Documenting Performance WG convenor callout 2022

Date Published: November 5, 2022
Expressions of interest by 12 December 2022 (5pm, UK time)

The Documenting Performance working group at the Theatre and Performance Research Association is looking to appoint new co-convenors to steer and facilitate the work of the group over the next three years. Co-convenors can be at any stage of their career, and we are looking for those whose specialism and area of research and practice is interconnected with that of the working group. We welcome scholars, artist scholars and all those engaged actively in research. 

The Working Group was founded in 2011 as a platform for investigation which acknowledges and contributes to an increasing range of scholarly and artistic activity concerned with performance and its documents, including archival encounters. At its centre is a concern for how we do the work of reading, thinking, writing about, and making theatre and performance; how documentation determines our ways of working, as scholars and artists; and the affect of the circulation of documents between institutions and epistemologies. At stake, then, is how documentation shapes and determines the performance field. The Working Group is a community invested in the conceptual, practical, and creative possibilities of Documenting Performance. Here, performance is conceived in an expanded sense and might include theatre, dance, live art, curatorial, installational, participatory and visual projects, as well as particular modes of critical engagement. 

Recent areas of interest include Use and Mis-Use (TAPRA 2022), Speculation and Fabulation (20221) and Wayward Temporalities (2019). Documenting Performance also held two recent interim events: a collaboration with May Day Rooms archive (Collectivity and Transformation in the Archive, 2022) and with Tate Modern (Hear Tell: Reporting, Describing, Narrating, 2019).

The Theatre and Performance Research Association is a not-for profit company limited by guarantee. It exists in order to facilitate, sustain and promote excellence in research through and into all aspects of theatre, the performing arts, and performance studies.

You will have a demonstrable commitment to equitable and inclusive practices in Theatre and Performance research and will bring this commitment to enabling individuals and groups who are historically underrepresented in the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies to become involved in Working Group activity. You will also have a specialism related to the work of Documenting Performance. 

Key duties include:

  • Facilitating and steering working group activities at the annual TAPRA conference, and through additional interim events as desired.
  • Administering the working group, including at the annual conference, identifying research foci and themes, launching calls for papers and presentations, selecting presenters, scheduling and chairing events, ensuring an inclusive culture in the group, and reporting on group activities. 
  • Planning and disseminating information about the working group.

All convening roles within TaPRA are voluntary and TaPRA recognises that this brings into focus structural challenges and inequalities in relation to working practices and institutions of research. The benefits of undertaking this role include:

  • Opportunities to set and lead research agendas by identifying topics and themes around clusters of shared research interests
  • Opportunities to gather together, encounter, and be part of new collaborative networks of researchers, including with fellow convenors, working group participants, and TaPRA members internationally
  • Opportunities to bid for TaPRA research resources to facilitate working group events outside of the annual conference gathering
  • Building your academic experience in research leadership
  • Opportunities to influence the practices, cultures, and conversations of performance research by providing a key part in how a major research association operates. This includes opportunities to become more involved in decision-making and conversations amongst TaPRA members on important issues, and options to participate in research prize nominations and shortlisting committees.

The outgoing co-convenors of the Documenting Performance working group will work with the new co-convenors to provide a supported hand-over, including facilitating discussions on assembling a team who will make a good fit together in terms of shared investments in ethics and practices of research. 

Please complete this form if you are interested in self-nominating for the role

Deadline: 12 December 2022 (5pm GMT)

We will aim to make a decision by 23 January 2023

In the form, we will ask for:

  • a short summary (up to 500 words) of how you see your work relating to that of the working group, and what you hope to see in the work of the group over the next few years.  If preferred, you can submit this in an alternative format (audio or video).
  • an additional short (e.g. 150 word) biography.
Successful applicants will be invited to discuss with the outgoing co-convenors possible teams (most likely a team of 2-3 people) before full hand-over. 

