Centre for Performance and Creative Exchange

Image -  Centre for Performance and Creative Exchange

The Research Centre for Performance & Creative Exchange offers a forum for the exchange of energy and ideas about histories, theories, and practices of theatre, performance and live art. It seeks to place cutting edge work by visiting scholars and artists in conversation with the research of staff and students, and asks how shared strands of thought can be developed, circulated, revised and augmented.

The Centre cultivates avenues of engagement and collaboration with a particular focus on:

  • subjectivity and experimentation;
  • questions of gender, race and sexuality;
  • under-represented histories and new historiographical methods;
  • institutional critique;
  • interdisciplinarity;
  • practice as research;
  • and work that is international in its focus and aims.

At the core of the Centre’s activities are free public talks, seminars, and performances with guests, which run through the academic year. This includes national and international visitors, and recently we have hosted artists and scholars from Africa, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Opportunities for graduate students in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance to generate and participate in research events are also co-ordinated through the Centre. 

For more information please contact: Prof. Leslie Hill


Current Events

  • 22 October (Thurs) 5:30-7pm
    Ryan Tacata

    Notes on the Occasion: Performance & Social Practice

    In “Advance-Guard Writing,” an essay in The Kenyon Review (1951), Paul Goodman argues that occasional poetry produced by avant-garde artists could re-establish community and combat the alienating effects of modernity. Glossing Goethe, he writes, “[occasional poetry] gives the most real and detailed subject-matter, it is closest in its effect on the audience, and it poses the enormous problem of being plausible to the actuality and yet creatively imagining something, finding something unlooked-for” (376). Occasional poetry, as the potential cause and effect of an occasion, as socially generative and emergent, may have something to teach us about the poetics of socially engaged performance. This talk proposes that performance based social practice is an emergent form of its own occasion. Drawing on Goodman’s writing, Frank O’hara’s manifesto Personism (1961), minor histories of Fluxus, and dramaturgical notes from For You’s First Things First (2019), this talk highlights the occasional mode of performance born in the ‘unlooked-for’ everyday.

    Bio: Dr. Ryan D. Tacata is a performance maker, educator, and scholar. His creative practice is deeply collaborative and engages in ordinary acts and gift-giving. His recent work includes Artists & Elders (2020-), an ongoing curatorial platform bringing artists and elders together for virtual, creative exchange during the pandemic (a project of his performance collective For You, commissioned by Court Theater, Chicago IL & Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland OR); First Things First (2020), an inaugural ceremony created by For You (commissioned by the Momentary, AR); and a minor repair (2019), an archive-based response commissioned by the City of Chicago for the exhibition goat island archive—we have discovered the performance by making it. His academic research plays critical intimacy in the key of everyday life, and focuses on alternative methods of archival research and performance art historiography. He is currently Assistant Professor of Performance at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC). www.ryan-tacata.com / www.foryou.productions.

  • 4 November (Weds) 5:30-7pm
    Sheila Chukwulozie

    Behaving Oneself

    Nigerian artist Sheila Chukwulozie's practice battles the politics of “behaving oneself” in a Catholic-colonial body through juxtaposing local rituals, modern technology, traditional myths, and movement styles. Chukwulozie primarily focuses on language and traces her body for emotions that she feels she has not been allowed to express; either because the emotion has been culturally misdiagnosed, erased, or perhaps, is simply non-existent in the English canon which has come to be her first language. Sheila will be doing a presentation of her artistic practice.

