Ms Ali Franks PG Cert, BA(QTS) Hons

Lecturer in Performing Arts



Ali Franks

Lead on BA (Hons) Applied Drama

Ali has over fifteen years’ experience as an Applied Drama Practitioner working in a wide range of and settings including schools, community settings, PRUs, youth groups, homeless hostels, women’s refuge, secure units, YOS, and working with asylum seekers and refugees. She currently specialises in using drama as a tool for personal development and emotional health with young people and vulnerable or marginalised adults. She is a qualified teacher with further qualifications in counselling skills. Ali studied Drama and Education under Jonothan Neelands and Sir Ken Robinson at the University of Warwick 1994-1998, and then returned to Higher Education to study Devised Theatre at Dartington College of Arts in 2000.

Since coming to Wales in 2001 Ali taught Drama in Willows High School, Cardiff for three years before joining the team at Valley and Vale Community Arts until December 2015.

Ali’s recent projects include #noblurredlines, a participatory theatre project aimed at 16-24 year olds addressing the issue is sexual consent and compliance, alongside work commissioned by Barnardos Cymru, Healthy Schools and a number of local and national agencies across South Wales

BA(Hons) Applied Drama and BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Contemporary Performance)

Exploring the disparity between the narrative and performed identities of adolescents through dramatic exploration: the performance of self in social media contexts.

The use of drama as a tool for diagnosis and social understanding with girls and women on the autistic spectrum.

Ali is interested in the therapeutic role of theatre in process and performance and the power of participatory theatre to affect and engage. Her workshop methodologies draw on a range of sources from Boal to Geese Theatre.

2015 “Unknown Pleasures" Symposium UWTSD Panel Speaker “#noblurredlines: Walking a fine line: Risk in Participatory Theatre in Schools”

2013 “Engaging Communities, Building Futures” ATRiUM (University of South Wales): Keynote Speaker: “Sustaining the visible and invisible: stories from partnership led practice”