theories are emerging – from Western Europe, Indonesia and the USA – in both its teaching and practice but, as yet, there has not been a platform for rigorous intellectual exchange between practitioners, industry professionals and academics to provide a solid theoretical grounding for object theatre as its own discipline. The Foundations for Object Theatre Network will enable first generation practitioners to share their understandings and methods with academics, PhD students and industry practitioners, to establish a foundation for further research into object theatre. Specific research strands will be:

  • the history and methodology of object theatre from a cross-cultural perspective
  • object theatre’s use across disciplines in drama, performance and the visual arts
  • how theory can inform teaching practice.

Mr Sean Myatt (NTU) and Dr Daniel Watt (Loughborough) organised two events to begin the network: Foundations for Object Theatre (December 2011) and Object Theatre - Methodology and Pedagogy (March 2012).

These events clarify the methodology and pedagogy of object theatre and institute a networking platform for these researchers and practitioners, often working in different disciplines, to share their work and agree forms of teaching practice that can be disseminated to the wider academic and performance community. By utilising a cross-disciplinary approach this research aims to benefit researchers in fields such as puppetry, theatre studies and performing arts, cultural studies and community arts.

Career overview

  • Objects and their meanings
  • Analogue and digital active still points
  • European and international puppetry
  • Object theatre
  • Epic spectacle and street performance
  • Pedagogy of sustainability design teaching
  • Pedagogy of Puppet arts

Research areas

  • OPEN – looking at the relationships of Objects, Practices and Experiences
  • Sustainable Theatres / Performance Practices - looking at the development of sustainable design practice and pedagogy

Research, scholarly and professional interests

  • Research network development in the Foundations for Object theatre. Looking at the practice and teaching of object theatre across, Asia, North America and Europe
  • The meaning in the object looking at the nature of the performing object and its cross over into other disciplines such a: Fine arts, Dance, psychology, anthropology
  • Pedagogy of object theatre.(Looking at the development and foundation of Object theatre teaching)
  • Community and the object. (Looking into Systems and relationships between objects and people)

Other areas of interest and research:

  • Puppetry, Traditional and Post-modern
  • Sustainable Theatre development, in Practice and teaching

Information for prospective research students

  • Puppetry practice and teaching
  • Directing the inanimate
  • Puppet / Actor relationships
  • Object theatre practice and teaching

External activity

  • 1989, Arts councils puppet bursary for continued professional development
  • 1992-96 The company Philippe Genty (France), Performer


  • 11/09 'Instinctive Object Ramblings', Suspense puppetry and object theatre festival, London
  • 04/10 'Teaching animation of materials and objects in visual narrative', Puppetry in HE.
  • Hett Firmamant Mechelen, Bruxelles
  • 05/10 'Instinctive Object Ramblings', Oslo International Puppet festival
  • 04/11 'Puppetry and Post dramatic performance'. University of Connecticut, USA
  • Member of the board of trustees. Norwich Puppet Theatre
  • Puppetry Curator, Prague Quadrennial, Scenofest 2011

Sponsors and collaborators

Foundations for Object Theatre Networking Scheme

A successful Arts and Humanities Research Council award of £34,340 has been made to Sean Myatt (Principal Investigator) Nottingham Trent University, Theatre Design Department and Dan Watt (Co-Investigator) Loughborough University, English and Drama Department.

The Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre £5,000 Grant for an Object Theatre Website, providing a means to sustain collaboration and keep people informed about new developments and events, whilst also benefiting a wider public, e.g. schools, FE and Higher Education institutions, and industry practitioners.
Website content will include: transcriptions of discussions with practitioners, monthly articles, a forum, and an editorial.

Scholarship Projects for Undergraduate Researchers £1,640
The Sustainable Theatres/Design and Production Practices Research Group, headed by Sean Myatt has been successful in gaining a SPUR grant, enabling it to work with three students.

Pedagogic Research and / or Development Projects (NTU £1,000)
The Materials Library enhances the understanding and relationships between virtual and real materials-based learning. This involves the development of a real materials library in conjunction with a virtual online database of materials.

Press expertise

Sean's areas of expertise include:

  • Animation
  • Theatre (sustainable theatre design practice and pedagogy)
  • Materials (the perfomativity of)
  • Theatre (object theatre)
  • Theatre (puppetry performance)