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Richard Beacham

Professor Richard Beacham

Dr Richard BeachamEmeritus Professor

Digital Humanities
King’s College London
26-29 Drury Lane
WC2B 5RL  





A native of Virginia, Professor Beacham earned his BA and doctorate at Yale University. At Yale College he studied ancient history and classics, and earned his DFA at the Yale School of Drama in dramaturgy, theatre history, criticism, and dramatic literature. He has made his home in the UK since 1974. From 1976 until 2005 he worked at the University of Warwick, where he co-founded its School of Theatre Studies. He has also worked as a visiting Professor at Yale and at the University of Santa Barbara, and spent a year as a “Museum Scholar” at the Getty Centre in Los Angeles. He has translated and published comedies by Plautus, and produced and directed these. While at the Getty Museum he oversaw the professional production of a Roman comedy (using his translation) and presented upon a replica Roman temporary stage based upon his research. His translation has also been presented at the National Theatre of Great Britain. He and the research team he lead, the King’s Visualisation Lab, came to King’s in 2005. He is a leading international authority on the use of the computer based research and 3D visualisation of historical buildings and artefacts.

Research Interests
  • Ancient Theatre
  • Early 20th Century European Theatre
  • Roman Painting
  • 3 D Research-based Computer Modelling of Cultural Heritage Artefacts
Selected Publications

Publications since 2005

Work in Progress

Living Theatre: Roman Theatricalism in the Domestic Sphere , under contract to Yale University Press. In copy-editing stage.

Theatre in the Roman World, vol. Two of "Theatre in Europe - A Documentary History", under contract to Cambridge University Press.

Roman Grandeur II: The Spectacle Entertainments of the Roman Empire, under contract to Yale University Press.

“Otium, Opulentia and Opsis: Setting, Performance and Perception Within the mise-en-scène of the Roman House”, for Opsis: Studies on the Performative Aspect of Greek and Roman Theatre, eds. Vayos Liapis, and George Harrison, under contract to Brill Academic Publishers. 

“’Ea omnia, quae scaenicis moribus per machinationem ad spectationis populo conparantur’”: Observations on Staging the Ludi Virtuales”, Greek and Roman Games in the Computer Age International Conference, Trondheim, Norway, 2008.

“Concerning the Paradox of Paradata. Or, ‘I don’t want realism; I want magic!’”, in Paradata: Intellectual Transparency in Historical Visualization. Eds. A. Bentkowska Kafel, D. Baker., H. Denard. (Ashgate)

“Defining our Terms in Heritage Visualization” in Bentkowska Kafel, Baker and Denard (eds.) Paradata: Intellectual Transparency in Historical Visualization. Research in the Arts and Humanities Series (Ashgate; forthcoming)

“The Visualisation of the Boscoreale Villa in 3-D”, co-authors

Drew Baker, Martin Blazeby, Dr. Hugh Denard. In Les Fresques Romaines de Boscoreale. Perspectives Actuelles. Papers from the International Colloquy, Royal Museum of At and History Brussels, and the Royal Museum of Mariemont, April 2010. 


2006: Adolphe Appia. Künstler und Visionär des Modernen Theaters, Alexander Verlag.


2010 "Roman Frescoes from Boscoreale. The Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor in Reality and Virtual Reality", in The metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 67, no. 4., eds. B. Bergmann, S. De Caro, J. Mertens, R. Meyer. Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. ISSN 0026-1521.

2010 “Thinking with Things, Speaking with Spaces. The Enduring Legacy and Lessons of Appia’s ‘Expressive Elements’ in the Digital Age”, in Theater Ohne Fluchtpunkt. Theatre without Vanishing Points, eds. Brandstetter G. and Wiens, B., Alexander Verlag, 2010, pp. 38-59.

2010 “Character Animation of Intangible Cultural Heritage in SecondLife”, with W. choi, D. Baker, M. Blazeby, K. Furukawa, K. Hachimura, IEVC, 3, 2010.

2009 “Performing Arts of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Second Life”, with W. choi, D. Baker, M. Blazeby, K. Furukawa, K. Hachimura 人文科学とコンピュータシンポジウム, 情報処理学会, 2009 (12) pp.135 - 140.

