Documentary Theatre: New Perspectives and Practices

O’Donoghue Centre, University of Galway | 10am – 5pm, 23 June, 2023

This symposium event will bring together eminent researchers of documentary theatre to discuss international perspectives & practices.

In an era of contested truths, divisive political strategy and distrust of mainstream media, documentary theatre has become an increasingly popular form for political theatre-making and art activism. In response to the contemporary socio-political landscape, theatre makers have re-tooled, turning to methodologies of documentary theatre in order to capture the contemporary moment. As Carol Martin notes in Dramaturgy of the Real World Onstage, this form has been used by theatre makers to examine the ‘global condition of troubled epistemologies about truth, authenticity and reality’ (2010, p.1).

The event will consider international perspectives and practices in contemporary documentary theatre and the various iterations of this form. The discussions around this form will examine its lineage in the past century, recent experimentations with this form, and the future horizons of the practice in times of economic instability, social revolution and political unrest.


Tom Cantrell, Reader in Theatre, Arts and Humanities Faculty at University of York

Sheila McCormack, Senior Lecturer of Performance in University of Salford, Manchester

Charlotte McIvor, Senior Lecturer of Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Galway

Chris Megson, Reader in Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London

Ielizaveta Oliinyck, Doctoral Researcher, Mozarteum University of Salzburg

The event is organised by Luke Lamont, IRC Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Galway, with the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. It is generously funded by the Irish Research Council. #LoveIrishResearch