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 activism


Activism is the deliberate intervention of an individual or group with the aim of creating transformation in the social, political, cultural or economic realm.

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.

Seyferth class

Acting & Actor Training

The training of actors and performers operates in a variety of ways according to the contexts for which they are being trained.

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.

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’.

Zinder rehearsal


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


Forsythe, William

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

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.

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.

Brith Gof training


Improvisation is the spontaneous invention of performance. But while it specifies a particular form, elements of improvisation are intrinsic to all performance and the quality of liveness it produces.

Chekhov alien

Chekhov, Michael

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


Shaplin, Adriano

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

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.


Paxton, Steve

Steve Paxton has been a professional dancer since 1960. He is the inventor of contact improvisation, and continues to perform, choreograph and teach around the world.