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.

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’.

Odin flowers eyes

Form & Genre

Form and genre are terms that are often used interchangeably. Whilst form is more often about structure, and genre is more to do with typology, forms and genres of theatre and performance vary.

Hero_Kelly Hunter

Hunter, Kelly

Kelly Hunter, actor, created Touchstone Shakespeare Theatre, offering Shakespeare to young people with limited access to the Arts.

Eugenio directing


Directing usually evolves from extensive planning into a rehearsal process. Directors need to find a dramaturgical or structural shape to their work, a formulated and articulated rhythmical pattern.



Carnival is popular street festival that usually combines music, masking or costume, dance, food, eroticism and performances such as parades, street theatre and puppetry.

Stanislavsky writing

Stanislavsky, Konstantin

With his insights into acting and directing, Konstantin Stanislavsky forged a definitive position in the development of twentieth-century theatre, laying the groundwork for many innovators.


McBurney, Simon and Complicite

Complicite is an international touring theatre company, based in London and led by Artistic Director Simon McBurney.

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.

Chekhov alien

Chekhov, Michael

Michael Chekhov (1891–1955) developed a creative and imaginative approach to acting that continues to inspire actors around the world.

Julia blindfold

Varley, Julia

Julia Varley joined Odin Teatret in 1976. She is an active actor, director, teacher and writer. She is Artistic Director of the Transit Festival in Holstebro and Editor of The Open Page.

Zarrilli Beckett

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.

Odin parade

Street Theatre

Many performance traditions have involved parades and displays in streets, towns or village squares, and the majority of these performances have been constructed with this spatial context in mind.

Knebel looking up

Knebel, Maria

Maria Osipovna Knebel (1898–1985), actor, director, teacher, and author, is arguably the most influential figure in twentieth-century Russian theatre, next to Stanislavsky.