Research in the Department of Theatre and Performance

In this section


The Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths is distinguished by a strong emphasis on the social roles, impact and influence of theatre/performance.

Our Department has a well-established reputation in practice-as-research, the sociocultural study of the theatre, and the study and practice of diverse forms of theatre and performance, from plays to Live Art and dance. Our outstanding staff team contribute to distinctive groupings of individual and collaborative research as well as the cross-fertilisation between them.

We have a strong practice-as-research portfolio that includes work in dramaturgy, disability theatre, applied theatre, site-specific performance and performance and medicine. We teach, research and promote African, Black British and diasporic theatres, Japanese, Australian and New Zealand theatres, as well as European. The latter includes Irish, Romanian, German, Russian, French and Italian as well as our expertise in British Theatre, historical and contemporary.

There are four main research clusters:


Theoretically-informed practice as research is a key feature of the Department, moving beyond established theatre practice to embrace performance in medicine, dance and schools; the public services sector; and the cultural industries more generally.

Cross disciplinary performance and interdisciplinary writing

The Department’s commitment to cross-generic and cross-disciplinary synergies across the breadth of its activities generates a distinctive research cluster that includes history, translation studies, African studies, English studies and sociology.

History and theory of the theatre

History, sociology and theory of the theatre/performance, playwriting and dramaturgy constitutes the Department’s third main research group. This incorporates drama, productions and performance in national/regional focus; sociology of theatre/performance including cultural theory and ethnography; national and international playwriting and dramaturgy; the study of acting, directors and companies.

Cross-culturalism, multiculturalism and hybrids

The potential of cross-cultural, multicultural and hybrid drama/performance and their exploration as social processes forms the fourth cluster. Our strategy has involved enhancing and interweaving the theoretical underpinnings and empirical investigation of cross-cultural performance, exploring issues specific to multicultural Britain in the contexts of immigration and globalisation and the hybrid practices characteristic of our practice-as-research which merge live performance with video, interactive technology and the web.