I have taught as a Senior Lecturer in theatre arts at the University of Brighton since 1999, designing and delivering theoretical and practical courses in devised theatre / performance. I have also led projects and workshops at Rose Bruford, Goldsmiths, Italia Conti, Circus Space, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and the American School in Shanghai.
My academic knowledge generally relates to the history of fine art practices and contemporary performance, with a particular interest in early modernism (Futurism - Dada - Surrealism), postmodern theories of language and representation. and the relation of evolutionary psychology to aesthetics and cultural consumption.
My practical knowledge comes from work in street theatre, puppetry and devised performance, and much of my teaching directly draws on these experiences. My practical workshops are themed around following areas:
In 2014 I was awarded an HEA fellowship in recognition of my professional skills as a teacher. As part of the supporting evidence for this, I asked current and past students for feedback on my teaching, I was very happily surprised by the amount and nature of the responses I received, so I've included them all below.
“One thing that stands out for me with Matt is his ability to engage a class not by talking at them, but to them. Not only is he informative, but he has fun doing it. By making even the driest of topics into something mentally digestible, he also makes it entertaining. Me personally I have in the past struggled with authority figures, but from day one I have felt welcome and respected within Matt's lessons, which I also think is such an important part of his teaching method, no one gets left behind, he keeps us all in line like books on a shelf, and for that I admire him. Matt is sought out as the most considerate, helpful and calming out of all, although he's not all fun and games, he does have a very engaging academic dialogue with his students, which furthermore makes Matt a wonder to be tutored by.” - A.M. level 5 student
“Matt taught me in practical workshops and contextual studies. His workshops are very engaging, and he brings new ideas and knowledge to each workshop. He also is very good at explaining complex ideas; this helped me to improve my essay writing. He is a very supportive lecturer who listens to all individuals within a group. He held workshops outside of university hours and created opportunities for students to be involved in White Night, Kemptown festival and volunteer with the performance group Il Pixel Rosso. He is a very inspiring lecturer, he encouraged me to develop and acquire new skills. He also inspired new interests, such as my interest in comic writing. I believe he teaches creativity for enjoyment, and that is now key to my practice. He is very good at understanding interest areas of students and encouraging and helping students to develop ideas and practical skills. His commitment to teaching has helped me to develop my practice, remain focused and interested.” - R.D. level 6 student
"Matt Rudkin is a very enthusiastic and passionate tutor. His lectures are engaging and I found having him as a tutor in the first year inspiring. In my experience, he also cares about the development of individuals as well as his class as a collective. He's also approachable and easy to talk to about problems with the course/essay advice/career stuff." - R.S. level 5 student
”As a teacher, Matt is a warm, playful and engaging participant. I know that when I need an honest, yet compassionate resource, Matt will be my first choice. I also know that I am not alone with this thinking. Whilst accessibly, he also has a fluid style of management and structure which, in a practical sense, brings great rhythm and shape to our sessions. It is outside of the academic themes that Matt also brings a great deal of help and variety. Our work in his meditation classes have been of great help to me in many contexts, both in and out of university. Our chats in the canteen have been very useful and grounding. The thing that I find most useful about our work together, however, is a sense of support and curiosity about the actual process of learning. It is this approach that I find most useful. It contradicts this idea that we are supposed to know how to fulfill academic requirements in a robotic fashion. When working with matt, I have a sense that we are peers exploring what it is to perform these tasks together” - J.C. level 4 student
“Matt Rudkin is the most wonderfully inspirational teacher that I have ever met. He is not only incredibly knowledgeable and shows deep insight of his subject, but has the gifted ability to make his lessons delightful, engaging, dynamic, and to create a positive and rewarding learning environment. Matt has the cunning ability to explain and demonstrate the most difficult theories or problems presented by his subject, whilst the class has an incredible amount of fun. I am also deeply thankful and indeed indebted to Matt for supporting me through an incredibly difficult period at University, and inspiring me to achieve and surpass my ambitions in my creative and academic ability” - M.B. graduate
“Matt Rudkin is a very inspiring Tutor, he is able to engage with his students fully, and adapts to each individually. His enthusiasm for theatre is directly absorbed by the students; on starting a new project he is the perfect candidate to open your eyes and see the countless possibilities in which your work could emerge into. Rudkin's ethos for 'Flow Theory' generates a positive atmosphere, by telling us to do what we love, we are able to put our selves fully into the project and as it is something we enjoy, we work at it more. I think Matt Rudkin is a wonderful motivating individual and I wish there were more Teachers with his talents.” - F. R. level 6 student
“I found Matt Rudkin to be an inspiring teacher from the get go. He had been my interviewer for a place of the TAVA course at Brighton University and from the moment I met him i was inspired to step forward with my work and to explore the areas of the Arts which actually interested me. Both his professional work as an artist and his teaching style provided a constant source of inspiration and his approachable nature made him very easy to study under... and I can be a pretty resistant student at times.” - F.M. graduate
“Working with Matt Rudkin has been enjoyably uncomplicated while retaining the necessary depths in regards to the work process. Tutorials and feedback sessions with him gave me a very genuine and honest input to develop my projects and myself as a young artist. His own work, his teaching methods and content like clowning and acting sessions are not seldom of [the] humorous kind, which taught me to not take myself too serious and dare to go on with what I believe is good work. He communicated to believe in my own instincts and realise my very own ideas successfully without worrying that "I'm not pleasing the teachers". This is highly valuable content for a student becoming an independent professional artist.” - P.L. graduate
“Matt Rudkin motivated, focused and inspired my arts practice and love for teaching and learning with relevant and realistic stimulus and activities! He really gave his time and resources and listened to all of our ideas to create a great year of experiences and impressive degree shows! Thank you!!” - L.A. graduate