Researchers actively engaged in the diversification of theatre, performance, and research practices are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Post-event reflection: Mayday Rooms 2022

Date Published: August 12, 2022

Post-event reflection: “Transformation and Collectivity in the Archive”, Mayday Rooms 2022

Documenting Performance Working Group

A group of researchers sitting around a large table

The Documenting Performance Working Group at Mayday Rooms, 18 May 2022

On 18 May 2022 a group of interdisciplinary performance scholars based in the UK gathered for the Documenting Performance field trip, “Transformation and Collectivity in the Archive”. Designed as an event for exploratory research and collective thinking, the activities centred on cultural and political materials found at Mayday Rooms, an “archive, resource and safe haven for social movements, experimental and marginal cultures and their histories” based in central London.

Following an introduction to the space by Mayday Rooms staff collective members Łukasz Risso and Lamya Sadiq, the Documenting Performance Working Group co-convenors Harriet Curtis, Diana Damian Martin, and Eleanor Roberts posed a series of key questions to participants. With a focus on encountering performance in and with the archive, and processes of collective transformation that take place through engaging with the performance document, these served to help frame discussion points which emerged throughout the day.

During the morning, invited guest speakers Istanbul Queer Art Collective (comprised of the artists Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul) presented documentation and reflections on their work Moebius Stripping (2019). This performance centred on the artists cutting into pieces documentation submitted to the Home Office to “extend their ‘leave to remain’ in the UK“, creating a performance and display of destroyed and transformed immigration paperwork. In discussion with the artists, this enabled the elaboration of intersections of the archive, performance, and power, which participants returned to in multiple ways through event discussions.

Participants were then invited to explore Mayday Rooms’ collections, which resulted in individual and collective engagement with key materials, including those representing specific cultural and political movements of housing, labour, women’s and Black struggles in the US and UK, and radical performance histories Scratch Orchestra and Queeruption. With the freedom to move between collections in an exploratory way, participants were able to encounter unfamiliar and potentially unexpected performance histories from the 1960s to the present.

In a final plenary discussion, participants reflected on not only the specific histories and materials themselves, but also the methods, processes, politics, and affective dimensions of conducting archival performance research. This included ideas of “official” and “unofficial” histories, how archives produce and enable cultural access and legitimation, and the positions of distance and privilege occupied by the archival researcher. The day closed with collective reflections on how we “do” performance research in and with archives, and the protocols and cultural norms that inform how archives are organised. Particularly, participants commented on the benefits of engaging with an archive which works very differently than major institutional sites and repositories, with a strong ethos of DIY engagement and accessibility.

Some take-aways:

“Honestly, it was one of the best TaPRA events I have ever been to. I came away so nourished and grateful. The very idea of setting up an away day in a radical archive – as opposed to a seminar room – and then facilitating an exploration followed by food (so good) and a conversation, instead of the traditional mode of conference papers, felt very inclusive and generative. I also loved how institutional hierarchies appeared (to me) to be dismantled in this collaborative way of doing and thinking, and really appreciated hearing from the Istanbul Queer Art Collective, too.”

“That the archive is a really interesting and brilliant space and that so much of my own thinking and research is furthered by collaborative actions – like rummaging through a box with someone else!”

“It was a fantastic day and wonderful to be back in a room again with other researchers. I particularly valued the provocation from IQAC, which got us off to a strong start and really clarified the potential of group engagement with the archive.”

“An expanded approach to the concept of the archive; previously untested methodologies of archival research; a more communal, generous engagement with archived materials.”

– participant feedback, “Collectivity and Transformation in the Archive”, Mayday Rooms 2022

“Transformation and Collectivity in the Archive” was organised by the Documenting Performance Working Group convenors: Harriet Curtis, Diana Damian Martin, and Eleanor Roberts


Call for Working Group Conveners

Date Published: November 5, 2019
The conveners of the Performance and New Technologies Working Group at TaPRA invite expressions of interest for new conveners to take over after the next interim event in April 2020. Each Working Group has at least two coordinators who self-identify as prospective leaders of the group and are confirmed in role by the TaPRA Executive Committee. The coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the group works in accordance with the overriding purpose, interests and formal rubrics of TaPRA.

The coordinator/s will represent the group’s activities and research outcomes at the annual conference and the AGM. They will run the working group’s programme at the annual conference and may decide to organise interim events between conferences.

