Screenwriter, playwright, theatre director and performer, Fred Dalmasso joined Loughborough in 2016, having previously taught at the University of Worcester. He holds an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Paris X-Nanterre and an MA in History of Art from the University of Reading. He gained his PhD from Loughborough University in 2012; his thesis explored the role of theatre in Alain Badiou’s philosophy. Fred has trained at the École du Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris) and worked in the theatre industry in France and Ireland. He is now the artistic director of the performance group collect-ifs. His main areas of research are practice-based theatre translation and the relationship between performance, theatre, philosophy and politics. His teaching focuses on 20th and 21st century visual and performing arts in their interaction with politics and philosophy. Fred is also convenor of the Politicised Practice Research Group whose recent collective work on re-imagining citizenship was exhibited internationally. Fred also supervises a number of PhDs across the School of Design and Creative Arts and is SDCA Deputy Director of Doctoral Programmes.
Fred's research interests include film and theatre adaptation and practice-based theatre translation, particularly the translation of rhythm. He also researches the possible interaction(s) between performance, theatre, philosophy and politics, specifically what he defines as ‘theatres of inexist[a]nce’ and ‘syncopolitics’.
Current publication projects include a chapter on the political use of the comic mask in Badiou’s plays for a book entitled Second Nature: Comic Performance and Philosophy edited by Lisa Trahair and Josephine Gray (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021), a co-authored book on practice-based theatre translation with Dr Roger Baines (UEA) and a monograph, Syncopolitics where he is developing the notion he introduced in Syncope in Visual and Performing Arts (Via Artis, 2017).
As part of his practice as research, Fred has recently co-written Derrida | Benjamin: Two Plays for the Stage (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) and directed Derrida - A play, a stage adaptation of John Schad's documentary novel Someone Called Derrida. The play has been performed at several venues in the UK, including The Ortus in London with support from South London and Maudsley NHS Founation Trust, the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and at the HowTheLightGetsIn Festival and Lancaster LitFest. Fred also directed and performed in John Schad's Benjamin - A play that was given its premiere at the Watford Palace Theatre in 2016 and has toured in several UK venues since, including the Dukes Theatre Lancaster, Schulman auditorium in Oxford and Judith E Wilson studio in Cambridge.
Fred also recently started to work more with film and has made a documentary film based on John Schad’s novel The Late Walter Benjamin, set in 1948 on London-overspill council estate South Oxhey. The film Nowhere Near Utopia documents the lives of bombed-out Londoners and that of newcomers to the estate. It focuses not only on the very early days of the estate but also the racial and political tensions experienced there in the 1970s and how those tensions resonate with the estate as it is today. The film premiered at the Watford Palace Theatre in 2016 along with a stage adaptation of the same material.
Further information about Fred's research can be found at Academia.edu.
Fred is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and his teaching spans across Creative Arts. Fred is module leader on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules:
'Performance Philosophy' (2nd year)
'Creative Dissent: Protest, Activism and Art' (2nd year)
'Theatre in the Community' (3rd year)
'Cinematic Practices' (3rd year)
Interdisciplinary Project (MA)
He is also contributing to the MA Theatre and MA Storytelling modules 'Performative Writing', 'Major Project' and 'Dissertation'.
