Performance Research Journal - Call for Proposals ‘On Theatricality'


Call for Proposals

 Vol. 24, No. 4: ‘On Theatricality' (June 2019) 

Issue Editors: Andrew Quick and Richard Rushton

Proposal deadline: Friday 13 July 2018 


‘What lies between the arts is theatre.’

—Michael Fried, ‘Art and Objecthood’, 1967

Theatricality is a term that has been widely used to describe and analyse aspects of theatre, art and film practice. And yet it is unclear precisely how each discipline uses this term. Does ‘theatricality’ mean the same thing when speaking about film, art and/or theatre? Or are there substantial differences in the ways each of these disciplines uses the term?

Furthermore, may theatricality define positions that lie between the arts? In such cases, theatricality may describe forms of film and art that aspire to theatre, while for theatre, theatricality may signal the desire for a new kind of theatre that aspires to the condition of art or film. These are the kinds of topics and questions that ‘On Theatricality’ hopes to raise and explore.

Finally, what does it mean to be ‘theatrical’? Is theatricality something that should be aimed for in the arts, or is it something to be avoided?

We invite contributions from the disciplines of theatre studies, drama and performance, as well as from fine art, art history, and film studies, as well as practitioners from any of these fields. We are inviting longer essays (from 4,000 to 6,000 words), shorter provocations (2,000 words) and artist pages (number of pages to be agreed with the editors).

The theme explored through this issue of Performance Research arises from, and responds to, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project on ‘Theatricality and Interrelations between Art, Film and Theatre’. The project is being run by Dr. Richard Rushton and Professor Andrew Quick, both from the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, UK.


Some of the topics that we hope to address may include, but are not restricted to:

  • histories of theatricality in practice
  • histories of theatricality in theory
  • discussions of contemporary theatre practice engaging with notions of theatricality
  • the politics of theatricality
  • theatricality and gender
  • anti-theatricality versus theatricality
  • the anti-theatrical tradition (from Plato, to Diderot, to Michael Fried and Marina Abramović)
  • theatricality and race
  • theatricality and digital media
  • theatricality and film/art/painting/sculpture
  • theatricality and sexuality
  • theatricality and installation/participatory art/socially engaged art
  • theatricality and immersive performance
  • theatricality and sound
  • theatricality and scenography



Michael Fried, 'Art and Objecthood' (1967), in Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews (1998), University of Chicago Press, p. 164



Proposals: Friday 13 July 2018

First drafts: Friday 28 September 2018

Final drafts: December 2018

Publication: June 2019


Issue contacts:

All proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be sent direct to Performance Research


Issue-related enquiries should be directed to the issue editors:

Andrew Quick:

Richard Rushton:


General Guidelines for Submissions: 

  • Before submitting a proposal, we encourage you to visit our website ( ) and familiarize yourself with the journal.
  • Proposals will be accepted by email (Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF)). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.
  • Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.
  • Please include the issue title and issue number in the subject line of your email.
  • Submission of images and other visual material is welcome provided that all attachments do not exceed 5 MB, and there is a maximum of five images.
  • Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to submit an article in first draft by the deadline indicated above. On the final acceptance of a completed article you will be asked to sign an author agreement in order for your work to be published in Performance Research.