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.The research strengths of UQ Drama staff cohere around two broad themes, and we welcome applications from prospective students that address any of the following:

1.Contemporary Forms of Performance

  • The digital and the live
  • Representations of otherness
  • 21st century Australiantheatre

2.Theatre & Cultural Production

  • International performance networks
  • Dramaturgy, directing, playwriting
  • The Gothic and ecocriticism
  • Australian cultural history

Further areas of staff expertise include: Shakespeare in prison; Early Moderntheatre; adaptation; theatres of spectacle and sensation, and ghosts on stage.

Annual Research Theme

Each year our research and engagement activities coalesce around a specific theme.The theme for 2020 is adaptation in performance.Reflecting on a practice that has developed both locally and globally over the past decade, theatrical adaptation now encompasses all manner of mediums–from classic plays to novels to films to radio plays to video games to comics. In parallel with this proliferation of forms of adaptation, the intersections between translation and adaptation have become ever more nuanced. As a result, the dramaturgy of adaptation remains a powerful tool for revealing the complexity of the paradigm.

To interrogate adaptation in performance, UQ Drama will present a series ofprovocations and explorations across 2020 including:

  • The DRAM2200 production;
  • Workshops and masterclasses from visiting artists focussed on adaptation;
  • Contributions to theTranslation, Adaptation, and Dramaturgy Working Groupof the International Federation of Theatre Research;
  • Contributions toICLA Research Committeeon Literatures/Arts/Media.

We particularly welcome applications for research masters and doctoral degree projects in Drama and Theatre Studies that address this theme. For moreinformation about applying to the School of Communication and Arts, see here.

Research & Industry Engagement

Fostering industry engagement with theatre companies and communities and research partnerships with other universities in Australia and internationally is a significant research priority. Drama discipline industry engagement partners include:

  • Queensland Theatre, where Emeritus Professor Richard Fotheringham was Chair of theBoard until 2016, andProfessor Joanne Tompkins has developed a virtual model of the Bille Brown Studio;
  • Playlab, the peak agency for playwriting in Queensland, where Associate Professor Stephen Carleton is a Board member, and member of the Publication Committee;
  • The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, UQ Drama’s resident theatre company housed in the Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio, with links through Associate Professor Rob Pensalfinito the Shakespeare in Prison Project;
  • Major Australian theatreand literary databases, including AustLit,AusStage,and the Cultural Atlas of Australia;
  • The Fryer Library, where the Drama discipline also notably continues the tradition of documenting Australia's dramatic heritage, maintaining a tradition begun by the Fryer initiative and continued by Eunice Hanger and others into the present.
  • The Migrant Dramaturgies Network,where Dr Bernadette Cochrane is aboard member. Developed in partnership with New Tides Platform (UK) andthe Centre for Theatre Research at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

UQ Drama Creative Fellowship

The Drama discipline also runs programs that bring practising artists to the UQ campus to work with students and staff. In 2015, we inaugurated the 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 present a new play in development to students, staff, and industry.

The most recent UQ Drama Creative Fellow was Dr Katalin Trencsényi. 

 As a London-based freelance dramaturg, Katalin has worked with the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, Deafinitely Theatre, Corali Dance Company, and Company of Angels, among others. As a theatre-maker Katalin has worked and taught internationally: in Belgium, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and the US. Katalin is the author of Dramaturgy in the Making. A User’s Guide for Theatre Practitioners (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015), editor of Bandoneon: Working with Pina Bausch (Oberon Books, 2016), and co-editor with Bernadette Cochrane of New Dramaturgy: International Perspectives on Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2014).

You can view the 2019 UQ Lecture and Roundtable presented by Dr Katalin Trencsényi below:

Previous UQ Drama Creative Fellows

  • 2019 – Dr Katalin Trencsényi
  • 2018 – Suzie Miller  
  • 2017 – Mary Anne Butler
  • 2016 – Tommy Murphy
  • 2015 – Angela Betzien

The play that Suzie Miller developed during her fellowship, On the Face of It (Prima Facie), went on to win the 2018 Griffin Award, and has since been produced around Australia.