About Dr. Gill Brigg, FRSA

Gill Brigg is smiling wearing a green top

Arts-based Educationalist and

What is my working definition of education?

“To enable people to function healthily within a world that they understand, within which they feel safe and to which they have an empowered connection.”
– Gill Brigg

I’m excited by education in its broadest form and many art forms, especially theatre.

How did I learn to do what I do?

I trained as a performer, gaining a BA Hons in the late 70s at the iconic Dartington College of Arts.

I was introduced to the world of the arts and learning disability by Keith Yon (a fantastic vocal coach!) in 1978.

This course helped me to become an open-minded, collaborative practitioner with a radical take on the place of theatre within society to bring about change.

It also nurtured my continuing love of the environment.

I gained a PGCE in Secondary Drama and was lucky to do so at a time when the Drama in Education movement was at its most powerful, inspired by input from Dorothy Heathcote and Gavin Bolton.

This helped me to see education as a lifelong process through which people develop autonomy, along with interconnectedness, through imagined experience.

Dr. Gill Brigg facilitating a group exercise, and holds her hands in the air exubilantly

My M.Ed at the Cambridge Institute of Education taught me to listen to the reality of teachers as we worked together to look at the possibility of Drama to teach the newly created National Curriculum across a range of core subjects. The subsequent analysis was so bruising that I decided to leave my job as an Advisory Teacher and become freelance!

This taught me not to be afraid to move on.

Last, but definitely not least, a PhD. This looked at access to theatre for audiences labelled as having complex needs and focused on emotional access to stories within the theatre form. I will be forever indebted to The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Playhouse for enabling me to work collaboratively across both of these noble institutions and be groundbreaking. I’m fairly sure mine was the first doctorate within this field.

This taught me the need to be generous with the things I have learnt…. dissemination is a way of repaying the tax-payer who funded my research….. and to remain curious.


 How did I learn to do what I do?

Over the last 40 years I have worked nationally and internationally in schools, with theatre and drama in education companies.

I’ve worked in…

  • Classrooms with pre-schoolers up to post-16 and beyond, facilitated training with educationalists at all levels.
  • At conferences, on think-tanks and within specialist groups on social media platforms.
  • In adult care settings providing 1:1 with clients and as a trainer.
  • With NGOs on arts-based environmental education packages
  • Video and dance projects up to post-grad level.

I am, indeed, addicted to learning, and use the arts to engage and inspire.

2 people kissing on and lambently lit stage
2 people looking up on stage, and one person pointing upwards. There are orange, gold, and red fabrics in the background and hanging from the ceiling.