Books and Publications

Performance Research Books

Performance Research Books follows and expands the policy of the journal, but opens into publishing monographs, bookworks, and singular works on distinctive practice.

Performance Research Books publishes generously illustrated and finely designed books that present documentation and analysis of contemporary performance practice - through the work of individual artists, companies and ensembles. Each publication combines texts, scores and critical reflection on a distinctive body of work, together with scholarly and theoretical analysis of the practice, the voices of practitioners, the view of the makers and the evidence of the work.

Performance Research Books publishes and commissions work that stems from a scholarly engagement with artist-led research and practice. Each publication seeks a lively conversation between theory and practice and the work is revealed and illuminated through dialogue and discourse exploring a variety of formats: interviews, photo-essays, performance texts, scenographic designs, scores, notes and scribbles, and critical analysis. Performance Research Books follows and expands the policy of the journal, but opens into publishing monographs, bookworks, and singular works on distinctive practice.

Performance Research Books is an imprint of ARC, a division of the Centre for Performance Research Ltd, an educational charity limited by guarantee. The Centre for Performance Research is located in Wales and works internationally.

Inside Performance Practice

The books of the ‘Inside Performance Practice’ series focus on specific performance companies or artists and the engagement of scholarship with practice in relation to a distinctive body of work. Each publication combines texts, scores and critical reflection, together with scholarly and theoretical analysis of the practice, the voices of practitioners, the views of the makers and the evidence of the work.

Current titles:

Okada Toshiki & Japanese Theatre  

Changing Places: Drama Box and the Politics of Space

Edited by Charlene Rajendran and Richard Gough
This book examines how Drama Box negotiates the changing dynamics of space and place to produce art that is responsive to people’s needs and reflective of socio-political issues. Working at the intimate level of community and neighbourhood engagement, this Singapore-based company makes work that is challenging, uncompromising and provocative while being empathetic, supportive and inspiring. Through the application of highly developed and attuned strategies of theatre-making, the company casts a light on difficult and often uncomfortable issues of life in contemporary Singapore. The chapters in this volume focus on key projects since the early 2010s, and how the company’s social and political sensitivities are expanded and sharpened when it responds critically and empathetically to structural and physical changes.
ISBN 978-1-906499-11-2

Okada Toshiki & Japanese Theatre  

Okada Toshiki & Japanese Theatre

Edited by Peter Eckersall, Barbara Geilhorn, Andreas Regelsberger and Cody Poulton
Playwright, novelist and theatre director Okada Toshiki is one of the most important voices of the current generation of Japanese contemporary theatre makers. This book explores Okada’s work and its importance to the development of contemporary performance in Japan and around the world. Gathered here for the first time in English is a comprehensive selection of essays, interviews and translations of three of Okada’s plays by leading scholars and translators. Okada’s writing on theatre is also included, accompanied by an extensive array of images from his performances.
ISBN 978-1-906499-12-9


Marrrugeku: Telling That Story

Edited by Helen Gilbert, Dalisa Pigram & Rachael Swain
Telling That Story details twenty-five years of intercultural performance-making by renowned Australian dance company Marrugeku, whose restlessly inventive work reaches from remote Indigenous communities in northern Australia to international audiences around the world. This work began in the small Kunwinjku community of Kunbarlanja in Arnhem Land and now continues in Yawuru Country in the Western Australian coastal town of Broome and in the urban centre of Gadigal lands in Sydney.
ISBN 978-1-906499-09-9

Kris Verdonck: Machine Made Silence  

Kris Verdonck: Machine Made Silence

Edited by Peter Eckersall & Kristof van Baarle
How to make work today? Kris Verdonck does so through an ongoing investigation into the relation between subjects and objects. From different perspectives (performer, costume designer, director, dramaturg, spectator, scholar), this book approaches the question of how objects perform beyond their category and how human performers approach a more ‘object-like’ state of being on stage. Verdonck’s co-creative method (with both human and non-human elements) implies a fundamental questioning of the medium in which the work is developed.
ISBN 978-1-906499-07-5

Lola Arias: Re-enacting Life  

Lola Arias: Re-enacting Life

Edited by Jean Graham-Jones
Lola Arias (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1976) is one of the leading artists working in international theatre today. This book provides a documentary overview of her many productions, gathering together scripts, photographs, and rehearsal and post-production notes, as well as artistic and critical reflections from collaborators and scholars.
ISBN 978-1-906499-05-1

Back to Back Theatre  

“We’re people who do shows” - Back to Back Theatre
Performance Politics Visibility

Edited by Helena Grehan & Peter Eckersall
This book documents and responds to the work of Back to Back Theatre by providing artistic and critical viewpoints on one of the leading theatre companies of our times.
Back to Back Theatre has transformed contemporary theatre in Australia and internationally with their unique theatricality and imagination. Based in Geelong, in regional Australia, the company is driven by an ensemble of actors perceived to have intellectual disabilities. Their work is inspired by a need to communicate the intrinsic experience of being alive. Back to Back’s theatre is multi-layered, visual, expressive and sensory. The brilliance of their multi-award winning work is matched by its human scale and its respect for others. Hence, their awesome, confronting theatricality is also prosaic. As the company says, ‘We’re people who do shows.’
ISBN 978-1-906499-03-7

