Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW is a hub for research in both Australasian and European performance. Our discipline has these particular research strengths:
Contemporary Theatre & Performance
Our research on theatre and performance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries investigates all aspects of performance, including rehearsal, production and reception. We research in the areas of: Australian drama and theatre, multimedia performance, performance art, political performance, post-dramatic theatre, live entertainment, refugee theatre, and theatres of the real. Our publications look at artists as diverse as theatre-makers Antonin Artaud and Bertolt Brecht, choreographers Pina Bausch and Trisha Brown, companies Back to Back, Dumb Type, and Rimini Protokoll, and performance artists Mike Parr and William Yang.
We research multimedia theatre and performance, new media dramaturgy, the relationship between dance and film, and the curation of performance in galleries and museums. This work has been published in a wide variety of formats and outlets, ranging from scholarly monographs to online databases. We place our articles in journals associated with theatre, performance and dance studies as well as digital media, cultural studies, legal studies and more.
We are well suited to support creative practice as and alongside scholarly research, with strengths in movement and screendance (Brannigan), dramaturgy and devising (Wake, Trezise) and performance writing and collaborative practices (Schmidt). We frequently undertake research projects in collaboration with artists. The School is well-resourced by the UNSW Creative Practice Lab, a production unit with an extensive creative team and facilities to support teaching, practice-led research at postgraduate and Honours levels, and artistic residencies.
Our research engages with archival practice and documentation in the performing arts. Theatre and Performance Studies at UNSW is a founding partner of AusStage, the online resource for researching Australian performance. We have published on digital humanities, data visualisation and network analysis in theatre research. Our archival research connects with Performance Space, Griffin Theatre Company and other organisations in Sydney. We are also working on the Dennis Wolanski Library collection through the Performance Memories Project in conjunction with the UNSW Library and the Wolanski Foundation.
Our research has been funded by the Australian Research Council, the Australia Council for the Arts, and the State Library of NSW, among others. Our scholars have been awarded grants in Contemporary Theatre, New Media Dramaturgies and Experimental Humanities.
We play a significant role in the dissemination of research through our considerable contributions to national publishers, press and journals. Our researchers co-edit Performance Paradigm, an interdisciplinary refereed journal that reflects contemporary performance research across a range of cultures and contexts. We also write for the national performance publication RealTime, and are represented on the editorial board of journals such as Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Philosophy, Performance Research, The Brecht Yearbook and Theatre Research International.