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Catherine Heinemeyer

Postdoctoral researcher and arts practitioner, York St John University

I am a storyteller, researcher and drama lecturer, interested in the dialogic potential of oral storytelling in twenty-first century contexts. My practice-based doctoral research ( developed a dialogic, participatory approach to storytelling with adolescents in educational, mental health and youth work settings. This research was located in the International Centre for Arts and Narrative at York St John University and York Theatre Royal, where we also worked a wide variety of community groups through multiple artforms to research how groups use myths and folktales to articulate issues of importance to them.

My current research interests:
* developing a network of young artists with experience of mental ill health who use their art forms to influence and critique public discourse on the adolescent mental health crisis (
* investigating the potential of storytelling to facilitate dialogue between new arrivals (refugee children) and diverse indigenous populations in schools
* researching the impact of Out Of Character Theatre Company, whose members use mental health services.


  • 2016–2018
    Tutor, Converge York
  • 2017–2018
    Secretary and researcher, Out Of Character Theatre Company
  • 2017–2018
    Postdoctoral research fellow in Drama, York St John University
  • 2013–2016
    Storyteller in residence, York Theatre Royal
  • 2013–2016
    PhD student in Drama, York St John University


  • 2017 
    York St John University, PhD
  • 2009 
    London South Bank University, MSc

Professional Memberships

  • Theatre and Performance Research Association
  • Society for Storytelling