Postgraduate Essay Prize

We are pleased to announce that the TaPRA 2019 Postgraduate Essay Prize is now open.

The TaPRA Postgraduate Prize aims to recognise and support excellent postgraduate 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, anywhere in the world,  are eligible. The closing date is Friday 10 May 2019.

TaPRA aims to address the historic underrepresentation of BAME scholars in the field of theatre studies, and to expand its international outlook to include scholars from across the globe and those from or living in the Global South. We particularly welcome entries from those constituencies for this prize.

Guidelines for submission:

To be eligible for entry to the TaPRA PG Prize, a work must:

(i) be an original piece of work not already under consideration for publication with a publisher or publishing platform.

(ii) not exceed 8,000 words (including referencing)

(iii) be referenced according to the submission guidelines of your target journal from the list below
(iv) be received by the Deputy Research Officer during the Entry Period.

Submitted works must be accompanied by the TaPRA PG Essay form (download here) and an anonymised copy of the essay, submitted as a pdf to ensure a blind peer-review process. No identification other than the title should appear on the work itself. Entries not abiding to this formatting requirement will be disqualified.

Please send everything by email to TaPRA’s Deputy Research Officer, Elena Marchevska ( by midnight on Friday 10th May 2019.

TaPRA PG Prizes

The TaPRA PG Essay Prize winner will receive :

A choice of FIVE free books from Manchester University Press
A year’s free membership to TaPRA

A £200 bursary to attend the annual TaPRA conference.

There are two runner up prizes of book vouchers from academic publishing houses. Details of these to be announced soon.


Timeline and judging criteria

 The essays will be judged by editors and members of editorial boards drawn as appropriate from the following journals, all of whom support the TaPRA PG Essay Prize:

Contemporary Theatre Review

International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (IJPADM)

RiDE (Research in Drama & Education)

Studies in Theatre and Performance

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training.

The best essay/s will be considered for publication in one of these journals.


Prizes will be announced in mid-July.


Judge’s will use the following criteria to judge the essays:

  1. Complete work with no major errors or omissions;
  2. The essay that demonstrates clarity of argument and quality of expression appropriate to the target audience. There is evidence of wider reading and knowledge of the research field,  appropriately  integrated  into  the  essay. The essay makes relevant  and  appropriate  use  and  application  of  theory  or  critical  models. The essay demonstrates originality of exposition and thought.





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’.





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

Schedule for TaPRA 2019 now available

This year's conference will be held at the University of Exeter from 4-6th of September. Please click the link here for access to the online schedule.

Schedule for TaPRA 2019 now available

This year's conference will be held at the University of Exeter from 4-6th of September. Please click the link below to access the online schedule.

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