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.

GGP human alter

Body Art

Body art is radical live art that uses the artist’s own body to comment visually, sensually and often viscerally on identity and to enact the body’s social meanings and expressive possibilities.

Zarrilli puppet


What separates puppets in performance from art objects or curios hung on a domestic or art gallery wall is the puppeteer or performer’s ability to manipulate the object and thus bring it to ‘life’.

Mike Alfreds

Alfreds, Mike

Mike Alfreds has run theatre companies in the US, Israel and the UK as well as freelancing as a theatre director and teacher around the world.

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.

Bobby Baker pract 2

Baker, Bobby

Bobby Baker is a woman, and an artist. She is acclaimed for producing radical work of outstanding quality across disciplines including performance, drawing and multimedia.

Bobby Baker pract 2

Text Analysis

The detail contained in the black-and-white print requires a certain forensic analysis to transform the page into flesh-and-blood character.



Diverse experiments in playwriting over thousands of years mean a too-narrow definition could shortchange the multitudinous manifestations and methods of creation that constitute the art form.

Rosemary Butcher is one of the UK

Butcher, Rosemary

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


Simmons, Pip

In 1968, Pip Simmons set up his own experimental company, The Pip Simmons Theatre Group, whose devised style was intense, physical and musical.

Merlin trapdoor


The term ‘expressionism’ describes a radical style of visual art that aimed to express emotion non-naturalistically, in violent protest against the perceived bourgeois repression of naturalism.

Odin okay

Solo Performance

Examples of solo performance have existed since records of theatre and performance activity have been available, but often here the ‘solo’ involves the delivery of some sort of monologue or soliloquy.

Nicola Shaughnessy  Hero

Shaughnessy, Nicola

Nicola Shaughnessy is Professor of Performance at the University of Kent and led the AHRC funded 'Imagining Autism' project.

Sasha Hero

Iliev, Alexander Lubenov

Dr. Alexander Lubenov Iliev is one of the most celebrated mime artists in the world and Associate Professor at the National Academy in Sofia.