About the Studio

Aims of the Department

The Department aims, among other things, to explore the fundamental question:

  • How is meaning produced in performance, and what are the different factors that enter into its production?

As a consequence, many aspects of the Department's work are based not only on theoretical, but practical analysis of performance. Students are asked to participate in workshops in which they observe and document the processes of directors and actors as they work and rehearse in the Rex Cramphorn Studio.

History of the Studio

The Department for Theatre and Performance Studies grew out of Theatre Workshop, founded in the late 70s as a theatre production facility serving the University, and subsequently the Theatre Studies Services unit, servicing the University. From its inception Performance Studies has maintained an interdisciplinary orientation, and its projects have at various stages involved academics from English, French, German, Italian, Classics, Chinese, Indonesian, Architecture, Music and Anthropology. The Department offers undergraduate courses at first, second, third and Honours levels, as well as its postgraduate courses, MPhil by dissertation and PhD.

Use of the Rex Studio by Performance Practitioners

Each year the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies invites performance practitioners to be part of a collaboration between performance practice and academic research. The Rex Studio is intended to be used by professional artists who are willing to work in conjunction with the Department's staff and students and to facilitate research in the field of Performance Studies. Practitioners are provided with access to the Rex Studio space, technical assistance where possible from the Department's Technical Officer, and in certain circumstances, a small amount of financial assistance. If you are interested in being considered for a residency in the Studio, please use the menu on the left hand side of this page to view the Conditions of Use, and contact the Programme Coordinator.

The Department of Performance Studies Major Project

Each year the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies' prospective Honours students undertake two special entry courses, PRFM 3961 Rehearsal Studies in Semester 1 and PRFM 3962 Rehearsal to Performance in Semester 2. (From 2006, postgraduate students, including candidates for the MA (Research) degree in Performance Studies will also be able to take these units for credit.) The two courses are structured around the Major Project (involving professional actors and a director) that takes place in the break between the University's semesters; usually for a period of approximately two weeks during June/July. Students enrolled in PRFM 3962 Rehearsal to Performance and PRFM 5903 observe and analyse the rehearsal processes, gaining both the theoretical and methodological tools that will be the basis of their work as Honours candidates within the Department.

During the Major Project all aspects of the rehearsal process are observed, recorded and documented. As acknowledgement of the practitioners' contribution to academic research and scholarship, the Department makes a financial contribution to the rehearsal costs.