Drama and Performance Research Group
The Group explores the contemporary in performance through practice-led research and traditional academic publications.
Although diverse, work within the Group is anchored to the following three research themes:
- Applied Theatre
- Contemporary Theatre Performance and Practice
- Performance and Place
Interdisciplinary collaborations are key to the Drama and Performance Research Group’s projects. Consequently, staff have worked with English, dance and sport science researchers within Liverpool John Moores University.
Staff have also worked externally with a wide variety of community groups and organisations. For example, researchers from the Drama and Performance Research Group are currently working on a project called Deafening Silence.
Run by Sarah Hogarth, Deafening Silence seeks to create an immersive performance in schools about child sexual exploitation. As part of this innovative project, the Group is working with: the Duke’s Theatre in Lancaster, Leeds and Lancaster police, Lancaster University sociology team and social workers, as well as parents and children who have been affected by child sexual exploitation. Hogarth is also developing links with the University of Sheffield in relation to Deafening Silence.
Another key project for the Drama and Performance Research Group was Control 25 – a festival exploring the theme of audience control in one-to-one performance. As part of this Arts Council England funded project, researchers from the Drama and Performance Research Group worked with Hope Street Ltd, as well as 20 emerging artists, three nationally established artists and Rachel Zerihan, a leading voice in one-to-one performance research. Currently, a research paper is being written that reflects upon Control 25. Organisation of the next festival is also under way.
As well as forming collaborations, academics from the Drama and Performance Research Group also publish in monographs and peer reviewed academic journals, as well as writing and producing new work for the theatre. This work tends to explore new theatrical formats and spaces. For example, in The Judgement of Hakim, a series of performances were put on that helped researchers from the Group study interactive theatre. As part of this project, awareness surrounding the issue of interrogation and torture was also raised.
Finally, the Group has attracted funding for a range of projects, including a £200,000 Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for work on the Everyman Theatre archive.