“Matt Rudkin is a fantastic teacher full of energy and life. He has a talent of engaging and thus getting the most out of performers. Matt was regularly available to chat over ideas and always lending his thoughts to the cause” - E. WJ. graduate
“Since the day I met Matt Rudkin he has been instrumental in propelling my career in theatre including supporting my ambition to teach Drama. As a teacher I utilise his teachings in the classroom by trying to be as engaging and supportive as Matt while demonstrating an extensive subject knowledge. A good opportunity to thank Matt Rudkin!” - C.R. graduate
“Matt Rudkin is an enthusiastic tutor who always has a good improvising game up his sleeve to engage his students in creative thinking. He often joins in the games to encourage everyone to play with as much energy, heart and enthusiasm as physically possible. He has taught us to tap into our inner child again where the imagination reigns and there are no wrong answers. I particularly like his stream of consciousness and writing method games where random thought brings out ideas in our unconscious and how unconnected words create new meaning when placed next to each other. This has helped me see things from different perspectives because it breaks down all logical structure or 'sense'. Apart from our workshops I have had some very engaging conversations with Matt in tutorials over the notion of meaning and how we create meaning in work and what constitutes as 'content.' These conversations have inspired me to look into ideas and different approaches to creating 'meaning' in art.” - T.M. level 5
“Matt Rudkin gave me the inspiration to be myself. He motivated me with new ideas, expressions and confidence to explore exactly what I wanted and achieve them. Without Matt I would have left University of Brighton. That says it all for me” - H.H. graduate
“Matt Rudkin has a relaxed but honest approach. He always told us to stick to what we believe in and have faith in our practice. He encouraged us to be positive and independent and enjoy our process and he shared his methods and experiences within his practice for us to try out. Matt was always clear with his instructions and opinions and straight to the point, and he always picked out the good parts of my work, which was comforting to hear under the pressure we were in. In his classes and workshops his focus was to bring people together and to be free which gave a sense of community and friendship in the class.” - M. MdC, level 6
“As Brighton's worst ever TAVA pupil I would like to say that Matt Rudkin changed my life... Matt supported my ideas (wanting to smash stuff, start fires, blow things up (without hurting anybody) and he wisely guided it all into an educational context... Explode but record it, and good advice on how to contextualise it all in the library..... Matt Rudkin, for me, was an excellent tutor, definitely not a traditional tutor...As a student I got into the mind-set that I could just party forever and refused join the system and not work for anybody... Matt Rudkin encourages pro-activity, a catalyst for thoughts into action... I am now a Health & Safety Advisor for a big company in Scotland... " - J.R. graduate
“Despite the extremely intellectual material that Matt Rudkin presents in his various lectures and workshops and tutorials, he seems interested in encouraging students, and himself, to ponder how might such material be implemented or demonstrated in our work and the world about us. This seeking for tangibility and examples is part of the core value of his teaching strategy. This is a step away from the purely intellectual realms of conceptual and critical thought, and finds expression in the substance of experience. His deliberate emphasis on demonstrations of skill, whether it be the exactitude of line-recitation, or the attempt to hone a handicraft skill, combine impeccably with the academic pursuits and frequently as a result of their cunning congruity, serve as analogous articulations of the more abstract principles he seeks to explore. - O.B. graduate
“One of the reasons why Matt Rudkin’s presence on the course was so fundamental to my education was because he makes everything he teaches so relevant and ‘real’. In my own meandering experience, I have found in the bubble of academia and the higher education institution (and also in life generally) it’s often too easy for teachers (people) to talk about very complex ideas or philosophies without the acknowledgement that it has been thoroughly, or even actually, understood. But what he does is bring it back down to earth so people like me (or like anyone), who have a more childlike approach to learning, can understand, feel incorporated and involved in these discussions. It’s almost like he levelled the playing field, not because he watered it down, but because he offered the information in a better way. Through this way of teaching, he genuinely helped me to learn and encouraged me to think for myself, which maybe sounds really obvious, but it’s significant for me, especially in terms of my confidence as an artist and ability to feel comfortable to speak candidly about my work. I liked his lessons because he allowed me to consider and understand ‘high’ and often extremely intellectual concepts by sifting information and breaking it down to a conversational level, which I found incredibly useful as well as refreshing. I never had a fear of him thinking I’m stupid.” - A.B. graduate
“Matt Rudkin’s teaching, both in workshops and lectures has had a significant impact on the development of my artistic practice and identity. In my opinion, his style and ethos of making work fits in best with modern performance art, in that it veers away from, what I consider to be, the dated, rarified Art establishment and truly embraces postmodern philosophy and practice. This is most exemplified by a statement he once made in a lecture between, “liking something because it is good, and something being good because you like it”. This is an understated but profoundly empowering statement. His clowning workshop has had the most influence on my practice, introducing the idea that comedy can be a valid vehicle to make a serious, satirical, artistic statement and I’m sure this will feature heavily in my degree show. The Happy Clap Trap night that he puts on at the Marlborough each month has become an informal TAVA platform for students and graduates to scratch ideas, or simply have a safe, professional environment to produce work to perform for the public without too much pressure. In the second semester of the second year, we were set short, self-directed tasks to develop our artistic practice ready for the third year. The central aim of the exercise being to discover what we individually enjoy doing, or find interesting and centre our practice around that. This was a fantastic way of motivating oneself and ‘allowing’ our artistic practice to unfold on a maintainable way.” - S.D. level 5 student
Matt Rudkin was an approachable and objective tutor who always provided encouragement in every situation. My main memory of his teaching was that he was able to connect the theoretical and practical aspects of the course, and was able to relate these to post-graduation life!” - L.B. graduate