2009 “Character Animation of Performing Arts in Second Life”, with W. choi, D. Baker, M. Blazeby, K. Hachimura DADH 12, 2009, pp. 378 – 379.

2008: ‘Oh, to make boards to speak! There is a task!’: Towards a Poetics of Paradata”, in Virtual Representations of the Past, eds. M. Greengrass and L. Hughes, Ashgate 2008, pp. 171-178.

2007: "'Bearers of the Flame': music, dance, design, and lighting, real and virtual. The enlightened and still luminous legacies of Hellerau and Dartington.", in Performance Research. Vol. 11.4 Digital Resources Issue, 2007, pp. 81-94, with CD extensively illustrating with images, video, and 3D computer models.

2006: Review of F. Sear, Roman Theatres: An Architectural Study (Oxford 2006) in Journal of Roman Studies. Vol. 96, 2006, 359-361.

2006: “And Introduction to the London Charter”, in The e-volution of Information Communication and Technology in Cultural Heritage, Archaeolingua, 2006, pp. 263-269. Co-authors Hugh Denard and Franco Niccolucci.

2006: “Playing Places: The Temporary and the Permanent”, Chapter for The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre, ed. J. Michael Walton and Marianne Macdonald, 2006, pp. 202-226.

2005: “The Emperor as Impresario: Producing the Pageantry of Power”, Chapter for The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, ed. Karl Galinsky, 2005, pp. 151-174.

2005: “Roman Theatre and Frescos: Intermedial Research Trough Applied Digital Visualisation Technologies”, in Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, (Archaeolingua, 2005), pp. 223-233. Co-authors Hugh Denard and Martin Blazeby.
Research and Recent Grants


Professor Beacham is a leading international authority on the use of the computer based research and 3D visualisation of historical buildings and artefacts.

Recent Grants

The European Commission 2010-2014 Partner in the “Virtual Museums Transnational Network of Excellence”. (4.5 Million Euros; King’s Visualisation Lab funding, 351K)

JISC: The POCOS Project. 2011-10112  “ Preservation of Complex Visual Digital Materials and Environments” (Total £150K.)

Mellon Foundation 2010-2011 Partner in the “Humanities Virtual World Consortium, Initial Planning Grant to Develop Multi-Phase and Multi-year Projected aimed at Enabled Humanistic Inquiry in Virtual Worlds”. ($50K)

The Leverhulme Trust 2008-2011- “The Roman Villa of Oplontis: Computer 3D Modelling”. (£125K)

The Metropolitan Museum, New York 2009-2010. “The Roman Villa of Boscoreale: a Virtual Reconstruction” (£20K)

British Council & Ministero dell'Universita e della Ricerca 2009. “Implementing The London Charter in Second Life: tools and tutorials for the digitization of cultural heritage in Multi-User Virtual Environments”. A collaborative between KVL and the Corso do Informatica Umanistica (INFOUMA), University of Pisa. (£8K)

British Academy 2007. “Architectural Evolution of the Theatres at Pompeii: A Collaborative Programme of Site Survey, Archaeological Analysis, and Computer 3D Modelling”. (£6K)

Joint Information Systems Committee 2006-8. “3D Visualisation in the Arts Network (3dVisA)”. (£125K)

Arts and Humanities Research Council 2005-9. “The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space”.  (£312K).

Arts and Humanities Research Council 2005-7. “Making Space: A Methodology for Tracking and Documenting the Cognitive Process in 3 D Visualisation-based Research”. (£105K).

EduServ Foundation 2007-9. “THEATRON 3: Research-Based Interactive Historic Architectural Learning Environments in the ‘Second Life’ Online Virtual World”. (£131K)

The Arts and Humanities Research Council: 2005-2006. £103,000 for “Making Space: A Methodology for Tracking and Documenting the Cognitive Process in 3-dimensional Visualisation-based Research. (£103K)

Kew Gardens: 1005-2006.  “How Kew Grew”. A VR representation of the History of Kew Gardens. (73K).

JISC 2006-2009. “3 D Visualisation in the Arts Support Network”(101K).

The Arts and Humanities Research Council 2006-2009. “The Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space” (312K) 


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