DR Zachary Dunbar

DR Zachary Dunbar


  • Acting Methods in Music Theatre (Actor Performance training, Musicality, Ensemble)
  • Developing New Music Theatre (Dramaturgy, Composition)
  • History and Performance of Ancient Greek Drama (Classical reception theory, Ancient and Modern performance)
  • History of Music Theatre
  • Science and Theatre (History of Ideas)



  • Zachary Dunbar is Senior lecturer in Theatre and Performing Arts Graduate Research Convenor (Faculty of Fine Arts & Music, University of Melbourne). He originally trained as a concert pianist in the U.S, at Rollins College with Thomas Brockman, Sylvia Reynolds, master classes with Gary Graffman, Guido Agosti, and later as a scholarship student at Yale University School of Music (Claude Frank, Peter Frankl), where he won the most outstanding piano recital prize, and was also a member of the Honours piano trio coached by the Tokyo String Quartet. He subsequently won a Fulbright scholarship to the Royal College of Music (Kendall Taylor). For several years he pursued a concert career while developing a freelance theatre practice in radio drama (BBC 4), Greek tragedy, mainstream musical theatre, plays, Beijing opera, postdramatic soundscape theatre, and dance theatre. In the UK, he joined theatre workshops and master classes mainly with Complicité theatre (Annabel Arden, Marcello Magni) and Voicemotions (Guy Dartnell). His original works, which he has written and directed, have been produced at the Pleasance Theatre, Bloomsbury Theatre, Brighton Underbelly, Embassy Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, several Edinburgh-fringe productions (Fringe-First nominated), and the prestigious Jungehunde festival (Denmark). He also has over twenty-five years of experience as an MD, most recently in Charlotte Jones’ The Diva in Me (Brighton Pavilion Theatre – Argus Angel Award, UK tour). As director, productions include Euripides’ Bacchai (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and sold out performances of Martin Crimp’s The Country (London Camden Festival). Recent original plays he’s produced and directed in Australia include a performed reading of Florida (La Mama, 2016) and AntigoneX (Midsumma Festival, Theatre Works, 2018). He has also given master classes in musical theatre acting in London, Santiago, New York, Toronto, and throughout Australia. He has several publications in M   


Member of

  • Green Room Awards Melbourne. Reviewer 2015 -
  • Studies in Music Theatre Journal, Editorial Board. Editorial Board 2015 -
  • Australian Fulbright Scholars Association. Professional Member 2014 -
  • International Federation for Theatre Research (FIRT/IFTR). Member 2014 -
  • British Fulbright Scholars Association. Scholarship Application Reviewer 2008 - 2014
  • Mercury Musical Developments (London). Professional Associate 2005 - 2014


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • Most recent grant funding IRRTF (University of Melbourne) RV $7500—Munich-Melbourne: Interactive Composition- pilot study of collaborative processes FSGS (University of Melbourne) $4700—Pilot translation of Sweet Charity into Mandarin FSGS (University of Melbourne) $2500-- Stanislavski Conference, London, UK: Chaired Panel on Musical Theatre; Presented conference paper    


Education and training

  • PHD, University of London 2007
  • PGDIP MUSIC, Royal College of Music 1989
  • MA MUSIC, Yale University 1988
  • BA MUSIC, Rollins College 1984

Awards and honors

  • PhD Three-year Scholarship (Royal Holloway, London), 2002
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Fringe First Nominated), 2002
  • Fulbright Scholar (Royal College of Music, London), 1988
  • Best Piano Recital (Yale University), 1987


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Supervision offered in the areas of history, theory and performance practices in music theatre (acting, composing, writing, theatre-making, repetiteur, and opera) and also in Greek tragedy (ancient and modern reception, chorus, adaptation, reception, acting approaches). I am also interested in interdisciplinary links between science, music and theatre. I continue my research and creative practice as a director, writer and composer in Australia and in the UK.