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Personal profile


Tom Gorman is an academic and theatre director currently based at Coventry University. Tom studied English Literature and Language at Queen's University Belfast before going on to complete a PhD in Theatre at the University of Ulster researching the history of non-naturalistic dramaturgy especially the concept of the 'play within a play'. In 1990, after working for some time as a freelance actor, Tom co-founded Sightlines Theatre Company, Belfast and worked with them as Artistic Director for six years. During this period he also worked as a freelance actor, writer and director with numerous theatre companies throughout Northern Ireland and as a writer for Radio Ulster. From 1997 onwards he worked as Strand Leader in Drama at the University Of Birmingham, moving on to become Course Director of the BA Drama Studies degree at Bath Spa University. From 2007 onwards he has been working as Senior Lecturer on the BA Theatre and Professional Practice Degree at Coventry University.

Tom co-founded Sightlines Theatre Company in 1990. Sightlines were a small-scale independent touring company, based in Belfast, offering an alternative to the rather insular theatre scene at the time. Focusing on international work and performances that involved the audience on a physical and intellectual level, the company were a regular feature at Belfast international festival. Described by the Ulster Newsletter as 'the most exciting company in Ireland' in 1995, the company eventually disbanded in 1996.

He is currently engaged in a research project in conjunction with the University of Tampere, Finland, using videoconferencing technology, projections and sound design to create immersive virtual rehearsal spaces. This project, now in its fourth year, was the recipient of the Gold Award for most innovative Arts and Humanities project at the 2016 Reimagine Education Awards. In December 2018 it recieved the Gold Award for best Arts and Humanities project and the Gold for Hybrid Learning at the 2018 Reimagine Education awards and was one of the 10 highest scoring projects out of 1,184 entries,

In 2019 he will collaborate with Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan and Purdue University, Indiana on new iterations of the telepresence project.

Research Interests

Directing ; Robert Wilson ; Actor-Training ; Bertolt Brecht ; Thornton Wilder ; American Theatre ; Renaissance Theatre ; Theatre History and Theory ; Contemporary Irish Theatre ; Early 20th Century German Theatre, Telepresence, Distance Learning, Virtual Mobility

Education/Academic qualification

Postgraduate Certificate, University of Wales


Doctorate, Ulster University


Degree, Queen's University Belfast


External positions

External Examiner, Newcastle College


External Examiner, Lancaster University



  • PR English literature
  • Theatre
  • Telepresence
  • Shakespeare
  • Brecht
  • Wilder
  • Distance Learning
  • Rehearsal
  • Directing

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Research Output 2011 2016

  • 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Performance
2 Citations

The coriolanus online project

Kanninen, M., Syrjä, T. & Gorman, T. Oct 2016 AcademicMindtrek '16 Proceedings of the 20th International Academic Mindtrek Conference. New York, USA: Association for Computing Machinery, p. 457-459 3 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

foreign language
mother tongue
international cooperation

Critical Decor: What Works (The Messingkauf Dialogues)

Gorman, T., Chafer, J., Coletta, R. & Hunter, M. J. 25 Jan 2014

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


Stations to Station: An analysis of the Stations Project

Gorman, T. 29 Sep 2011 Stages to Performance: In the Rehearsal Room. Paterson, R. (ed.). McNidder & Grace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Seamus Heaney

Activities 2016 2019

  • 15 Participation in conference
  • 2 Invited talk
  • 1 Public Engagement Event

The International Platform for Performer Training, Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, 17 – 20 January, 2019

Gorman, T. (Speaker), Mikko Kanninen (Speaker), Tiina Syrja (Speaker)
17 Jan 201920 Jan 2019

Activity: Invited talk

Online Conference ‘Dramaturgio, Teatro, Telepresencia’

Gorman, T. (Speaker), Tiina Syrja (Speaker)
26 Sep 2018

Activity: Invited talk

NCDP (Pohjoismainen etäyhteyksien kehittämisen keskus)

Gorman, T. (Speaker), Mikko Kanninen (Speaker), Tiina Syrja (Speaker)
12 Feb 201814 Feb 2018

Activity: Participation in conference

Interfaces: Digital Performers, Digital Experiences & Digitized Audiences

Gorman, T. (Speaker)
4 Jul 2018

Activity: Participation in conference

Network Performing Arts Production Workshop

Gorman, T. (Speaker)
24 Apr 201826 Apr 2018

Activity: Participation in conference


Coventry University Excellence Award

Tom Gorman (Recipient), Mikko Kanninen (Recipient) & Tiina Syrja (Recipient), 14 Jun 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Coventry University Excellence Award for Internationalisation of the Curriculum

Tom Gorman (Recipient), Mikko Kanninen (Recipient) & Tiina Syrja (Recipient), 29 Jun 2016

Prize: National/international honour

QS Reimagine Education Gold Award Arts and Humanities

Tom Gorman (Recipient), Mikko Kanninen (Recipient) & Tiina Syrja (Recipient), 30 Nov 2018

Prize: National/international honour

QS Reimagine Education Gold Award for best Arts and Humanities Project 2016

Tom Gorman (Recipient), Mikko Kanninen (Recipient) & Tiina Syrja (Recipient), 6 Dec 2016

Prize: National/international honour


QS Reimagine Education Gold Award Hybrid Learning

Tom Gorman (Recipient), Mikko Kanninen (Recipient) & Tiina Syrja (Recipient), 30 Nov 2018

Prize: National/international honour


Press / Media

Immersive Telepresence wins two Global Awards

Tom Gorman, Mikko Kanninen & Tiina Syrja


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Article on Collaboration between Coventry and Finland

Tom Gorman


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Motion Capture live performance between Finland and Miami

Tom Gorman


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Kuningas Learia esitetään etäläsnäolon avulla

Tom Gorman


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research