Drama and Theatre Studies research in the School of Communication and Arts is committed to critical engagement with theatre studies and live performance through time and across cultures. Our research is embedded in industry and includes both traditional academic publications and creative practice non-traditional research outputs. Our research encompasses the following themes:

  • Applied theatre
  • Australian cultural history
  • Australian theatre
  • Directing
  • Dramaturgy
  • Ecocriticism
  • Forum theatre
  • Greek tragedy
  • Immersive theatre
  • Music composition for theatre
  • Playwriting
  • Postdramatic theatre
  • Queer theory
  • Representations of otherness
  • Shakespeare in prison
  • The digital and the live
  • The gothic
  • Translation and adaptation theory

Fostering industry engagement and research partnerships is a significant research priority. Since 2015, we have hosted a UQ Drama Creative Fellowship, which allows us to bring a leading theatre artist to the School each year to run masterclasses in our playwriting program, offer a guest lecture for staff and students across the university, and/or present a new play in development to students, staff, and industry. Previous UQ Drama Creative Fellows include Elaine Acworth, Katalin Trencsényi, Suzie Miller, Mary Anne Butler, Tommy Murphy, and Angela Betzien. Our industry engagement partners, with whom we collaborate and for whom our students have held internships, include Counterpilot, La Boite, Playlab, Queensland Theatre, the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, the major Australian theatre and literary databases such as AustLit, AusStage, and the Cultural Atlas of Australia, and the Fryer Library. UQ Drama staff are currently on the boards of By Jove Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, and the Migrant Dramaturgies Network, and Associate Professor Rob Pensalfini is currently Artistic Director of Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

We have a vibrant postgraduate community and welcome applications from prospective masters and PhD students whose work aligns with our research interests. Our postgraduate pathways include traditional MPhil and PhD programmes, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing, through which students author a full-length play plus critical essay.