Lecturer in Drama, University of Essex

Before joining the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at Essex in 2016, Mary was a Lecturer in Theatre Theory and Contemporary Practice at Goldsmiths in the Theatre and Performance Department (2015-2016). In 2012-2014, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Nanyang Technological University - Singapore in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

For several years, she has been a Research Associate at Soas, University of London where she lectured in Chinese Theatre and Cinema.

In addition to theatre, she has a strong expertise in Literature (World, Comparative Literature and Women’s writing): she taught Women’s Writing and Gender at Goldsmiths, University of London in the department of English and Comparative Literature.

Her monograph Gao Xingjian’s Post-Exile Plays: Transnationalism and Postdramatic Theatre is published with Bloomsbury Methuen Drama and has attracted good reviews. She has co-edited and contributed to Transnational Chinese Cinemas: Embodiment, Corporeality, Desire and the Ethics of Failure (Bridge21, 2015).

She holds a PhD from Soas, University of London, for her thesis titled Gao Xingjian vs Martin Crimp in between Modernism and Postmodernism, and a MSc in Chinese Modern Literature from University of Edinburgh.

As a dramaturge, assistant-director and producer, she is the founder and Creative Director of Lumenis Theatre Company, which was awarded in 2011 the Arts Council England Grant for the Arts for the production of Roy Williams’ 'There is only one Wayne Lee and her play ‘Magical Chairs'.

As a playwright, her plays have been widely staged in both UK (Southwark Playhouse, Old Red Lion etc.) and China. She writes and has published poetry and her first novel (co-written with Addolorata Cagnazzo), Riflessioni di un viaggio was published in Italian, in 2007.

Mary is also a theatre and book critic: she has contributed to Times Literary Supplement, Art Desk and Theatre Voice and regularly writes for British Theatre Guide and The Conversation.

She would particularly welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

Chinese and East-Asian Theatre; Comparative Drama; Post-war theatre; Multiculturalism and BME theatre; Postdramatic Theatre; Modernism/Postmodernism and Theatre; relationship between Literature and Theatre; Theatre and Cinema; Theatre and Gender.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Theatre and Performance, Goldsmiths, University of London