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.

Niamh smiling

Dowling, Niamh

Niamh Dowling works internationally as a movement specialist. She has trained with Monika Pagneux and as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and collaborates closely with Teatr Piesn Kozla.

Meyerhold mug shot

Meyerhold, Vsevolod

Vsevolod Meyerhold is remembered predominantly for his radically stylised theatre productions and his invention of biomechanics for performer training.



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.

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.

Theatre History

Theatre History

Theatre History aims to enlarge our understanding of theatre – the people, events and relationships involved in its development, the causes of change, the ideas underlying forms of performance.

Zinder rehearsal


The substance of rehearsals is primarily contingent on the requirements made of actors: to learn lines; to enter into roles; to establish movements and interactions; to create the ‘world of a play’.

Odin rainbow

Postmodern Dance

Postmodern dance tends to be divided between those choreographers who experiment formalistically with constructed and performed movement in space and time, and those who are influenced by modernism.

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.



Dance is central to any study of performance and, in non-Western cultures, dance’s many manifestations are often inseparable from the theatre.

Akram Khan Practitioner Image

Khan, Akram

Akram Khan is one of the UK’s most acclaimed choreographers of his generation. He is the Artistic Director of Akram Khan Company and Kaash is the company’s first full-length evening work.


Frayn, Michael J.

Born in London in 1933, Michael J. Frayn studied at Cambridge, and then began his working life as a journalist before starting to write plays and novels.

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.

Molik shirt

Molik, Zygmunt

Zygmunt Molik (1930–2010) was for twenty-five years an actor of Jerzy Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium. He was a co-founder and leading actor in Grotowski’s company, appearing in all its productions.

Gardzienice okay signs

Staniewski, Wlodzimierz, and Gardzienice

The Centre for Theatre Practices ‘Gardzienice’ was founded in 1977 in south-east Poland, taking its name from the tiny village where the company was, and still is, based.

Pocha shoe

Performance Art / Live Art & Performance

Performance art/live art is a live artistic practice that evolved as artists sought to extend art beyond the conventional media and practices of painting and sculpture.


Brecht, Bertolt

Brecht was a major reformer of several aspects of 20th century theatre. He created an acting process, theories of dramaturgy and performance, a performance style, and wrote many plays and poems.