Author of over 150 articles, Maria has worked on the sociology of the theatre, specialising in Russian theatre.
Maria Shevtsova has previously held Chairs at the Universities of Connecticut (Modern and Classical Languages) and Lancaster (Founding Chair of Contemporary Performance and Theatre Studies). She was the Founding Director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Sydney, and has also taught at the University of Paris. She was a Visiting Professor at various institutions, including the Teatro Ateneo and the Sapienza University of Rome, the University of Oslo, the Academy of Theatre Arts of St. Petersburg, and the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw. She has guest lectured and given master seminars extensively abroad – in China, Australia, France, Russia and other countries in Europe. Her permanent and invited positions reflect her international and interdisciplinary approach to theatre/performance and the teaching profession.
She was a Fellow of the International Research Center at the Freie Universität in Berlin, undertaking research there in 2012 and 2013. She has been the recipient of various research grants, including a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship in 2016-17. She is Dr. honoris causa of the University of Craiova (awarded 2012).
Shevtsova is the author of more than 150 articles in refereed journals and chapters of collected volumes. Her books include Dodin and the Maly Drama Theatre: Process to Performance (2004), Fifty Key Theatre Directors (2005, co-ed), Jean Genet: Performance and Politics (2006, co-ed), Robert Wilson (2007; updated and extended second edition, 2019), Directors/Directing: Conversations on Theatre (2009, co-authored), Sociology of Theatre and Performance (2009), which assembles three decades of her pioneering work in the field, The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing (2013, co-authored) and Rediscovering Stanislavsky (2020).
Her publications have been translated into fifteen languages, including Robert Wilson into Mandarin (2013) and Russian (2016); Dodin and the Maly Drama Theatre: Process to Performance into Russian (2014) and Mandarin (2018); Fifty Key Theatre Directors in Farsi (Iran, 2016); Directors/Directing: Conversations on Theatre into Romanian (2017); and The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing into Serbian (2017) and currently being translated into French. Rediscovering Stanislavsky has been translated into Polish and Mandarin, shortly to be published in both countries. She is co-editor of New Theatre Quarterly and part of the editorial team of Critical Stages, the online journal of the International Association of Theatre Critics and of Stanislavsky Studies. She is on the Board of the Stanislavsky Research Centre.
Shevtsova is an invited theatre critic, lecturer and interviewer in various languages at prominent theatre festivals. These notably include the Golden Mask National Theatre Award and Festival in Moscow, the International Gyula Shakespeare Festival in Hungary, the International Shakespeare Festival in Craiova, the International Theatre Biennale in Sfantu Gheorghe in Romania and, among others, the A Mil International Theatre Festival in Santiago de Chile. In 2017 she was the President of the Jury of the renowned BITEF (Belgrade International Theatre Festival) and has served on the jury of other international competitions, including the Monte Faito Film Festival in Italy. She is an international programme consultant for the Craiova Festival and, until recently, of the Gyula Festival.
Shevtsova is frequently interviewed for internet streaming and national television and radio broadcasts at home and abroad: most recently in Britain in 2017 on ‘The Forum’ for BBC World Service (‘Stanislavsky: Founder of Modern Acting’); repeated in 2018 on BBC Radio 4. She conducts pre- and post-show talks in such important venues as the Barbican in London as well as at the above and other festivals; and she has regularly written programme notes, notably for the Barbican. She has presented such major theatre directors as Lev Dodin, Viktor Ryzhakov and Oh Tae-Seok at press conferences, the latter at the Korean Cultural Centre in London; also at academic conferences – Anatoly Vasilyev, including interpreting into French from Russian in Paris. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the international conferences organised by the International Centre for Performance Studies in Tangier and the University of Tetouan. During the Covid period and still now, she lectures online at Nanjing University.
Shevtsova has founded and developed the sociology of the theatre as an integrated discipline and founded the Sociology of Theatre and Performance Research Group at Goldsmiths, an international group with a strong PhD student division responsible for organising annual international interdisciplinary colloquia. She designed and taught the MA Performance and Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives at Goldsmiths. She founded and led the annual Conversations series, where her invited guests for public interview and discussion have included Eugenio Barba, Lev Dodin, Declan Donnellan, Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini (Workcentre of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, Pontedera), Grzegorz Bral and Anna Zubrzicki (Song of the Goat), and Jaroslaw Fret and performers of Teatr ZAR, who, in 2015, returned with a lecture demonstration of their Armine, Sister.
She was Director of Research and Graduate Studies of the Department of Drama (now Theatre and Performance), a member of the Goldsmiths Postgraduate Committee, a founding member of the Board of the Graduate School and of the Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee, and was a member of numerous other committees across the University.
An elected member (1996-2004) of the Executive Committee of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT), she also served as the Chair of the IFTR New Scholars’ Prize from 1997-2002. She was Secretary-Treasury and editor of the Newsletter of the Research Committee 37 Sociology of the Arts of the International Sociological Association (ISA, 1990-1994) and the Vice-President of this Research Committee from 1994-1998. She was a member of the research team of the Centre de functions imaginaires et sociales des arts at the EHESS and of the Equipe de Recherche en Scénologie, l’Université de Paris VIII. Since 2011, she has been an elected member of the Academia Europaea.
See Shevtsova's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.