Appointment of TaPRA Chairs-Elect

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The TaPRA Executive Committee is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Chairs-Elect.

Broderick Chow (Reader, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Rachel Hann (Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University), and Royona Mitra (Professor, Brunel University London) will begin their tenure as Chairs immediately following TaPRA’s Annual General Meeting, which will be held during the annual conference (12–14 September 2022). Professor Roberta Mock (Executive Dean, Royal Holloway, University of London) will remain Chair of TaPRA until then, at which point she will become a member of the Executive Committee in the role of Immediate Past Chair for the period of one year.

Broderick, Rachel and Royona were nominated together for the role of Chair. They were the only nomination received by the Executive Committee, which then voted unanimously to confirm their appointment as Chairs without membership ballot.

No nominations were received for the roles of Vice-Chair or Conference Officer. The TaPRA Executive is working with the Chairs-Elect to decide how best to move forward within this context, as well as the succession more generally.

The TaPRA Executive Committee wishes to express its excitement – for both TaPRA and the theatre and performance research community more broadly in the UK and internationally – at this fresh approach to leadership by long-standing TaPRA members and experienced scholars. We are looking forward to the organisation’s evolution during its next chapter.

You can read the Chairs-Elect’s introductory statement below, which has been lightly adapted from their nomination statement.

TaPRA Chairs-Elect (left to right): Royona Mitra, Broderick Chow and Rachel Hann

Chairs-Elect Statement

We, Broderick Chow (Reader, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Rachel Hann (Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University), and Royona Mitra (Professor, Brunel University London), are delighted to accept the Executive’s invitation to become Chairs of TaPRA.

We do so to demonstrate that leadership is a coalitional act.

We represent positionalities historically underrepresented in the field.

We take seriously the cultural value and relevance of theatre, performance and dance research.

We bring to the organisation our senior managerial expertise as Director of Learning, Teaching and Inclusion (2020–current), Deputy Associate Dean of Surrey Doctoral College (2017–2020), and Associate Dean of Equality and Diversity (2020–2021) respectively.

Interdisciplinarity is foundational to all our work. As scholars, we contribute to the fields of theatre studies, performance studies, sports studies, and dance studies in conversation with scenography and design, cultural geography, gender studies, race and decoloniality. Between us we bring shared expertise on the current landscape of theatre and performance research as members of the AHRC Peer Review College and REF2021 Sub-Panel 33 membership. Collectively, we are co-founding members of the Revolution or Nothing Network and the Antiracism at Work in Theatre, Dance and Performance Collective. 

We have each been a member of TaPRA for over a decade and in that time have convened and presented at Documenting Performance, Directing & Dramaturgy, History & Historiography, Theatre, Performance and Philosophy, Scenography, Popular Performance, Performance & New Technologies, and Bodies & Performance Working Groups. Between us we have also served on the TaPRA Executive Committee as Research Officer, PGR Representative, and Communications Officer.

As Chairs we commit to:

Fostering the growth and sustenance of the TaPRA community

  • Offering clear arguments on the vitality and critical insights of theatre and performance to other disciplines (such as politics, health-sciences, sport, fashion, media, geography, etc.)
  • Foregrounding the centrality of theatre and performance to the recognition and future developments of practice-research by HEFCE, REF, AHRC and other organisations

Embedding anti-oppression into theatre and performance research and respecting the dignity for all members

  • Deliver the TaPRA exec’s commitments to #BlackLivesMatter
  • Develop the exec curated panels by working with WG convenors to embed conversations about race and racism into TaPRA’s general working practices
  • Ensure trans and nonbinary flourishing through a commitment to respect shifts in gender expressions and identities as a healthy and socially important practice
  • Commit to building anti-casteist futures for theatre, performance, and dance research
  • Equitable strategy for programming keynotes and prize processes

Working with PGR and ECR reps and members to support access and participation

  • Listen to the needs of PGR and ECR members through consultation
  • Further develop mentorship schemes
  • Organise academic publication and grant-writing workshops

Steering TaPRA through the pandemic and beyond

  • Consider alternative models for conferencing to increase access and participation of PGRs, precariously employed ECRs, and independent scholars and industry artists

Confirming links with national and international theatre, performance, and dance partners

  • Position TaPRA as outward facing and in inter and trans-national dialogue with research organisations such as AFTA, ASTR, ATHE, DSA, IFTR, ISTR, PSi, SDR and others
  • Engage with expert bodies such as VASTA, Healthy Conservatoires, CUK, OneDanceUK, etc.

Foster and consolidate closer and meaningful links with SCUDD and DanceHE

  • Provide advocacy for our disciplines in research and pedagogic terms
  • Proactively leverage members’ expertise, scholarship and research as part of government consultations (ISTA, TEF, Student Outcomes, etc.)
  • Develop a formal and recognized system for research-led teaching
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