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 and pink

Intercultural Theatre & Performance

‘Interculturalism’ describes cultural interaction which confronts and/or combines the practices of one culture with those of one or more others.


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

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.



An emphasis on large-scale spectacle and virtuosic achievement has always been integral to circus, an influential and continually evolving popular-theatre form.



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


Kwei-Armah, Kwame

Kwame Kwei-Armah was born in London in 1967 as Ian Roberts. Aged 19 he changed his name after tracing his family history back to Ghana via the slave trade.

Fava ensemble iii

Physical Comedy

Physical comedy prioritises the body as a signifier in performance. It often requires a level of performer training that focuses on gymnastic ability as well as comic skills.

Odin flowers eyes


Hamlet’s advice to the players begins with speech, rather than gesture, in his direction, ‘Speak the speech, I pray you, trippingly on the tongue.’

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.

Houben x3

Houben, Jos

Jos Houben works internationally as a director, teacher and actor. He has won several awards including the Perrier Award, the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Best New Comedy.

Nicola Shaughnessy  Hero

Shaughnessy, Nicola

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


Endo, Tadashi

Tadashi Endo is a butoh dancer and teacher. He is director of the Butoh-Center MAMU and the Butoh-Festivals MAMU in Germany.



Pioneered by a trans-European group of artists, Dada is an ‘anti-art’ form that came into being in 1916, partly as a deliberately illogical response to the perceived irrationality of World War One.