Professor in Performing Arts
Aleksander is an internationally award winning professional theatre director. His research and theatre practice informs his learning and teaching and development of student experience. In his 26 years of theatre career, he has directed across Britain, Ireland, Serbia, Romania, Iran, Colombia, Japan, Brazil and Canada. His practice as research involves a unique approach to staging/adapting theatre text using multimedia arts combined with live performance in the adaptation of well-established and canonical theatre texts. In his practice, he explores theatre that he has researched based on performers practitioners, such as Robert Lepage, who has pioneered multimedia performance. In this way, his own experience helps him to understand the working methodologies and practices that he researches.
Aleksander is also working within cultural/social contexts of international theatre investigating ways in which theatre performance changes and transforms based on the audience's input and participation. For example, his recent projects include 'Cherry Orchard' (2008-2011), 'New World Order Club' (2009) 'Death of a Salesman' (2013) and 'Dancing at Lughnasa' (2015) which were co-produced by national and international partners receiving commission from Capital of Culture, Arts Council, Research grants and various City Councils funding.
In 1989, Aleksander graduated from the Theatre Directing conservatoire program, at the College of Dramatic Arts (FDU), University of Arts, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and achieved the status of Professional Theatre Director recognized by the guild of Dramatic Artists of Yugoslavia (Serbia). His mentor was Prof. Miroslav Belovic. In the same year, he went on to become a Graduate Assistant in The School of Drama, at the University of Oklahoma, USA, where he gained my MA in Drama in 1991. His mentor was Theodor Herstand.
He obtained a PhD in 1999, from the University of London, Royal Holloway College, pass with no corrections, under the supervision of Professor David Bradby. All of his published research outputs are with world leading peer reviewed academic publishers and have received scholarly reviews and citations. Foremost, he is an internationally recognised scholar on contemporary global interdisciplinary theatricality and collaborative and group creative performance processes.
His new co-edited book, with scholars from the Graduate Theatre Centre, University of Sao Paulo, 'Collaborative Theatre in Brazil' will be published in 2016 by McGill-Queen's University Press (the leading academic publisher in Canada). Aleksander's current research develops, and takes in a new direction, themes from his research engagement with the creative process of the leading Quebecois theatre and film director and auteur Robert Lepage.
The research was ground-breaking and innovative and received research grants from the University of Manchester and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Government of Canada. Three of his monographs, published by world leading scholarly publishers, explore the creative opus and authorship of Lepage's interdisciplinary, cinematic and international performance collaborative practice: Cinema of Robert Lepage: Poetics of Memory (Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press,2003) Theatricality of Robert Lepage (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007) and Robert Lepage – Performance Practitioners Routledge Series ( Routledge, 2009).
Aleksander came to Birmingham City University from University College Cork, where he was Director and Founder of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Performance Practices and Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies. He had an important role in developing the research and creative culture in Performing Arts at UCC. In Cork, he developed strong leadership and senior administrative experience. In addition to being Head of Department, he also served as acting Head of the School of Music and Theatre (UCC).
He was a member of important committees at University and College level in UCC: University Governing Board for Strategy and Innovation, University Academic Committee for Teaching and Learning, College of Arts Internationalisation Committee and College Development (Curriculum) Committee. Over the last few years he completed at UCC (2013) Head and Managers Leadership programme (UK Leadership Foundation for Higher Education), and Epigeum University Leadership and Management Programme (April 2014) and a range of HR based courses under Heads and Managers Forum.
Aleksander's leadership role and vision for theatre and performance research in BSA is based on encouraging staff to view their production processes as practice-based research and research-led teaching, thus working to increase the scale of high quality world leading submissions for Ref 2020.