Routledge Performance Archive

The Routledge Performance Archive is a developing resource produced in partnership with Digital Theatre, providing unique access to an unprecedented range of audio-visual material from past and present practitioners of performance. This ground-breaking and constantly growing online collection delivers essential resources direct to the classroom, lecture theatre and library. The video material spans more than fifty years of documented work direct from renowned practitioners and specialists, and ranges across the entire spectrum of theatre topics.


Browse the Archive through our list of practitioners, ranging from legendary figures to contemporary pioneers. Trace connections between individuals and entire movements, via specially commissioned biographies and peer-reviewed cross-referencing. All biographical information and video descriptions come direct from the practitioners themselves, unless otherwise stated.


Explore content thematically through our carefully structured taxonomy, and reflect on fascinating new relationships between concept and content. All entries have been taken from Paul Allain’s and Jen Harvie’s Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance (Routledge: London, 2006), and are edited by Maggie B. Gale, unless otherwise indicated.

Postmodernism and Performance

Postmodernism & Performance

Challenging ideas of coherent identity, universal value and truth as not only impossible but also duplicitous, postmodernism explores how meaning is always multiple and contingent on contexts.

Katharina staring

Seyferth, Katharina

Katharina Seyferth worked with Grotowski during the “Paratheatre” and “Theatre of Sources” periods. She is Director of the International Centre for Theatrical Research and Training of Las Téoulères.

RB Practitioner 2 Hero

Butcher, Rosemary

Rosemary Butcher is one of the UK's leading contemporary choreographers.


Masking & Body Adornment

Modes of masking or decorating the body have been used throughout history, from ancient rituals, to ancient Greek theatre, to circus’s red-nosed clown, or the stock characters of commedia dell’arte


Forsythe, William

William Forsythe is recognised as one of the world’s foremost choreographers.


Tandon, Rekha

Rekha Tandon is a performer, choreographer and researcher working in Odissi, one of the eight classical dance forms of India. She is the Artistic Director of Dance Routes.



Ritual denotes an action or series of actions that are done in order to have an effect – to alter the weather, or to move a person from one phase of life to another in a transitional rite of passage.

Dance studies range widely: from phenomenological approaches that emphasise the experience of movement; through focus on techniques; to the placing of works in a historical or political context.

Dance Analysis

Dance studies range widely: from phenomenological approaches that emphasise the experience of movement; through focus on techniques; to the placing of works in a historical or political context.


Shaplin, Adriano

Adriano Shaplin is a New Jersey-based playwright, actor, and artistic director of the Riot Group theatre company.

Deer Dream

Popular Theatre & Performance

Popular theatre embraces practices which range across melodrama, street theatre, circus, vaudeville, clowning, mime and musicals. Historically, it also encompasses popular commercial theatre.

I, Malvolio Hero

Crouch, Tim

Tim Crouch was an actor for many years before starting to write – and he still performs in much of his work.

Merlin Maria

Merlin, Bella

Bella Merlin is an actor, writer (of books and music) and Professor of Acting at the University of California, Davis. Her work combines acting processes, theatre history and practice-as-research.



Para literally means ‘beyond’. In practice, paratheatre therefore lies outside and beyond the spatial, temporal and structural forms of the theatre, denoting instead related practices.