The Performance and New Technologies Working Group considers the ways in which new and emergent technologies impact upon contemporary theatre and performance practices. The group’s work concerns digital technologies specifically, although its focus is not limited to a single technological paradigm. Rather, members of the group share research into various technological developments, applications of new or emergent technologies, as well as ways in which theatre/performance adapts existing technologies. The group facilitates a range of approaches, conducting its work through scholarly and practice-based enquiry, with the input of professional practitioners also welcomed.

If you would like to talk informally about the role please contact Jo (, Christina ( or Peter (

Expressions of interest should be sent to by Friday 6th March 2020.

Call for Papers – International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (IJPADM): Affiliated Issue on Inclusive Intermedialities

Date Published: October 8, 2019
Dear Performance & New Technologies members, Thank you for your contributions to TaPRA 2019, which resulted in a stimulating event. As discussed during the conference in Exeter, we would like to invite those of you who feel that have presented strong papers which can be turned into excellent articles or alternative documents (such as practice-as-research reports or interviews) to submit your work to the International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (IJPADM), which will publish this coming year an Affiliated Issue on Inclusive Intermedialities with the Performance & New Technologies working group. The issue will look back at Performance and New Technologies presentations and discussions from the last two TaPRA conferences (2018 and 2019), including the 2019 interim event at University of South Wales and will focus on the theme of the 2019 call, which was ‘Inclusive Intermedialities’. We are interested in research exploring and reflecting on inclusion, access and new modes of engagement in contemporary intermedial practices. This may include consideration of: · Embedding access and inclusion through new technologies · The ethics of technologically induced empathies · The disjunctures and discomforts enacted in the intersections of human and technological processes · The politics of the global and the local in contemporary postdigital practices. · Expanded scenographies in new intermedial practices · Virtuality and actuality in new intermedial performance · Approaches to conceptualising creative labour in practices which engage with new technologies, such as the ‘outsourcing’ of creative labour to non-human agents · New technologies in performance in the aftermath of the ‘digital revolution’ · Bugs and glitches as aesthetics of disruption and inclusion The deadline for submitting your articles and documents to the journal is 16th December 2019. Please submit your articles online, through the journal’s website: Before you submit your work, please make sure that it follows the journal’s style guidelines as published on the website. A typical paper for this journal should be between 6000 and 8000 words, inclusive of tables, references, figure captions, footnotes, endnotes. Alternative documents can be shorter in length. This is going to be a quick turnaround, with successful articles appearing online and in print in May 2020. The International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media is a double blind peer-review journal published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions: Christina Papagiannouli: Jo Scott: Piotr (Peter) Woycicki: We look forward to receiving your submissions.

‘Stories of Solitude’ at York Mediale

Date Published: August 16, 2018
Dear Performance and New Technologies TaPRA members, I am organsing a conference on 3rd October entitled ‘Stories of Solitude: Performance, Technology and Digital Overload’ as part of the first York Mediale. You can find more information about the event and Mediale in the link below: Briefly about the event: Stories of Solitude – Performance, Technology and Digital Overload is an interdisciplinary artistic, curatorial and academic symposium held in partnership by York Mediale and Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou from York St John University.  The idea behind this event is inspired by and also departs from the renowned social psychologist and Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies and Science and Technology at MIT, Sherry Turkle and her sentiment that a constant hunger for technology is preventing people from embracing solitude, an imperative state that “refreshes and restores.”The programme will explore the artistic, social and philosophical potential of solitude, as well as the challenging experiences of loneliness and isolation in different contexts of our digital reality with a highly regarded national and international line-up of curators, academics and artists, including Leeds based innovative art studio Invisible Flock; Maaike Bleeker, Professor of Theatre Studies at Utrecht University, Netherlands; Matthew Causey, Professor in Drama and  Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory at Trinity College Dublin; Natalie Kane, curator of Digital Design, Victoria & Albert Museum; Lisa Bortolotti, Professor and philosopher of the cognitive sciences and Valeria Motta, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham, multi-award winning artist Shannon Yee; Estela Oliva, creative director and curator; Zeena Feldmann, Lecturer in Digital Culture at King’s College London; Sebastian Deterding, designer and senior research fellow at the Digital Creative Labs at the University of York, Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at Northumbria University, Jude Brereton, Senior Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology at the University of York, and Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe, artistic and creative directors of fanSHEN. The conference delegates will have the opportunity to experience a recent performance by Lundahl & Seitl entitled ‘Unknown Cloud’. Throughout the day, a series of provocations will consider the role of solitude in relation to the increasingly critical themes of engagement through social media and immersive environments, human/computer interaction, digital detox, singularity, gaming, health and more. The contributors will discuss amongst others: the modes of (dis)engagement between humans, smart objects and robots; the connections between technology, pathology and health care; the use of non-anthromorphic robots in art; the exploration of ethical questions posed by AI and robotics; VR practices and new spaces of (in)voluntary isolation, and other topics. For more information about other mediale events, please see . I would be really delighted if you are available to attend. I would really appreciate it if you could circulate this information to your departments or any colleagues that you think may be interested. Many thanks Best Wishes, Eirini Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou Associate Professor in Theatre & PerformanceYork St John University

