We are delighted to announce the call for papers for the Postgraduate Symposium 2020

Revisions: Confronting the Past, Re-imagining the Future 

TaPRA-SCUDD 2020 PG Symposium

Wednesday 18th March, University of Warwick

Repetition and revision are fundamental to performance as a medium. Marvin Carlson’s concept of ‘theatrical ghosting’ explores how the theatre’s recycling of elements, including text, actors, and costumes, is a key part of its legibility (The Haunted Stage, 2001). Joseph Roach’s idea of ‘kinaesthetic imagination’ suggests that expressive movements made by bodies, particularly within performances, contain ‘mnemonic reserves’ (Cities of the Dead, 1996). Roach observes ‘the subversive paradox of memory as performance – that repetition is change’ (1996). The creation and rehearsal process of a piece of theatre could be seen in terms of revision: the lines that are cut; the performances that are developed, the designs that are refined etc. Adaptations of existing texts often explicitly engage with what it is to see an older work anew. Furthermore, the plays and performances that are chosen to be adapted or revived and the choices made in revising them – or not – for a modern audience can illuminate contemporary concerns.


We also invite reflections and provocations on how the discipline of theatre and performance studies might be revised, continuing conversations around historic and ongoing institutional exclusions, and practices of decolonisation within the discipline.


We invite presentations that relate to the theme of ‘Revisions’ in all forms of theatre practice, performance, performance studies, formal and informal performer training, stagecraft and theatre/drama in education. Themes might include, but are not limited to:

  • Revisions to the discipline of theatre and performance studies
  • Concepts of temporality, historicity and futurity as they relate to theatre and performance
  • Revisions within creation/ rehearsal and production processes
  • The politics of theatrical adaptations and/or revivals
  • How theatre adapts the past for modern consumption e.g. Emilia (2018) by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Red Velvet (2012) by Lolita Chakrabarti
  • Future-oriented performance practices, such as Rachael Young’s Nightclubbing (2017)We invite Papers or Performative Presentations (15mins) from postgraduates at all levels of study, postdoctoral researchers and early career academics. We also invite those who may not wish to present a full paper to submit a proposal to share a concept or piece of practice (6 min). As we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment, please let us know if there are any access provisions that would better enable you to participate.


[UPDATE: 20/10/2020]

Due to COVID-19, we decided not to host the 2020 postgraduate symposium in person. Instead, participants were put into thematic ‘panels’ and invited to share their papers for feedback from their peers. The participants in the 2020 symposium were:


Panel 1 Remaking gender and sexuality

Paul Edwards- ‘I “Something” You: Revising the Practice of Actioning’

Chloe Turner – ‘Remixing as Reincarnation: Trans* temporal rebellion in the performance of boychild’

Saori Mita – ‘Queer Spies from Stage to Screen: Alan Bennett’s Spy Trilogy and John Osborne’s A Patriot For Me’


Panel 2 Ethico-political revisions

Chiedza Chinhanu – ‘Negotiating a revision of prison narratives: The case of women in Chikurubi female prison in Zimbabwe’

Réka Polonyi – ‘Theatre can wait’: an inquiry into the notion of silence in socially engaged performing arts’

Manel Ziani – The Aesthetics and the Dialectics in Applied Theatre: A Comparative Outlook on Bertolt Brecht and Kateb Yacine


Panel 3 Re-mapping space and place

Olivia Lamont Bishop – ‘Sensory Revisions of Place: Tania El Khoury’s Gardens Speak’

Nadine Deller – ‘Heterotopic Revisions: Small Island’

Vanessa MacAulay – ‘Exclusionary Spaces: Lorraine O’Grady’s Interruptive Performances and the Visibility of the Black Female Body’

melissandre varin – ‘(Re)imagining University: challenging white space and (re)negotiating Black Womxn’s performance’

Jenny Kirton – ‘Unravelling the Lincoln Myth via Modes of Mimicry in Suzan Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog’


Panel 4 Revising the canon

Antonia Georgieva – Adieu, Adieu, Remember me: The Practice of Adaptation as a Subversive Ritual of Decolonization

Hansol Oh – Spectacularizing Labor in Flower Drum Song Revisal

Jessi Parrott – ‘”What? Who? No! She!” – Touretteshero’s Not I as a rallying cry for D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse representation, and the possibilities found in reimagining the canon’

Amanda Finch – ‘You can’t solve it: the politics of cross-gender casting in contemporary revivals and adaptations of Shakespeare’


Panel 5 Revisions to and through performance practice

Rob Fellman – ‘Present, not correct…’ (performance presentation)

Alison Porter – ‘Recycling Your Words – Revisions and mediation in the verbatim theatre process’

James Woodhams – ‘”But they’re just a child!” Do performers make conscious alterations to a performance when encountering different ages range Key Stage One spectators?’


Jef Hall Flavin, Rebekka Jolley, Isabel Stuart, Jozey Wade, Joseph Prestwich, Richard Wiseman also had papers accepted to the physical symposium but decided not to participate in the work sharing.

Symposium organisers: Hannah Greenstreet, Emily Dunford and Cathy Sloan

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