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 train

Installation Art

The term ‘installation art’ has been used since the 1960s to designate art practice which explicitly aims to include and refer to its site and context as a crucial constituent of its meanings.



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.

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.

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.



The behaviour of animals on stage is unpredictable and difficult to control. Yet animals have often been used by groups and artists, exploiting these very qualities of surprise and unpredictability.


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.

Rachel Rosenthal Hero

Rosenthal, Rachel

A winner of OBIE, Rockefeller, Getty, NEA and CAA awards, among many others, Rachel Rosenthal is an internationally recognised pioneers in the fields of feminist and ecological performance art.

Iben pointing colour

Rasmussen, Iben Nagel

Iben Nagel Rasmussen is an actor, director, teacher and writer born in Denmark. She has been a member of Odin Teatret since 1966, and conducts independent research as leader of ‘The Bridge of Winds’.

Fava mask dog

Fava, Antonio

Actor, director, writer, flautist, mask-maker and teacher, Antonio Fava has worked with Dario Fo and Jacques Lecoq and founded Teatro del Vicolo with Dina Buccino.


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.


Divas Dance Theatre; Aggiss, Liz and Cowie, Billy

Divas Dance Theatre are a British performance collaborative comprised of Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie. Their work incorporates elements of theatre, film, opera, poetry and vaudevillian humour.



Kathakali dance-drama is a distinctive genre of South Asian performance which developed during the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries in the Malayalam speaking coastal region of south-west India.

Avner curtain

Clowns & Clowning

Clowns are predominantly physical performers, and there are a number of different traditions and ‘schools’ of clowning.

Theatre Oppressed

Theatre of the Oppressed

The term ‘theatre of the oppressed’, coined by Augusto Boal after Paolo Freire’s writings on oppression, denotes a way of creating theatre within a particular ideological framework.

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.



Devising is a method of making performance that is not dominated by text and includes the collaborative participation of the whole creative company in all stages and aspects of performance-making.