CALL FOR PAPERS City, Space, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century Performance

Date Published: May 31, 2018
Organised in conjunction with Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film: This conference is dedicated to the memory of Michael Booth (1931-2017) Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava, Venice University of Warwick 8 – 10 June 2018 Keynote speakers: Professor Nicholas Daly, University College Dublin Professor Lynda Nead, Birkbeck, University of London Confirmed speakers include: Professor Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University Emeritus Professor Victor Emeljanow, University of Newcastle, Australia Emeritus Professor Baz Kershaw, University of Warwick Emeritus Professor David Mayer, University of Manchester Professor Laurence Senelick, Tufts University The city played a central role in nineteenth-century performance, whether as a setting for stage drama, the site of festivals, carnivals, and street theatre, or as a context for the performative interactions of everyday life. A favourite subject of new types of show such as the Panorama and Diorama, the city itself offered a compelling spectacle to inhabitants and visitors alike. Throughout the century, crowds were frequently drawn to particular sites and scenes in which the city was felt to reveal its secrets, while gaslight rendered the metropolis into a drama of lights and shadows, what Lynda Nead has called ‘a poetics of gas’. We invite the submission of abstracts on any topic connected to the themes of city, space, and spectacle in nineteenth-century performance. We welcome papers on all types of urban performance and also its representation in other media such as fiction, poetry, painting, photography, periodicals, and early film. Possible subjects could include, but are not limited to: the role of urban settings in drama; the fascination with the ‘real’ (for instance, topographically accurate simulations of the contemporary urban environment); antiquarian reconstructions (plays claiming to recreate sixteenth-century Venice, ancient Nineveh, or old London); carnivals, festivals, puppet shows, and other extra-theatrical events; the city as a site of performative interaction (rituals, ceremonies, political demonstrations, hoaxes, the business of everyday social life); imaginary cities (for instance, Pandemonium as portrayed in de Loutherbourg’s Eidophusikon or in Burford’s Panorama); ‘ideal’ cities (as in the White City at the Chicago World Fair); the fascination with certain urban sites (underground spaces, places associated with criminality); the city as the site of catastrophe (for instance, plays about Pompeii); theatre buildings as part of the urban fabric (as in the role of theatres in narratives of progress and/or decay); urban themes within plays (shopping, speculation). Speakers will be asked to present 20-minute papers with questions and discussion at the end. Please submit abstracts of 200 words and a biography of 100 words to by 31 January 2018. The conference is convened by the editors of Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film: Professor Jim Davis, Dr Janice Norwood, Dr Patricia Smyth and Professor Sharon Aronofsky Weltman. Details of the Palazzo Pesaro-Papafava including location and accommodation can be found at For informal inquiries regarding this event, please contact Patricia Smyth at City, Space, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century Performance is sponsored by the Humanities Research Centre, University of Warwick.

