Erika Hughes is a director, dramaturg, applied theatre maker, and cultural historian. She is Academic Lead in Performance at the University of Portsmouth, UK, where she also leads the BA (Hons) in Drama and Performance course. Her work as a director and deviser of performance has been seen on stages in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Israel, and Pakistan.
Since 2018 she has led workshops and conference sessions on wellness and mindfulness for theatre practitioners, including at the conferences of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE), and the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA). She is currently the conference planner for the 2021 ATHE Focus Group on Wellness, Community, and Aging, and co-editing a special issue of Youth Theatre Journal on the community healing and wellness potential of intergenerational collaboration in performance. Since 2013 Dr. Hughes has led The Veterans Project, an international performance-oral history research initiative that uses performance to foster dialogue among military veterans and the civilian communities in which they live.
Prior to joining UP she was Assistant Professor of Theatre for Youth and Communities at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, USA, where she was also affiliate faculty in Jewish Studies, German, the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, and the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement. Dr. Hughes earned her PhD in Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has held fellowships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technische Universität Berlin, and the Universität Bonn. Her articles and reviews have been published in Theatre Topics, Research in Drama Education, the Journal of European Studies, Performance Research, Youth Theatre Journal, the Brecht Yearbook, and Theatre Journal, as well as a number of edited volumes. She has delivered keynote addresses and presented her research in forums around the world.