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.


McBurney, Simon and Complicite

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

Pocha gasmasks

Gómez-Peña, Guillermo

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and director of performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. His work has been presented internationally at over 800 venues.



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.

Pearson workshop

Environmental Theatre

Environmental theatre aims explicitly to alter the conventional spatial practices of performance and to enhance the performance’s engagement with its space and site of production.

Fava ensemble


A grouping of performers or theatre-makers, preferably with a extended professional commitment, working either as part of an individual performance or as part of an established company.

Sasha Hero

Iliev, Alexander Lubenov

Dr. Alexander Lubenov Iliev is one of the most celebrated mime artists in the world and Associate Professor at the National Academy in Sofia.

Virginie hands

Feminism, Theatre & Performance

Throughout the twentieth century, feminist performance has interrogated the ways women’s conventional representation is often derogatory, or exploitative, reproducing scenes of female disempowerment.

Hero_Kelly Hunter

Hunter, Kelly

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

Liz Aggiss 1

Dance Analysis

Dance studies range widely: from phenomenological approaches that emphasise the experience of movement; through focus on techniques; to the placing of works in a historical or political context.

Goats dancing

Goat Island

Goat Island was a Chicago-based collaborative performance group that began in 1987. They made nine intimate, low-tech and intensely physical performance works that toured internationally.


Brewster, Yvonne

Yvonne Brewster was born in Jamaica in 1938 and came to England in 1956 to train at Rose Bruford College. She set up Jamaica's first professional theatre company at the Barn Theatre.



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.


Forsythe, William

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

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.

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’.



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.