  • November 18 (Weds) 5:30-7pm
    Rashna Darius Nicholson

    The Origins of Cultural Development

    This paper provides an overview of the complex transnational processes that lead to the global conceptualization of culture as a tool for development, a paradigm that assumed a distinctive tenor of Cold and post-Cold War diplomacy. Drawing on primary sources from the Rockefeller Archive Center, it examines how the performing arts were instrumentalized as tools for development in emerging countries — a legitimation narrative for culture that facilitated heterogeneous objectives — from national ‘modernization’ projects, U.S. ‘soft’ or ‘smart’ power activities to international cooperation. Due to its strategic location, non-aligned political status and symbolic value as the largest Asian democracy, India functioned, in the words of a Ford Foundation officer, as a ‘guinea pig’ for this experiment. The paper will analyze how the performing arts were posited by local politicians and American foundation officers, as key drivers of productivity and economic growth in India, a model that was subsequently replicated and transposed to other cash-strapped emerging countries. By tracing the institutional development of theatre in the subcontinent, the growth of an epistemic community of state and non-state actors and the reciprocal flows of knowledge between India and the U.S., the paper will show how American Foundations transformed existing disciplines such as Theatre Studies, facilitated the growth of new artistic movements and scholarly fields such as Intercultural Theatre and Performance Studies and assisted the United States’ rise to global leadership in the arts.

    Rashna Darius Nicholson is Assistant Professor, Drama and English Literary Studies at The University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining HKU she held a research fellowship at the ERC-Project “Developing Theatre”, LMU Munich. Her research and teaching specializations include nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century theatre history, historiography and practice; postcolonial and world literature and cultural development.

  • December 9 (Weds) 5:30-7pm
    Prof Gretchen Schiller

    Artistic Research and Interdisciplinary Collaborations

    Dancer, Choreographer and Videographer Gretchen Schiller’s work is focused on movement, extending the remit of the choreographic by reframing kinaesthetic qualities of place as action and creating movement-based installations choreographed specifically to elicit the general public’s kinaesthetic awareness. Schiller will discuss her own work alongside the challenges and opportunities of directing the Performance lab and the Structure Féderative de la Recherche Création at the Maison de la Création et de l’innovation, Université Grenoble Alpes. Roehampton’s Prof Leslie Hill (DTP) will join Schiller in a dialogue about interdisciplinarity collaboration in the arts and artistic research at time when Roehampton’s departments of Dance, Drama Theatre & Performance and Media, Culture and Language have just been amalgamated into a new School of Arts.

    Gretchen Schiller is Director la Maison de la Création et de l’innovation, Université Grenoble Aples, FR and co directs the national Rescam Réseau interuniversitaire d’écoles doctorales Création, Arts et Médias (CAM) with Christophe Genin. Schiller’s book Choreographic Dwellings: Practising Place, co-edited with Sarah Rubidge, is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

All events are free and all are welcome. Unless stated otherwise, the venue Jubilee Building Theatre / Studio is fully accessible (on a single floor level, with widened doors, and accessible toilet via access ramp); however please email the organisers if you have any queries about access. Jubilee Building is number D5 on the campus map.


Past Events

Events 2019-20

  • 30 September and 1 October 2020 - 'Undercurrents in performance-activism' with Macarena Gómez-Barris (Pratt Institute, New York / Global South Center), 3-6pm via zoom. A 'Transnational queer-feminist methodologies in live art' study day organised by Giulia Casalini, Bex Tadman and Clare Daly. Funded by TECHNE. Advance booking is essential, please register here
  • 11 October 2019 - Chiara Bottici (New School for Social Research / Eugene Lang College, New York), 'The Art of Change Opera: An Imaginal Intervention'. This talk followed a study day, ‘Art, Performance & Political Imagination’, funded by TECHNE and organised by Giulia Palladini.
  • 14 October 2019 – In Memory of a Young Child, written by Ioli Andreadi (PhD King’s College London) and Aris Asproulis (Panteion University). Performed by Roula Pateraki, Despoina Sarafidou, and Kostas Nikouli. Exhibition I can feel inside of me something really blond curated by Iris Kritikou. Organised by Joe Kelleher and supported by the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports.
  • 31 October 2019 – People Show 130: The Last Straw, performance by the People Show.
  • 5 November 2019 - (NON)POLITICAL (NON)PERFORMANCE study day with André Lepecki (Tisch School of the Arts, New York University). Funded by TECHNE and organised by Helena Botto, Tim Cowbury, Georg Döcker, Will Osmond, Jonas Schnor, Jenny Swingler, and Siegmar Zacharias.
  • 6 November 2019 – Heike Roms (University of Exeter), ‘The Avant-Garde Is Child’s Play: Performance art works with and for children in the '60s and '70s’.
  • 6 December 2019 – Raluca Soreanu (University of Essex), 'On the Wise Crowd: Orphic Times of Protest'. This talk followed a study day, ‘Art, Performance & Free Association’, funded by TECHNE and organised by Simon Bayly.
  • 11 December 2019 – Fiona Wilkie (University of Roehampton), 'The Case of Vivien Leigh's Maid and Other Travails: Theatre touring, labour and the strolling-player legacy'.
  • 12 February 2020 - Sarah Gorman (University of Roehampton), ‘Nightclubbing: Queer Heterotopia and Club Culture in the work of Lucy McCormick, Project O and Rachael Young'.
  • 19 February 2020 - 'Art, Performance and the Act': Conversation with Romeo Castellucci chaired by Joe Kelleher and Flora Pitrolo. This talk followed a study day 'Art, Performance and the Act', funded by TECHNE and organised by Joe Kelleher.
  • 10 June 2020 - Felipe Ribeiro (UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro), 'The Revolving Actions', via video conferencing.

