TaPRA 2018, Aberystwyth, History and Historiography WG: Industry Professionals/Professional Industry: Distinctions and Divisions.

Deadline: Friday 20 April 2018

TAPRA, University of Aberystwyth, 5-7 September, 2018   History and Historiography Working Group Industry Professionals/Professional Industry: Distinctions and Divisions.   Last year at TaPRA Salford, the History and Historiography Working Group focused upon the concepts of industry and work within the theatre/performance profession. The papers shared and the resulting discussion were instructive, as two distinctions regularly emerged: between amateur and professional theatre makers, and between metropolitan and regional theatre making. This suggests an enduring preoccupation with ‘centre versus the middle’ thinking in theatre history and historiography, that while we may research previously neglected fields, we need to do more to interrogate established boundaries. Therefore, this year, we would like to maintain the focus upon ‘industry’, but to concentrate upon the distinctions and divisions that continue to populate our discussion of historical theatre and performance practice, and to influence the theatre industry – and the industry of theatre makers – today. Binaries and boundaries, margins and centres, the peripheral and the pivotal: why does so much of the work we do concern itself with these descriptors of difference, and should we be doing more to examine relationships between, as well as differences in, types of theatre industry? Our work at the conference will be informed by a documentary film by Deirdre O’Neill and Mike Wayne. The Acting Class (2017), is based on the real life experiences of Tom Stocks, a working class actor from Bolton who was unable to take up drama school offers because of the fees. The film draws on a range of interviews with working class actors in order to examine past and present class stratification within the industry. As such the film presents a flashpoint on the current discussion around divisions and distinctions within the profession as well as addressing ongoing questions regarding ‘labels’/terms. For more information, including the class equality campaign, please see http://theactingclass.info While The Acting Class represents a topical and ongoing debate it also highlights a number of themes/threads that recur (but have as yet to be a focal point) to our WG activities, as well as to our own professions and pedagogies. To engage with this debate we invite papers concerned with distinctions and divisions in relation to theatre history and historiography. Topic threads may include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Regional and metropolitan theatre and performance
  • Particular labels/terms, their usage and their implications e.g. regional, amateur, middlebrow, popular, commercial
  • The London-centric theatre industry
  • Actor training and distinctions/divisions
  • Centrifugal and centripetal forms of theatre and performance
  • Amateur and professional theatre(s)
  • The movement of theatre professionals within and outside of London e.g. touring circuits, transatlantic tours, as well as changing residences from city to country – as observed, for example, in Clement Scott’s Poppyland.
Please email your abstract (of no more than 300 words in length, for a 15-20 minute paper), and a short biog to Dr Hayley Bradley (h.bradley@shu.ac.uk) and Dr Lucie Sutherland (lucie.sutherland@nottingham.ac.uk) Please note the deadline for abstract submission is Friday 20th April, 2018. We very much look forward to receiving your proposals!   *If you wish to be considered for an ECR bursary please see http://tapra.org/bursaries/ and specify in your proposal if you’d like to be considered for an ECR bursary and how you meet the criteria. *Only one proposal may be submitted for the TaPRA 2018 Conference. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Papers. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the conference; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the conference venue.    

Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for a TaPRA event. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Participation. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.

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