Lone Twin  

Good Luck Everybody: Lone Twin
Journeys Performances Conversations

Edited by David Williams & Carl Lavery
This is the first book-length collection to focus on the performance and theatre work of Lone Twin – Gregg Whelan and Gary Winters – a duo recognised internationally as one of the UK’s most inventive performance collaborations.
Over the past decade they have made over thirty projects located at the cusp of live art, theatre, and performance writing, travelling the world with theatre shows, collaborative public projects, durational events and a six-year cycle of performances about bodies, water, journeys, and chance encounters.
ISBN 978-1-906499-02-0

Forthcoming titles:

BADco (Croatia); Ong Keng Sen/TheatreWorks (Singapore); Alicia Rios (Spain); Dramabox (Singapore)

Thinking Through Performance

The series ‘Thinking Through Performance’ allows for more cross-cutting, interdisciplinary and speculative writing around and through performance. This series also translates emerging and ground-breaking critical theory about performance that would otherwise be inaccessible to an English-speaking readership. Publications may extend further into the expanded field of fine art performance and artistic research.

Blind Spot  

Blind Spot: Staring down the void

Edited by Ric Allsopp and Karen Kipphoff
The blind spot is a natural phenomenon at the origin of sight and a metaphor for forms of cultural, psychological, social and environmental blindness. This collection of original essays, artworks, writings and resources responds to a wider Blind Spot artistic research project (2016-2020) initiated at the Norwegian Theatre Academy. It features contributions from Ric Allsopp, Irving Finkel, Karen Kipphoff, Kiran Kumar, Ageliki Lefkaditou, Nigel Llewellyn, Kevin Mount, Alice Oswald, Theron Schmidt, Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, Henrik Treimo and Britta Wirthmüller.

Performing Poland  

Performing Poland: Rethinking histories and theatres

by Dariusz Kosiński
Performing Poland is a fascinating synthesis of the history of Polish theatre from the tenth century to the present day. In a lavishly illustrated book, the author not only takes a look at theatrical texts and works, but also describes a culture of the performative that includes ritual, ceremony and public manifestation.
In five parallel stories the book celebrates a colourful and multi-faceted depiction of Polish national culture and identity: ‘The Theatre of Festivities’ describes folk, religious and contemporary public holidays that are inscribed into the lives of individuals and society; ‘A Theatre of Fundamental Questions’ reconstructs the special Polish tradition of ‘sacred theatre’; ‘National Theatre’ recounts the story of national identity, which in Poland is strongly influenced by theatre; the relationship between theatre, politics and power is discussed in ‘Political Theatre: Between ceremony and protest’; and the conclusion, ‘The Theatre of the Cultural Metropolis’, comprises urban scenes and the history of artistic theatre from the ‘salon culture’ of the nineteenth century to the present ‘theatre of crisis’.
ISBN 978-1-906499-06-8

Worlds Bodies Matters  

Worlds Bodies Matters: Theatre of the Late Twentieth Century

by Valentina Valentini. Translated by Tomas Haskell Simpson
What myths nourish today’s theatre? What imaginary worlds does it evoke? What are its recurring stories? What are its visions of the world?
In this study of late-twentieth-century theatre in Europe and the Americas, Valentina Valentini analyses the changed relations between theatre and contemporary reality, between actors and their characters, and examines new roles demanded of both producers and audiences in the realization of theatrical art. In particular she identifies and traces the decisive influence of visual arts and new media on today’s performance scene, a confluence of artistic practices that, Valentini argues, restores theatre to a privileged space in the panorama of contemporary art and aesthetic reflection.
ISBN 978-1-906499-04-4

Engaging Performance Materials

‘Engaging Performance Materials’ will present performance texts, scripts and scenarios as working documents, intended for practical use in the studio, as material for workshops and for staging and presentation, in addition to being of historical and scholarly use. The series will delve into and disturb performance archives; it will trouble the canon of performance texts and republish evidence of uncompromising performance experiment (lost chronicles, scores and documentation, and out-of-print programmes, writings and workings).

Absolute Rhythm  

Absolute Rhythm: Works for minor radio

by Paul Carter
Absolute Rhythm collects, introduces and presents ten scripts generated in a period of remarkable political and institutional creativity in Australia.
Situated at the crossroads of an immensely fertile exchange between the European Ars Acustica tradition and the emergent environmental sound art movement in Australia, the scripts filter themes of exilic memory, cross-cultural encounter, sexual politics and political betrayal through the experience of migration whose discursive and poetic signature is, according to Carter, echoic mimicry, a sense of psychological and environmental self-doubling that shadows every aspect of colonial history and postcolonial conscience.
Absolute Rhythm comes with access to the original productions : a double archive, in this sense, of a disappeared scene of production, its object is entirely forward-looking, to supply the groundwork for new forms of concomitant production. An acoustic archaeology, it serves, like Ezra Pound’s notion of ‘absolute rhythm’, to preserve ‘the main form of the work’ from ‘the vicissitudes and calamities’ of historical circumstance and repressive cultural politics.
ISBN 978-1-906499-10-5

PR DVDs & Other Media series includes:

The Articulate Practitioner - Articulating Practice (produced and compiled by Jill Greenhalgh and Mike Brookes)

This interactive DVD-ROM comprises research material generated by the Magdalena Project: International Network of Women in Contemporary Theatre.

It includes documentary material from artist-led workshops, performances, performed lectures, presentations, and academic papers.