Events 2018-19

  • 3 October 2018 – Book launch: Ioana Szeman (University of Roehampton), Staging Citizenship: Roma, Performance and Belonging in EU Romania with guest speaker Adriana Diaconu (Université Grenoble Alpes).
  • 17 October 2018 – Book launch: Leslie Hill (University of Roehampton), Sex, Suffrage & The Stage: First Wave Feminism in British Theatre.
  • 7 November 2018 – Erin Manning (SenseLab / Concordia University), ‘Me Lo Dijo un Pajarito – Neurodiversity, Black Life and the University as we Know It’. This talk followed a study day, 'Art, Performance & Materiality', funded by TECHNE and organised by Adrian Heathfield.
  • 28 November 2018 – David Linton (Kingston University), ‘Performances of Contradiction: Women in London West End Revue of the Early Twentieth Century’.
  • 5 December 2018 – Eva Bentcheva (Haus der Kunst, Munich), ‘Contextualising “Experimentalism” in Performance Art from Southeast Asia, 1960s to the Present’.
  • 13 December 2018 – Daphne Brooks (Yale University), ‘“If You Should Lose Me”: The Archive, the Critic, the Record Shop and the Blues Woman’. This talk followed a study day, 'Art, Performance & the Sonorous', funded by TECHNE and organised by P.A. Skantze.
  • 13 March 2019 – Suk-Young Kim (UCLA), 'Black K-Pop: Racial Surplus and the Global Consumption of Korean Pop Music'. This event was organised by Ioana Szeman (University of Roehampton).
  • 30 May 2019 - 'Domestics against Domestication' Study Day. This event was organised by Valeria Graziano (Coventry University) and Giulia Palladini (University of Roehampton). Speakers included Valeria Graziano, Bettina Knaup (University of Roehampton), Giulia Palladini, Ella Parry-Davies (Central School for Speech and Drama), Eleanor Roberts (University of Roehampton), Kim Trogal (Canterbury School of Architecture, University of the Creative Arts), and Ana Vilenica (London South Bank University).
  • 18-19 June 2019 - 'This is Critical: Writing As/About Practice' Creative Critical Writing Lab. This event was organised by Katja Hilevaara, Emily Orley and PA Skantze. Speakers included Monique Charles (#HBTG?), Chris Heighes (University of Roehampton), Katja Hilevaara (Goldsmiths), Clare A. Lees (School of Advanced Study, University of London), Tim Mathews (UCL), Mathelinda Nabugodi (UCL), Emily Orley (University of Roehampton), P. A. Skantze (University of Roehampton).

