Revisions: Confronting the Past, Re-imagining the future

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Theatre & Performance Research Association
contact email: 

Revisions: Confronting the Past, Re-imagining the Future

TaPRA-SCUDD 2020 Postgraduate Symposium  

Wednesday 18th March, Millburn House, 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.  

The day will also include a professional skills workshop curated by Harriet Richmond on behalf of SCUDD. Further information to follow.

The symposium is free and open to all postgraduates currently enrolled on a postgraduate course, as well as early career researchers.

Abstracts should be 250 words in length. All abstracts should be sent to When submitting your abstract, please also include a short biography (no more than 50 words) and a brief note on technical requirements (if any) in the same document. Those wishing to use alternative approaches to presenting research, such as performance lectures, are asked to include an additional 100 words detailing your intended presentation methods.

This year, the TaPRA PGR Symposium will be held in Millburn House at the University of Warwick. We have booked studio spaces for the symposium, which will support practical demonstrations and workshops as well as traditional papers. Presenters will have access to audiovisual equipment and a flexible seating layout. 

To support access to participation in this event TaPRA and SCUDD have allocated funds for a number of bursaries to cover travel costs and/or any other required access costs. Should you wish to be considered for a bursary, please include a statement with your proposal to support your request, including an estimated cost of travel/access costs of up to £100. A selection panel of TaPRA and SCUDD executive members will award bursaries based on:

  1. Quality of presentation proposal,

  2. The extent to which the applicant will benefit from attending,

  3. The financial need that might otherwise impede participation.

Our intention is that those who may not otherwise be able to participate in the event are supported to do so. 


The symposium aims to foster an inclusive and supportive atmosphere and particularly welcomes first time presenters and those who might not have engaged with TaPRA previously. 


All correspondence should be directed to Hannah Greenstreet and Cathy Sloan via

The deadline for submitting your proposal is 5pm on 31st January 2020. We will be unable to accept submissions after this deadline. We aim to notify all applicants of the outcome by 14th February. 

Hannah Greenstreet and Cathy Sloan (TaPRA PG representatives)