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Research & Collaborations

The Malmö Theatre Academy has a broad base in the contemporary artistic research environment, both through its post-doctoral researchers and Phd program as well as through the involvement of its teaching staff in various artistic projects. Various national and international collaborations and international network memberships are an incremental part of the Academy´s day to day work, among other resulting in numerous professional seminars as well as open lectures for the public hosted by the academy.

Malmö Theatre Academy Research movement


The Malmö Theatre Academy has a high level of ambition and aims to be a leading educational and research institution in the field of theatre, as well as a relevant and open institution in Malmö.Two researchers, Sven Bjerstedt and Kent Sjöström, work as lecturers at the Theatre Academy and in the administration of research studies at the faculty.

Esa Kirkkopelto

Esa Kirkkopelto (born in 1965) is philosopher, artist-researcher and performer. He is currently working as a professor at the Malmö Theatre Academy (Lund University).
His research focuses on the deconstruction of the performing body both in theory and in practice. His is the founding member of the Other Spaces live art collective.

Kirkkopelto´s research, taking place in the fields of artistic research, artistic pedagogy, theatre and performance studies, performance philosophy, continental aesthetics and posthumanist studies, has nowadays three interrelated focus areas: inter-artistic and interdisciplinary compositions, theory and pedagogy of the corporeal performance, and the posthuman performance.

Sven Bjerstedt

Sven Bjerstedt earned his PhD in music education in 2014 with his thesis Storytelling in Jazz Improvisation: Implications of a Rich Intermedial Metaphor. His research addresses how we can attain a deeper understanding of music and theatre by studying concepts borrowed from different art forms.

Kent Sjöström

Kent Sjöström earned his PhD in theatre in 2007 with a thesis entitled Skådespelaren i handling: strategier för tanke och kropp [The actor in action: strategies for body and mind]. His current research concerns the values and ideologies which surround or are inherent to the actor’s practice, often in connection with the theories of Bertolt Brecht.

PhD programme in theatre

The artistic research at Malmö Theatre Academy highlights the combination of perspectives on artistic practice, generation of artistic knowledge and artistic learning.
The Academy runs a PhD programme in theatre and has five doctoral students: playwright Annika Nyman, and director John Hanse, both admitted in 2016, and in dramaturgy Tanja Diers, Costume designer Charlotte Østergaard and director and theatre maker Steinunn Knuts Önnudottir, admitted in 2020.

Former PhDs 

Actor Petra Fransson earned her PhD in theatre in 2018 with a thesis entitled Omförhandlingar. Kropp, replik, etik[Renegosiations: Body, Line, Ethics]
Playwright Christina Ouzounidis earned her PhD in 2016 with a thesis entitled Tvivel. Replikernas poetik [Doubt: The poetics of the theatrical lines],
and former lecturer Erik Rynell defended his doctoral thesis in 2008 at the Theatre Academy in Helsinki, entitled Action Reconsidered: Cognitive Aspects of the Relation between Script and Scenic Action.
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Malmö Theatre Academy focuses on establishing strong partnerships and being an active agent in relevant Networks, both within Lund University, locally in Malmö, nationally and internationally. Locally, we collaborate extensively with our closest neighbours: Inter Arts Centre, the international contemporary theatre Inkonst and the Museum of Movement, the new national museum on democracy and migration and many more.
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Further Info & Contact

Malmö Theatre Academy, Professor Esa Kirkkopelto

Esa Kirkkopelto
esa [dot] kirkkopelto [at] thm [dot] lu [dot] se

Jörgen Dahlqvist
jorgen [dot] dahlqvist [at] thm [dot] lu [dot] se

Kent Sjöström
Associate Professor
kent [dot] sjostrom [at] thm [dot] lu [dot] se

Sven Bjerstedt
Associate Professor
sven [dot] bjerstedt [at] thm [dot] lu [dot] se