UoA 35 Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts

The Drama Department at the University of Exeter encompasses a wide range of theatrical forms, situated within their cultural, social and political contexts.

We are committed to theatre and performance research as interdisciplinary and collaborative, international in scope and with the diverse practices of performance at its centre. Our work is grounded in a set of shared commitments to the value of research as both the production of new knowledge, and the pursuit of innovation and excellence in the aesthetic practices.

We have engaged with the University’s initiatives to promote exchange between disciplines, such as Bridging the Gaps and the Humanities and Social Sciences Strategy (HASS) themes in Medical Humanities, and Identities and Beliefs. Research in these areas is making interdisciplinary connections between theatre, performance, health research, and the medical humanities.

The Exeter Digital Archives are an internationally important research resource not only as an archive for mining but also for supporting research projects with documentation.

Key results

  • 30 per cent of research was rated at world-leading (4*).
  • This unit is ranked 26 out of 84 nationally for world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) research.

Impact case studies

NameSummary
Mapping British Asian performance The British Asian Theatre Project (2004-2009), involved researchers from the Centre for Performance Histories and Cultures. The project charted and disseminated the cultural history and heritage of British Asian theatrical practitioners, enriching appreciation and preserving the heritage of British Asian theatre, partly by enabling theatre professionals to possess their own history more securely. Research findings were presented as part of industry debates, informing theatrical development. This led to a further research project, The Southall Story (2011-2013), which is documenting the cultural history of the art forms and political movements among the British Asian communities in Southall. There is further funding via the AHRC follow on grant scheme for a touring exhibition and performances, emerging from The Southall Story, in the source culture of India, and on to Thailand. These projects are preserving and disseminating this public history through a public digital archive, and series of community and arts events in the UK and internationally. All the research is supported by AHRC funding, awarded after a rigorous peer-review process.
Intercultural performer training and performance Intercultural performer training techniques developed by Professor Philip Zarrilli and Dr Rebecca Loukes’ practice-based research in the Centre for Contemporary Performance Practice have led to new techniques which have informed intercultural performer training worldwide. This research has deepened the quality of artistic productions, informing and influencing theatre works which have received awards and international acclaim. Centre members have also enriched public appreciation of performance through documentary and supporting material. The work of Peter Hulton in establishing Exeter Digital Archives has informed the recent shift in British publishing houses towards releasing audio-visual performance documentation.
Applied theatre as intervention in wellbeing Research into Applied Theatre has focused on the use of theatre as a means of raising public and professional awareness of the cultural contexts and experience of illness. The University of Exeter Drama department’s research in Applied Theatre has had impact in the improvement of community understandings of mental health. It provides professional development for medics and teachers, informing training in applied and community theatre.

Research centres

 CentreAbout the centre
Centre for Performance, Sciences, and Community The centre reflects a growing area of our work and to foster scholarly, inter-disciplinary innovation in a diverse range of subjects including biology, medicine, neurophysiology, and quantum physics, and through theoretical and practice-based research. The Centre also facilitates our growing focus on Applied and Community Theatre.
Centre for Performance Histories and Cultures The centre produces historical research in relation to specific cultural contexts. Research specialisations within the centre are on intercultural, Asian and British-Asian performance; British performance histories from the early modern period to the present; and theatre historiography.
Centre for Contemporary Performance Practices

The centre is concerned with interdisciplinary processes of devising, directing, dramaturgy, performing, training and writing in a diverse array of performance spaces and architectures.

 

Practice as Research (PaR) is at the heart of the Centre’s activities. It currently hosts four professional theatre companies (Idiot Child, The Llanarth Group, RedCape, and Wrights and Sites). Centre members also work as independent directors, dramaturgs, performers and actor trainers internationally and in the UK.

UoA 35 Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts

The Drama Department at the University of Exeter encompasses a wide range of theatrical forms, situated within their cultural, social and political contexts.

We are committed to theatre and performance research as interdisciplinary and collaborative, international in scope and with the diverse practices of performance at its centre. Our work is grounded in a set of shared commitments to the value of research as both the production of new knowledge, and the pursuit of innovation and excellence in the aesthetic practices.

We have engaged with the University’s initiatives to promote exchange between disciplines, such as Bridging the Gaps and the Humanities and Social Sciences Strategy (HASS) themes in Medical Humanities, and Identities and Beliefs. Research in these areas is making interdisciplinary connections between theatre, performance, health research, and the medical humanities.

The Exeter Digital Archives are an internationally important research resource not only as an archive for mining but also for supporting research projects with documentation.

Key results

  • 30 per cent of research was rated at world-leading (4*).
  • This unit is ranked 26 out of 84 nationally for world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) research.

Impact case studies

NameSummary
Mapping British Asian performance The British Asian Theatre Project (2004-2009), involved researchers from the Centre for Performance Histories and Cultures. The project charted and disseminated the cultural history and heritage of British Asian theatrical practitioners, enriching appreciation and preserving the heritage of British Asian theatre, partly by enabling theatre professionals to possess their own history more securely. Research findings were presented as part of industry debates, informing theatrical development. This led to a further research project, The Southall Story (2011-2013), which is documenting the cultural history of the art forms and political movements among the British Asian communities in Southall. There is further funding via the AHRC follow on grant scheme for a touring exhibition and performances, emerging from The Southall Story, in the source culture of India, and on to Thailand. These projects are preserving and disseminating this public history through a public digital archive, and series of community and arts events in the UK and internationally. All the research is supported by AHRC funding, awarded after a rigorous peer-review process.
Intercultural performer training and performance Intercultural performer training techniques developed by Professor Philip Zarrilli and Dr Rebecca Loukes’ practice-based research in the Centre for Contemporary Performance Practice have led to new techniques which have informed intercultural performer training worldwide. This research has deepened the quality of artistic productions, informing and influencing theatre works which have received awards and international acclaim. Centre members have also enriched public appreciation of performance through documentary and supporting material. The work of Peter Hulton in establishing Exeter Digital Archives has informed the recent shift in British publishing houses towards releasing audio-visual performance documentation.
Applied theatre as intervention in wellbeing Research into Applied Theatre has focused on the use of theatre as a means of raising public and professional awareness of the cultural contexts and experience of illness. The University of Exeter Drama department’s research in Applied Theatre has had impact in the improvement of community understandings of mental health. It provides professional development for medics and teachers, informing training in applied and community theatre.

Research centres

 CentreAbout the centre
Centre for Performance, Sciences, and Community The centre reflects a growing area of our work and to foster scholarly, inter-disciplinary innovation in a diverse range of subjects including biology, medicine, neurophysiology, and quantum physics, and through theoretical and practice-based research. The Centre also facilitates our growing focus on Applied and Community Theatre.
Centre for Performance Histories and Cultures The centre produces historical research in relation to specific cultural contexts. Research specialisations within the centre are on intercultural, Asian and British-Asian performance; British performance histories from the early modern period to the present; and theatre historiography.
Centre for Contemporary Performance Practices

The centre is concerned with interdisciplinary processes of devising, directing, dramaturgy, performing, training and writing in a diverse array of performance spaces and architectures.

 

Practice as Research (PaR) is at the heart of the Centre’s activities. It currently hosts four professional theatre companies (Idiot Child, The Llanarth Group, RedCape, and Wrights and Sites). Centre members also work as independent directors, dramaturgs, performers and actor trainers internationally and in the UK.