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  Transnational Voices in Theatre-making: Access, Belonging, Participation


   Research

  Dr Jozefina Komporaly , Dr Almiro Andrade  Monday, May 20, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

A collaboration between Wimbledon College of Arts and the London-based theatre company Foreign Affairs.

Project overview

This project invites proposals to explore the role of theatre in enabling urgent yet difficult conversations around belonging and access, with a view to facilitate the diversification of voices in the UK theatre landscape post-Brexit. Looking into the relationship between theatre and identity, the project encourages scrutiny into global histories in a decolonial context, in a broader framework of trans-border migration and deterritorialization.

The project positions theatre as an instrument for emancipation, empowerment and resistance, rooting it in a research context around interweaving performance cultures (Fischer-Lichte), multilingual theatre (Laera), cross-cultural theatre praxis (Lo and Gilbert, Pavis), globalization (Barucha, Rebellato), stage translation and adaptation (Boyle, Brodie, Komporaly).

Potential research questions

  • To what extent can migrant/non-native practitioners gain access to the UK theatre industry? 
  • How can their voices be amplified, to building bridges between cultures and artistic practices?
  • What connections can be fostered between artists, processes and audiences to widen the reach of under-represented artists, and what dramaturgical strategies characterize this practice?

The successful PhD candidate can approach the topic utilising historical, theoretical and/or practice-based methods. The focus will be on dramaturgies of conflict in contemporary theatre, and the remit can be explored through the practices of actors, dramaturgs, directors, designers, and students can generate work in multiple modes, including creative research and artistic outputs. The project can also be rooted in ethnographic research or immersive practices, and informed by post-colonial and/or intersectional paradigms.

The project is offered in partnership with the London-based theatre company Foreign Affairs, specialising in theatre in translation, intercultural exchange and collaboration. The company has established a reputation for endorsing underrepresented voices and working between cultures, and our partnership is rooted in an intersectionality of expertise that fuses practice and academic rigour. The aim is to provide bespoke guidance to a candidate looking to examine voices too often overlooked, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate multicultural narratives.

Explorations can take the form of performance and textual analysis and/or studio practice, and the supervisors would expect to experience practical outcomes alongside seeing written work from the student. The company will offer ongoing access to their creative processes by way of sharing their archive built up since 2010, and by the joint artistic directors providing mentoring with a focus on multicultural collaboration, theatre in translation and performances in unconventional spaces.

The studentship furthers research into decentring and democratising performance praxis, grounded in the supervisors’ preoccupation with transnational dramaturgies and collaborative partnerships. It also expands the remit of external networks by inviting research beyond particular geographical areas/demographics (e.g. Out of the Wings/Performing International Plays), complements UAL research on performance as a critical social practice (Jane Collins, Adrian Kear).

The research resonates with the TrAIN Research Centre at UAL and is supported by their agenda of addressing how art/design can respond to social (in)justice and act as a model for an inclusive and innovative praxis.

Supervision

  • Director of Studies: Dr Jozefina Komporaly - Multilingual theatre scholar and SL in Creative Research at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL, specializing in contemporary transnational performance. 
  • Second supervisor: Dr. Almiro Andrade - Black Queer Latinx actor, director, playwright, dramaturg, theatre translator and Lecturer in Acting and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL. 
  • Third supervisor: Professor Maria Chatzichristodoulou - Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange at Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL.
  • Partner mentor: Trine Garrett - Experienced workshop facilitator, leading creative learning programmes and masterclasses for organisations including the Royal Court, Cut the Cord theatre, the British Centre for Literary Translation: https://www.foreignaffairs.org.uk/about-us/

Funding

The studentships cover fees at the UK Home rate and a tax-free stipend at the UKRI rate for three years full time or six years part time, pro rata for part-time (2024/25 full time rate £21,237).

Students with an ‘overseas’ fee status can apply but will need to cover the difference between the UK and overseas fees rate (2024 home rate £6300/overseas £25,060) and will be required to reside in the UK until completion of the PhD.

Students will be eligible to apply to the Student Support fund to support their research.

Application Process

Applicants for this Studentship should first read the project brief and selection criteria in this that document. In selecting applicants, the panel will be looking for skills and experience that directly address the themes and concerns outlined.

All applications for this studentship must be received by UAL by 20 May 2024.

PhD Applications submitted to the College where the project is based via one of the links below:

Applications should also include the following:

  • The project title and reference 
  • A personal statement of up to one side of A4 demonstrating what they will bring to the project, how it fits with their skills, previous experience and interests.
  • A CV to be uploaded to the UAL online application system
  • A project proposal (no more than 1000 words) that addresses the ‘project brief’ as set out and articulates your particular emphasis or approach. 

Your proposal should include the following:

  1. Your focus/emphasis in relation to the Research Question(s)
  2. Research context: Your how your proposed research relates to existing research on the subject
  3. Methodologies/Methods that will be used
  4. The contribution your research will make to your discipline and area of study
  5. A short bibliography of any sources/publications you refer to in your proposal. (note, a full bibliography of works to be consulted in the course of the proposed PhD is not required)

Interview

Applications selected for interview will be considered by a panel convened by UAL and the selected applicant will be offered a place at UAL.

The offer will include full supervision, mentoring and support from UAL and for the duration of studies.

We aim to recruit from diverse backgrounds, including race, disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and belief.

Queries regarding these studentships:

Creative Arts & Design (9) Languages, Literature & Culture (21)

Register your interest for this project