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Dr Frances Barbe

Associate Dean (Performance)

Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 9370 6161
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML2.206  

Frances is Associate Dean of Performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). She teaches within the Bachelor of Performing Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Acting) courses and is a postgraduate research supervisor.

Current teaching

  • PMA2005 - Movement Fundamentals
  • PMA3003 - Advanced Performer Training
  • PMA3005 - Final Independent Project
  • ACT2002 - The Dynamic Actor.


Frances Barbe is a performance-maker with more than twenty years experience. She has worked internationally as performer, director, choreographer and teacher. Before commencing at WAAPA, ECU, Frances was based in the United Kingdom working at the University of Kent 2001 – 2010 and as a special guest teacher for Central School of Speech and Drama, Exeter University, Birkbeck University, Rose Bruford College, East 15 and Plymouth University. She also worked freelance as a practicing artist in London, throughout the UK and internationally. She was a member of Tadashi Endo's Butoh Mamu Dance Theatre (Germany 1997 - 2008), established Fran Barbe Dance Theatre (London, 2000 - 2010) and founded Theatre Training Intiative (London 1999 - 2010) for whom she curated two international butoh festivals (2005 and 2009).

Her teaching focus is movement, creative process, devising and directing contemporary performance.

Professional associations

  • 2017 - Intercultural Theatre Institute, Singapore, Academic Board.

Awards and recognition

University and National Teaching awards

  • Vice Chancellor's Staff Award 2018 for Engagement in Learning & Teaching for "Inspirational teaching and visionary approach in developing a new course, the Bachelor of Performing Arts course.

Research areas and interests

  • Performer Training (movement and creativity)
  • Butoh dance
  • Devised Performance
  • Intercultural performance
  • Japanese Theatre.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, England, 2012.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, England, 2007.

Research Outputs

Book Chapters

Journal Articles

  • Barbe, F., Newman, R. (2018). Spectator as traveller and performer as guide: a conversation on the pedagogy of site-specific, participatory and immersive performance. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 9(2), 274-282.

Creative Arts Research Outputs

  • Barbe, F. (2016). Exquisite: An intercultural encounter with grief.. Metro Arts.

Creative Arts Research Outputs

  • Barbe, F., Smith, A. (2015). Tender Napalm (co-director). La Salle College of the Arts.

Research Projects

  • Mental Health – Role of the creative arts, including digital storytelling and performances on community wellbeing, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, Covid-19 Research Fund, 2020 ‑ 2022, $100,000.
  • 'The Big Sea' Creative Development, Department of Local Government and Communities, Arts U-15 K Grants Program, 2021, $14,995.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), Performer training evolutions: NSP the firstborn son of SMAT

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Eliza or 'that woman'
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Evoking the screen actor's presence through collaborative sub-textual improvisation: Examining a screen director's approach to improvisation and the co-authoring of characterization.

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Giving voice to the extra-normal self with the extra-normal voice: Improvised exploration through the realms of shamanic chaos magick, insight meditation and gender performance
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), The fifth sparrow: In memory of mollie skinner
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The reinvention of tradition: Transformation of Chinese water sleeve dance and tai ji in contemporary performer training and performance making
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Sites of justice: Face-to-face encounters through dance-making in meeting places
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Noting the self: From embodying buddhist vipassana meditation to meditation-based performance.
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), Dialogue not diatribe: Methods for a practice of socio-humanitarian playwriting
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), My hall: Excavating, shaping and sharing the memory of Hale School's memorial hall through a site specific, staged performance
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts), Minimising the risks of 21st century violence: The balance of ethics and creativity in staging Simon Stephens' Motortown.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The jekyll's hide project. Devising jekyll's hide: A critical analysis of the performative elements and working methods of jerry lewis and the butoh dancers tatsumi hijikata and kazuo ohno.
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