Postgraduate Essay Prize

Entries for the 2019 prize will open in January 2019, please wait until this date before submitting your entry.

The TaPRA Postgraduate Prize aims to recognise and support excellent postgraduate and early career scholars within our discipline. The prize includes the opportunity to be considered for publication in a major academic journal. All postgraduates registered at an HE institution for PG study are eligible and should send essays of no longer than 6,000 words.

Guidelines for submission:

  • The submitted essay must be an original piece of work not under consideration for publication with a publisher or publishing platform.
  • Essays must be anonymised and submitted as a pdf to ensure a blind peer-review process
  • Essays should be referenced using Chicago author date system.

The Prize



Pile of different books on wooden table against black background




Charlotte Armstrong

PhD candidate at the University of York, for the essay of The Degenerate Condition from Source to Stage: Disability and Morality in Franz Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten’.


Poppy Spowage

PhD Candidate at the Royal Holloway University of London, for her essay ‘East African Soul Train: Producing Performance and Creating Atmosphere’.


The Prize

  • The first prize is £150
  • The best essay/s to be considered for publication in Contemporary Theatre Review, RiDE (Research in Drama & Education), Studies in Theatre and Performance and Theatre, Dance and Performance Training.
  • £70 book voucher for Palgrave books from Palgrave
  • A choice of FIVE free books from Manchester University Press
  • A year’s free membership of TaPRA





Catherine Sloan

PhD candidate at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, for her essay ‘Creating Spaces of Potentiality: Towards an Alternative Theoretical Framework for Applied Theatre Practice with People in Recovery From Addiction’.

Professor Tompkins remarks that ‘This example of applied theatre is practitioner-led and seeks to build on the applied theatre theory ideas that through Hughes and Nicholson have developed. It also seeks to develop a better understanding of affect. It is well-contextualised and understands the potential limitations of applied theatre and is trying to do ensure that its practice is productive. It begins to build a good study of spatiality as well.’


Kirsty Surgey

WRoCAH PhD Candidate, University of Sheffield, for her essay ‘A study of three works: What happens when Bobby Baker plays?’

Professor Tompkins felt that ‘ This essay was a delight to read: the author clearly loves the work of Baker and the sense of play that she performs. It clearly sets out a problem (play in the plays of Bobbie Baker), sticks to it, and ‘solves’ it.’



Hannah Greenstreet

Master’s student at Jesus College, University of Oxford, for her essay:
Narrative dysfunction in The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh and On Raftery’s Hill by Marina Carr

Studies in Theatre and Performance

Professor Tompkins remarks that ‘This paper provides a novel approach to naturalism and to the work of Enda Walsh and Marina Carr via the trope of storytelling. While naturalism may seem to be well-worked over territory, this paper encourages us to re-evaluate this genre. It also produces a detailed, rewarding reading of the plays. The structure of the paper is very elegant and nuanced, helping to contribute to a good overall understanding of the contemporary relevance of these writers. This paper tells its “story” very well.’


Becca Savory Fuller

PhD candidate in Drama in the University of Exeter/NIAS joint-doctoral programme, for her essay ‘“Flash mob Mumbai”: performing a “politics of forgetting” in the semi-public spaces of globalising India’.

Professor Tompkins felt that ‘This paper analyses how we might think about understanding ‘social media performance’ in the highly-charged city context of Mumbai, a city where attempts to use social media have in the past backfired. The author situates the recent tensions of this geographical/social context well and intriguingly looks to both the potentials and the ironies raised by social media performance. The paper has relevance to contemporary performance informed by technology well beyond its exploration in Mumbai.’



Claire Hampton

Brunel University for her article on:
#nomakeupselfies: the face of hashtag slacktivism

Article was already accepted for Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network


Jessica McCormack

Bristol: ‘Choreography as a Translation Process in the Verbatim/Documentary Dance-Theatre Genre’

Helen Gush

QMUL/V&A: ‘Lurking in the Shadows of the Ballroom: Things and the Archive’.



Bryony White



Deborah Leveroy

Locating dyslexic performance: text, identity and creativity

Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance

Annual Conference 2019: Call for Papers

The CfPs for our annual conference are now available. This year's conference will be held at the University of Surrey from 4-6th of September.

Annual Conference 2019: Call for Papers

The CfPs for our annual conference are now available. This year's conference will be held at the University of Surrey from 4-6th of September.

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