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Marginalised theatre practices in Brazil and United Kingdom

Despite distant geographical positions, Brazil and Britain share similarities in how theatre and performance are historically categorised. Cultural and academic attention has privileged Shakespeare and traditional theatre in the UK at risk of undervaluing genres such as street theatre, music hall and musical theatre, fringe and alternative theatre.

Dominant theatre categories in Brazil, established largely under European influence, similarly overlook performance practices and influences intersecting with diasporic postcolonial legacies including indigenous practices, circus, music theatre, and burlettas.

The aim of this cross-Atlantic research project is to identify common gaps, share historiographical methods, and expand current knowledge of previously marginalised performance practices and traditions. Outcomes benefiting students, staff and the general public include a series of lectures and seminars, research meetings and workshops, open-access reports, as well as academic publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Grant Peterson - I joined Brunel in 2013 and co-founded the musical theatre subject strand and degree pathway courses. I publish work on a range of subjects including British alternative theatre histories, performance and politics, musical theatre, dance, gender, sexuality, and digital research methodologies. I have reviewed manuscripts for Routledge, Methuen Drama (Bloomsbury) and others. I teach across many of the undergraduate modules and am a supervisor for PhD postgraduate work. I taught previously as a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, Bath Spa University, and University of Winchester. I am currently an external examiner for the MA in Drama at the University of South Wales. I hold experience as a performer in theatre, musical theatre, television, and commercials, having worked in numerous venues across Los Angeles and Southern California. For the solo performance in the West Coast premiere of Johnny Got His Gun in 2003, I received the Backstage Garland Award for Best Actor and the production was nominated for Best Revival by LA Drama Critics Circle and LA Weekly. I trained at the Orange County School of the Arts and formed part of the inaugural cohort of the Ray Bolger Musical Theatre Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  In addition to receiving a BA in theatre and musical theatre at UCLA, I earned an interdisciplinary Masters degree in Critical Studies (focused on experimental theatre and dance) under the guidance of Professor Sue-Ellen Case and Professor David Gere. I received funding from the Higher Education Funding Council of England (Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme) to conduct a PhD project at Royal Holloway University of London under the supervision of Professor Dan Rebellato and Dr. Chris Megson. This resulted in a project that examined British street theatre traditions and presented the first formal case study of one of England’s longest running – yet overlooked – contemporary street theatre troupes, the Natural Theatre Company.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 26/08/2020