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The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance is one of three departments in The School of Performing and Digital Arts along with the Departments of Media Arts and Music. We have an international reputation for the excellence of our research.

Our research is global in scope (crossing all five continents) and features a broad chronology (from early modern theatre to contemporary performance) and an interaction of critical and creative work.

We encompass a wide range of methodologies including applied performance, critical studies of drama and dance, performance histories, performance technologies, philosophies of the arts, and theatre history. We explore how the past informs understandings of the present and engage with contemporary digital, global and social challenges.

Our research forms interconnected clusters that crosses disciplinary boundaries.

In all of these clusters we probe the relationship between cultures, societies and politics, seeking to understand the present through critical engagement with the past.

The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance has a long-standing track record of conducting research in partnership with a very wide range of individuals, organisations and communities.

The impact of our research is felt nationally and internationally in academia and beyond, generating new kinds of theatre practice, enriching public debate, and enabling high-level engagement to groups otherwise marginalised by mainstream theatre.

We work in collaboration with professional theatre companies and performance-makers, with community ‘user’ groups outside theatre, and with theatre audiences and members of the public in various contexts, settings and spaces.

Our size and ambition allows us to develop our research across a range of cultures and histories of performance as evidenced in a lively and extensive array of collaborations, workshops, conferences, performances, journals, papers and appearances in the print and broadcast media.

We seek to ensure the sustainability of our research through the following objectives:

  • To develop world-leading research that builds on key strengths and pioneers innovative fields, enhancing subject-specific and also interdisciplinary strands within the context of the School of Performing and Digital Arts.
  • To continue to lead debates about social justice, race, diversity, inclusion and access in our disciplines and research areas.
  • To maintain the international scope and reach of our work, enhancing European partnerships post-Brexit, and using our expertise in the Global South to enhance transnational perspectives.
  • To explore how the arts and cultural practices address current global challenges such as the climate emergency, population displacement (including asylum seekers and refugees), and post-conflict justice.
  • To enhance collaborations and build new partnerships in order to co-produce knowledge with institutions outside the academy, to boost impact, and to enhance opportunities for research funding and Postgraduate Research student recruitment.

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