Events 2017-18

  • 18 October 2017 - Adrian Heathfield (University of Roehampton), ‘Spirited Affinities’.
  • 1 November 2017 - Simon Bayly (University of Roehampton), ‘Assembly Points: A Report on Contact’. This presentation was a ‘mid-term’ report on research undertaken by Simon Bayly & Johanna Linsley as part of Acts of Assembly, a project supported by the Leverhulme Trust.
  • 11 November 2017 - Aylwyn Walsh (University of Leeds), ‘Prison Lesbians: Tyrannies of representation and tropes of transgressive desire’.
  • 29 November 2017 - Jacob Juntunen (Southern Illinois University), ‘Genocide and Puppets: The Performing Objects of Tadeusz Kantor’.
  • 13 December 2017 - Season Butler, ‘Divesting from Whiteness: Towards Emancipated Process and Practice’.
  • 21 February 2018 - Giulia Palladini (University of Roehampton), ‘On coexisting, mending and imagining: notes on the domestics of performance’.
  • 21 March 2018 - Juan Albarrán Diego (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), ‘Constructing presence: performance art and mediation devices’.
  • 2 May 2018 - Soji Cole (University of Ibadan), ‘Songs as/and ritual in contemporary African theatre performance’.
  • 23 May 2018 - Adriana Nicolau Jiménez (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), ‘Catalan Feminist Theatres: An Approach through Anglophone Literature’.

Events 2016-17

  • 17 November 2016 - Erin Brannigan (University of New South Wales), ‘Mobile Strategies: Rauschenberg’s Choreographies’.
  • 23 November 2016 - Cynthia Croot (University of Pittsburgh), ‘Taking to the Streets / Adapting Shakespeare for Site-Specific Performance’.
  • 1 March 2017, Kélina Gotman (King’s College London), ‘Venus in Furs: Painting to Page, a Passage (on the Essay)’.
  • 10 April 2017 - ‘A study day on durationality, identity, and performance’. This event was organised by Eleanor Roberts. The keynote was Amelia Jones (Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California), ‘Gesture as Event, or, The Conceptual Body’. Speakers and presenters included Amelia Jones, Sarah Blissett, Jane Carr, Tara Fatehi Irani, Amalia Garcia, Sarah Gorman, Onyeka Igwe, Bettina Knaup, Johanna Linsley, Rachael Nicholas, Ella Parry-Davies, Eleanor Roberts, Bruce Sharp, Adele Tulli, and Graham White.
  • 26 April 2017 – Eirini Kartsaki (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Ten short essays on protrusions’.

Events 2015-16

  • 4 September 2015 – ‘Congruence and Contestation: Contemporary Feminism and Performance’. This symposium was organised by Sarah Gorman. The keynotes were Geraldine Harris (Lancaster University), and Lynette Goddard (Royal Holloway, University of London). Speakers and presenters included: Phoebe Patey-Ferguson, Mark Hamilton, Terry Bright Kweku Ofosu, Eleanor Roberts, Rebecca Benzie, Annalaura Alifuoco, Emily Orley & Katja Hilevaara, GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, Jenny Lawson, Lena Simic, Grace Surman, Roberta Mock, Jessica Worden, Fiona MacPherson, and Nina-Marie Gardner.
  • 13 October 2015 - Jennifer Parker-Starbuck (Drama, Theatre & Performance, University of Roehampton) and John Moxon (Department of Humanities, University of Roehampton), Interdisciplinary ‘Research Group in Medical Humanities’ seminar.
  • 21 October 2015 – Bryce Lease (Royal Holloway, University of London).
  • 4 November 2015 – Susanne Greenhalgh (University of Roehampton).
  • 24 November 2015 - Sarah Bay-Cheng (Bowdoin College / Utrecht University), ‘Unseen: Performance Criticism in the Age of Digital Recordings’.
  • 2 December 2015 - Kristen Krieder (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘Open City and the Production of Not-Knowing’.
  • 9 December 2015 – Glenn Odom (University of Roehampton), ‘Theatre and Worlding: Semiotics and Difference’.

