Royal Holloway has one of the leading departments of Drama and Theatre in the UK with an international reputation for the excellence of its research. We have a lively and diverse community of researchers at all stages in their careers, and our 20 academic members of staff are all active researchers, working at the cutting edge of research in many different aspects of drama, theatre and performance studies. In the last Research Assessment Exercise, 80% of our research was judged world-leading or international in quality.
The Department’s research places a strong emphasis on how theatre and performance articulates with questions of social justice, on engagement with the public sphere, on understanding the present through critical engagement with the past, on international perspectives on performance and in developing new forms of creative practice. Our research informs our teaching and learning at all levels, and aims to connect people within and across diverse intellectual disciplines, publics, cultures and communities. The Department is committed to theoretically informed research throughout the five major research groups that define our work:
Applied and Participatory Theatre
The Department has a major research centre, the Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research (Citpr), that draws together a range of different research areas within and beyond the department (including Asian Performance, Global Shakespeares, postcolonial, cross cultural and intercultural performance). This interdisciplinary Centre acts as a focus for international collaborations that reflect the department’s long-term interest in performance across the world, and extends the global reach of our research. Research students and Early Career Researchers take a leading role in our active research culture, co-organising events, collaborating in research projects and research groups, and sharing their own research with staff and other peers.
Many research staff in the Department are highly respected as theatremakers and for their practice-based research. Within the department there are directors, playwrights and dramaturgs, as well as international practitioners in dance, applied theatre and puppetry. Our extensive collaborations with leading artists and theatremakers working in the cultural sector, and our theatre spaces, ensure that we are able to develop practice-based research throughout our degree programmes and in the professional theatre.
You can find out more about the Department’s practical research here. For details of practice-based research by staff, see here. For details of practice-based research by PhD students, see here.
The impact of our research is felt widely in academia and beyond, generating new kinds of theatre practice, new kinds of dialogue about the theatre, and reaching out into the community to offer high-level theatre engagement to groups otherwise marginalised by mainstream theatre.Our size and ambition allows us to range widely in the cultures and histories of performance and the diversity of our work is shown in a lively and extensive range books, workshops, conferences, performances, journals, papers and appearances in the print and broadcast media.
You can see details of the research interests of individual members of staff here.