- (sound and performance installation) Rhythm Resilience Project, in collaboration with performance-poet David ‘Stickman’ Higgins and hip-hop artist Jugga-naut and funded by The National Academics and Creatives Exchange (2018-ongoing)
- (performance) Benjamin, a play by John Schad directed and performed by Fred Dalmasso (The Storey, Lancaster, October 2018)
- (public walk, performance and discussion) as part of Instant Dissidence’s One Last Dance - An Chéad Damhsa (Dance4 Nottingham, September 2018)
- (documentary film) Nowhere Near Utopia (2016)
- (performance) John Schad’s Nowhere Near London (directing and performing): Watford Palace Theatre (2016),
- (co-adaptation and performance) Last Train (2012-2017: Oxford Playhouse, Lancaster Dukes Theatre as part of LitFest, The Ortus (London) with support from South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Worcester Royal Infirmary Hospital, Arts at the Old Firestation - Oxford, Judith E. Wilson Studio - Cambridge, Sheldonian Theatre - Oxford)
- (performance) Bernard Marie Koltès’ In the Solitude of the Cotton Fields (directing), Biennale BM Koltès, Metz (France) Oct. 2014
Membership of editorial boards
- Editorial Board member for the Via Artis series (Paris, Editions Le Manuscrit)
Membership of any relevant societies/organisations
- Co-convenor of the Theatre, Performance and Philosophy research group at TaPRA
- Member of the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD), France
- Member of EURODRAM (European network for drama in translation) English Committee
Public talks/conference papers
- ‘Stepping out of the Public Sphere’, TaPRA annual conference, Exeter, Sept. 2019
- ‘Dramaturgies of syncopolitics or fleeing as a mode of thought’, TaPRA annual conference, Aberystwyth University, September 2018
- ‘Withdrawn Images and Syncopolitics’ – Syncope: Exhibition Launch, FRAC Picardie, March 2016
- ‘Stages of Statelessness’ – Institutions, Politics, Performance conference, Green Park, Athens, September 2015
- ‘Ethics of Play in Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Life and Times’ - TaPRA (Theatre, Performance & Philosophy) Conference, University of Worcester, September 2015
- ‘Badiou’s Ethics of Play or How to Perform Inexist[a]nce’ - Ethics of Play international conference organised by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Philosophy, and Charles University, Faculty of Humanities, Prague, November 2014
- ‘The Groundless Performer’ (in collaboration with performer Lee Hassall) - Helsinki International Platform for Performer Training conference, Theatre Academy, January 2014
- ‘The Prompting of Screen Presence on Stage’ - Cinema in theatre in French and English- speaking cultures international conference organised by Lyon 2 University, ENS-Lyon, Paris 13 University, the New York University in Paris and RADAC, Lyon, December 2013
- ‘A Badiouan Out-Of-Body Experience’ - Performance & Mystical Experience (TaPRA Theatre, Performance & Philosophy Symposium), Queen Mary, London University, May 2013
- ‘Body Traces and Rhythm Politics’ - What is Performance Philosophy? - Staging a new field Performance-Philosophy inaugural conference, University of Surrey, April 2013
- 'Looking for Koltès - Practice-based Translation, Rhythm and Politics' - (Collaborative keynote delivered with Roger Baines (UEA) and David ‘Stickman’ Higgins) Drama Translation in the Age of Globalisation: Paradoxes and Paradigms, University of Salford, March 2013
- Performing Politics as Inexist[a]nce’ - TaPRA (Theatre, Performance & Philosophy) Conference, University of Kent, September 2012
- 'Subjective Pile Up (Badiouan questioning of Willi Dorner’s Bodies In Urban Spaces)’ - Actor, Performer, Citizen: Thinking new modes of being in Performance & Philosophy, PSi Performance and Philosophy Working Group, Theatre Academy, Helsinki, April 2011
- ‘Alain Badiou’s staging of the migrant worker as a political subject’ - Theatre and the Making of Subjects, German Society for Theatre Studies, Mainz, October 2010
- ‘Presence: a laicised grace? (A Badiouan take on presence)’ - Performing Presence: From The Live To The Simulated, University of Exeter, March 2009
Fred is welcoming PhD projects on Performance Philosophy, contemporary emancipatory art, theatre translation, cinematic practices, storytelling.
He currently supervises PhD projects on the following topics:
- The use of stop motion animation as a tool to develop young people's mental health literacy
- The use of joint storytelling through tabletop role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, as a tool for improving young adults mental health literacy
- Film practice exploring the haunting of digital assest capacities - using experimental moving image to investigate corporate culture as the embodiment of neoliberalism
- Sculptural practice that combines elements of witchcraft to (re)invent shamanic and theatrical narratives to construct illusionary spaces
- Exploration of the Tipping Point for Environmental Action: The influence of stories of hope and fear in the ''momentary undecidability'' of re- and preenactment