Events 2014-15

  • 13 October 2014 - Michael W. Twitty, ‘The Haunted Plate: Bringing the Lives of Enslaved Black Cooks to Life Through Interpretation’. This event was organised in collaboration with the Memory Banquet (memorybanquet.wordpress.com)
  • 30 October 2014 – ‘Of Two Minds: An afternoon on duet collaborations’ (University of Roehampton / Sadler’s Wells), followed by a performance of Control Signal, by Haranczak/Navarre (Karen Christopher and Sophie Grodin). Participants included: Karen Christopher & Sophie Grodin with Andrea Milde, Eirini Kartsaki & Joe Kelleher, Simon Ellis & Colin Poole, PA Skantze & Matthew Fink with Ernst Fischer, Ewan Forster & Chris Heighes, Becka McFadden & Scheherazaad Cooper with Mary Ann Hushlak, Efrosini Protopapa & Susanna Recchia, Amaara Raheem & Tobias Sturmer. This event was curated by Laure Fernandez and Becka McFadden, in collaboration with Karen Christopher. More information here.
  • 11 November 2014 - Lucia Farinati (Sound Threshold) and Claudia Firth (Birkbeck), ‘Exploring the Force of Listening’. 
  • 25 November 2014 – ‘Utopian Residencies’ with Karen Christopher, Hester Chillingworth (GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN), Sarah Gorman and PA Skantze.
  • 27-30 November 2014 - 'This Has Nothing to Do with Politics' (The Function Room, The Cock Tavern). Participants included Cordelia Cembrowicz, Chris Paul Daniels, Ana Fernández ­Aballí-Altamirano, Ella Finer, Rose Gibbs, Marlene Haring, Olivia Hicks, Noga Inbar, Virgile Ittah, Vesta Kroese, Ratna Lachman, Ekua McMorris, Oscar Murillo, PA Skantze, Jack Tan, Nicola Thomas, Geoff Tibbs, and Richard Wentworth. More information here.
  • 27 January 2015 - Karen Christopher in conversation with Chris Goode.
  • 6 February 2015 – ‘More than Accessible: Theatre and Performance in the Age of the Spectator’ symposium (October Gallery). This event was organised by PA Skantze.
  • 24 February 2015 - Karen Christopher in conversation with Lucy Cash.
  • 11 March 2015 - Fiona Wilkie (University of Roehampton), 'Performance, Transport and Mobility'.
  • 24 March 2015 - I’m With You: Gorge. The collective I’m With You is composed of Johanna Linsley (University of Roehampton), R. Justin Hunt (University of Lincoln), and photographer Christa Holka.
  • 16 May 2015 - ‘Traditional Asian Theatre in/and Modernity’ symposium. Speakers included Kathy Hall (London Jing Kun Opera Association), and Ashley Thorpe (Royal Holloway). Organised by Glenn Odom.

Events 2013-14

  • 25 October 2013 – ‘Rethinking Economies’, an evening of talks and performance. Participants included: Tim Jeeves (Lancaster University), Eve Katsouraki (University of East London), Sophie Nield (Royal Holloway, University of London), and Nicholas Ridout (Queen Mary, University of London). Organised by Gigi Argyropoulou and Katerina Paramana.
  • 20 November 2013 - Claudia Kappenberg (University of Brighton) ‘Syncope’.
  • 9 December 2013 - ‘Methodologies in Motion’ with Stefano Harney, Fred Moten, authors of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study and Laura Harris.
  • 15 January 2014 - Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, ‘Rebelling Against Limit, a lecture concert’ (Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells). This event marked Jonathan Burrows’ role as Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Performance at University of Roehampton.
  • 18 January 2014 – ‘The Chelsea Event’ (Chelsea Theatre in collaboration with Francis Alexander). Participants included: Tara Fatehi Irani, Renata Gaspar, Mariella Greil, Lisa Hinterreithner, Irene Liveriani, Niki Orfanou, Charlotte Poos, Zoya Sardashti, Jack Tan and Maria Yanez-Lopez.
  • 1-2 March 2014 - Johanna Linsley (University of Bristol), ‘Eavesdropping: a practical workshop’, two-day workshop.
  • 19 March 2014 - Laurie Beth Clark (Art Department, University of Wisconsin) and Michael Peterson (Department of Theatre and Drama, University of Wisconsin), ‘Present and Posthumous: A Structured Conversation about Memory and Human Rights’
  • 26 March 2014 - Research Roundtable ‘Practice as Research’ chaired by Graham White (University of Roehampton). 
  • 5 June 2014 - Postgraduate Research Symposium. Participants included: Andre Amalio, Renata Gaspar, Irene Liverani, AnnaMaria Pinaka, Mariel Jana Supka and Sabine Priglinger.
  • 11 June 2014 - Paul Castagno (University of North Carolina Wilmington), ‘Re-evaluating Ayckbourn’.