Call for contributions for a special issue on Performance and VR Practice from The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

Date Published: May 31, 2018
Dear All, Just to let you know that the submission deadline for contributions for a special issue on Performance and VR Practice from The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media has now been extended to March 1st 2018. Details are below, but if you need any further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Best wishes, Sophy Sophy Smith Professor of Creative Technologies Practice Institute of Creative Technologies 3.05 Queens Building DeMontfort University Leicester Skype sophy_smith E Twitter @sophysmith Virtual Reality technologies have a long and established history. As Oliver Grau recognizes in his seminal text Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion (2003), “the idea of installing an observer in a hermetically closed-off image space of illusion did not make its first appearance with the technical invention of computerised virtual realities. On the contrary, VR forms part of the core of the relationship of humans to images” (Grau, 2003: 4-5). Such is our fascination with creating “illusionary spaces” (ibid.), it is understandable that artists and technologist have spent the last few decades exploring how technologies, such as VR, can enable us to extend beyond our own reality towards immersive and illusionary theatrical experiences. Since the 1980’s, when VR was first used in a performative context, beyond its application in industry, artists and scholars have continued to challenge notions of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘virtual’; they have challenged concepts of transcendence, simulation, immersion, materiality, alternate realities, hybrid or mixed realities to name but a few. The use of VR has therefore been important for opening up perspectives and for developing new performance paradigms. Yet, whilst the use of VR over the last three decades has been focused and rigorous, it has not been as widely adopted as other technological tools (such as gesture/motion-sensing systems or live video and projection mapping systems) have been. This is largely due to practical concerns and the availability of such a complex technology. However, over the last few years, VR technologies have made a reemergence, not only in terms of affordability, but because the continued advances in design and usability are making it increasingly possible for artists to access and explore its potential. In 2017, Sony released the Play Station VR headset, enabling high quality VR technologies to be accessed at home. Google cardboard and other VR -goggles enable users to access VR content through their smartphone and 360 streaming is available on Youtube. In response to this, a greater number of performance practitioners have begun to explore how such VR technologies can be used. For instance, 2017 has a seen the premier of a number of new examples of VR performance work, some made by independent artists and others by established organisations including AoE’s Whist, Boleslavsky? and Júdoká’s Dust (supported by Rambert/V&A), Makropol & Bombina’s The Shared Individual and a new VR film by the English National Ballet, inspired by Akram Khan’s Giselle. As its use continues to increase, this special issue wishes to examine how, and in what ways, VR is continuing to have an impact on current performance works. For example, some artists are using VR technologies to reimagine existing performance work, others to offer new perspectives on performance making, and others who are exploring new relationships with their audiences. This raises a number of interesting and timely questions relating to the impact and influence of VR technologies on creative processes and the nature of the work made – In what ways are current VR technologies helping artists to re-imagine their practice? What new work is being created and is this having an impact on professional performance practice? In what ways have current VR technologies and practices extended concepts such as, transcendence, simulation, immersion, materiality, alternate realities etc? How might the use of VR technologies open up new models and/or possibilities for collaboration between artists and technologists? What new performance environments are being created within VR and how might this change how audiences access and engage with professional performance? How can VR enable audiences to engage with performance work in new ways, both collectively and individually? What can VR offer professional performance practice that a traditional ‘live’ experience cannot? What can we learn from emerging VR practice across other sectors to inform and extend professional performance practice as a whole? We invite full essays of between 5,000 and 8,000 words or artistic position papers of between 2,000 and 3,000 words. We would particularly welcome practice-as-research contributions that experiment with content and form, while maintaining a rigorous enquiry into their disciplinary frameworks. Contributions might consider (but are not limited to) the following topics: • New paradigms of performance offered by VR • Live 360 streaming • Choreographing/directing for VR • VR and the collective experience of performance • Role of the audience/participant in VR performance • Participant experience • Notions of performance • Constructions of narrative • Ethics of VR Performance • VR and theatre design Essays should be formatted according to the Routledge journal style. Submission Information For detailed information on how to submit, visit our ‘Instructions for Authors’ page. DEADLINE: 1st March 2018 Full manuscripts should be submitted online: Publication: Autumn 2018 in Volume 14, Issue 2 Please contact Sophy Smith at <> and/or Kerry Francksen at <> if you have any queries. Guest Editors: Prof. Sophy Smith and Dr Kerry Francksen, Directors of DAPPER (Digital Arts Performance Practice – Emerging Research), De Montfort University.

Perf and New Tech Facebook Page

Date Published: May 31, 2018 Please do join our Facebook group to keep up with working group news. We are also in the process of putting together a Perf and New Tech working group blog. More of that soon…

James’s Theatre Performance test

Date Published: August 4, 2017

This is an example Output

Date Published: July 24, 2017
This is the content of the example publication.

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