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Theatre and Performance Research Methodologies


This module is aimed to equip you with the key concepts and skills needed to plan and undertake theatre and performance research. This module will be divided into units with each unit being taught by different staff members. We will begin by outlining key issues from our discipline, the difference between quantative and qualitative research methods, and the ways that research questions affect research design. We will then move on to consider other approaches to research, such as:


Practice-as-Research will introduce the notion of doing as both an interrogative and presentational research tool, including a survey of current thinking in the field and an examination of some case-studies (seminar and practice-based session). It could also include approaches to creative practice and auto-ethnographic writing


Archival Research will consider both the theory and practice of archival research, considering theatre historiography: exploring how we investigate, interpret and document the theatrical past through an exploration of written, pictorial and other forms of evidence with reference to contextual knowledge and current theories of history; the ideological apparatus of the archive itself; and strategies for cultural readings of various documents, including contemporary new media formats.


Research as Action will investigate various aspects of research that interacts with subjects, whether through collaborative practices or through social intervention; and reflect on questions around subjectivity, readership, impact, and authority. This unit is aimed to enable students to position themselves within their work and their work within broader socio-political landscapes; and how understanding specific methodological approaches like interviews, oral histories, ethnography, participant observation, and specific cultural paradigms may affect research outcomes.