Events 2012-13

  • 2 March 2012 - Tim Etchells (Forced Entertainment / Visiting Professor, University of Roehampton 2010-12), ‘An End is Not The Start of Something (Reading & Speaking)’.
  • 30 October 2012 – Rebecca Schneider (Brown University), ‘The Pause that Refreshes’.
  • 13 November 2012 - Mary Jo Lodge (Lafayette College, Pennsylvania), ‘On Bursting into Song and Other Perils of the Musical’.
  • 11 December 2012 - Joe Kelleher (University of Roehampton), ‘You promised me ten thousand people: performance, hospitality, and the ecological thought’.
  • 29 January 2013 - Emma Dowling (Department of Criminology and Sociology, Middlesex University), ‘The Waitress, A Performance/Salon’.
  • 11 February 2013 – ‘A John Cage Valentine’ with David McAlpine (UCL), and Fabrizio Manco (Portsmouth / Roehampton).
  • 25 February 2013 - Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, ‘Show & Tell’ (Lilian Baylis Studios, Sadler’s Wells). This event celebrated Burrows’ appointment in Drama as their Honorary Visiting Professor (2012-14).
  • 19 March 2013 – Mary King (Artist in Residence, Southbank Centre), ‘The Voice and Something More’.
  • 22 March 2013 – ‘Methodology in Motion: Vowels that Growl’ with Jill Casid (Professor of Visual Culture, University of Wisconsin-Madison).
  • 29 April 2013 - James Hamilton (Professor of Philosophy, Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas), ‘Theater, Dance, Performance, and Time’. This event was co-organised by The Centre for Dance Research.
  • 29 May 2013 – Karmenlara Ely (Østfold University College/Norwegian Theater Academy), ‘Heaps of Memories’.
  • 3 June 2013 - ‘What is under construction is already a ruin’, an evening of lecture-presentations by Eleonora Fabião (Federal University Rio de Janeiro) & Augusto Corrieri (University of Roehampton), chaired by Adrian Heathfield (University of Roehampton). This event was supported by Santander Bank.

Events 2010-12

  • 14 December 2010 – ‘Open Recording Session / Hearing Things Radio Series’, BS Johnson’s The Unfortunates adapted for BBC3 by Graham White (University of Roehampton) Shuffle Night / Critical Radio.
  • 21 November 2010 – Ella Finer (University of Roehampton), ‘Material Voice in Pitch Black’.
  • 11 January 2011 - Lin Hixson (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago / Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Roehampton), ‘Performing The Investigation: Notes From The First Two Years Of Every House Has A Door’.
  • 23 February 2011 - Postgraduate Lab Night.
  • 19 March 2011 – ‘Study Day on Curation and Performance’ with Jose Sanchez (Visiting Professor, University of Roehampton).
  • 21 March 2011 – Tim Etchells (Forced Entertainment / Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Roehampton), ‘Real & Imagined / Seen & Unseen.
  • 22 March 2011 - Spencer Golub (Brown University), ‘Wittgenstein and Drama’. Co-hosted by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
  • 23 March 2011, John Newling, ‘Liminality, Slow time, Uncertainty and Me: Transformative potential in the complex workings of everyday life'.
  • 27 April 2011 - ‘On Spectating, Spectators and Reception’.
  • 4 May 2011 - Bojana Kunst (University of Hamburg) and Danae Theodoridou (University of Roehampton), ‘A wasted encounter’. Part of the research project ‘Seizing the Time in the Contemporary Performance’, Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Paris.
  • 23 May 2011 - Four Second Decay [Matthew Fink and P. A. Skantze] and Ann Pellegrini (NYU), ‘Devotional Dialogues’.