The purpose of EASTAP is :

  • Bring together in Europe scholars, artists, performance makers and stakeholders in order to encourage and promote multiple methods and approaches in the domain of theatre and performance, including all live performance (theatre, dance, opera, puppetry, circus, performance).

The activities envisioned to attain these goals are, among others:

  • The organizing of conferences, workshops, seminars, working groups, debates, and round tables;
  • Facilitating, sharing and developing innovative research projects that generate new knowledge;
  • Increasing visibility for research in theatre and performance including the disciplines of aesthetics,  performance theory and theatre and performance history in the various European countries;
  • Translating and disseminating new and existing research by publishing a journal;
  • Sponsoring multi-disciplinary debates among professionals (sociologists, anthropologists, historians, architects, photographers, physicists…) on specific topics related to theatre and the performing arts;
  • Exploring and promoting various forms of financial aid (subsidies, scholarships, grants) appropriate to the fields of research of the Association’s members;
  • Stimulating new networks of research.

More precisely, EASTAP seeks to create a space in which to develop the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies in and across Europe. Starting from the local, it is a space in which to promote boundary-crossing and at the same time to question the global by promoting diversity and multiplicity both in theoretical criticism, and in theatre and performance practice. This is a challenging undertaking and we intend to commit ourselves fully to promoting and ensuring a variety of approaches to theatre and performance.

To this end, EASTAP seeks to:

  • Better articulate the idea of an alternative research to Theatre and Performance Studies, emphasize the multiple methods and approaches of European based research, from Performance Studies to Aesthetics as well as historical perspectives.
  • Promote the historical and cultural background, open up to theater legacy.
  • Include and promote the diversity of theater and artistic research, including Dance, Puppet, Circus, Opera
  • Stimulate a more intense dialogue between theatre, performance scholars and artists across Europe in order to emphasize the multiple methods and approaches to Theatre and Performance Studies that exist in European-based research (theatre history, material culture, performance studies, aesthetics, and all other branches of our field);
  • Collaborate with other national as well as international associations
  • Organize international events.

Its aims will be:

  • explore and promote diverse modes of scholarship and research appropriate to the discipline(s)
  • facilitate/share/ develop research projects that generate new knowledge;
  • stimulate new networks of research
  • establish transdisciplinary debates on specific topics with professionals (sociologists, anthropologists, historians, architects, photographers, physicists, et al…);.
  • help disseminate and translate already existing research;
  • create visibility for country-specific research studies;
  • work towards visibility of artists inside the University system (ITM European association of practitioners) and promote practice-based theatre research;
  • share and help develop teaching pedagogies for education, study and training;
  • act as a lobbying body on behalf of our subject area, in order to for instance promoting dialogue with funding bodies such as the ERC;
  • regarding arts and cultural policy: engage with and involve policy-makers and civic/political officers with respect to the discipline(s);
  • regarding arts practice: engage with and involve practitioners and those involved in arts organizations, particularly with a view to understanding new paradigms and emergent practices;
  • organize conferences, workshops, seminars, working groups;
  • create a journal;
  • be a lobbying body on behalf of our subject area, which demonstrates our presence for instance in dialogue with funding bodies such as ERC; help promote and maintain a European-wide presence of an innovative and progressive subject within the humanities; help develop the field (courses, institutes, funding, sponsorship, subsidy bodies ) as well as humanities subjects and non-applied research.
  • help develop the field (courses, institutes, funding, sponsorship, subsidy bodies ) as well as humanities subjects and non-applied research;
  • create a European catalogue of theatre research: including two main sectors; Research publication; Ongoing research;
  • work towards visibility of artists inside the University ( ITM European association of practitioners); include practice-based theater research.
  • act as a job market forum.

« Dictionary of theatre and performance words and concepts“. This transversal project could help overcome the misunderstandings that can occur between our different fields of studies (historical, theoretical, aesthetic, sociological, anthropological, performative, etc.). The numerous cultural acquisitions of Performance Studies (post-structuralism, aesthetic, linguistic and psychoanalytical theories, gender studies and media studies) have resulted in a proliferation of both conceptual references and of the meanings of terms in common use (including “performance” itself). It would be useful to define expressions such as  “social theater”, “social drama”, “theater of social interaction”, “proto-direction”, “new interpreter”, “postdramatic “,” after drama “,” intercultural theater “,” Eurasian theater”, and “ Interwearing Performance Culture”. It would also be useful to consider the relationships between various ideas and concepts, starting from a series of elements, such as the coining of an expression (when it was coined, by whom, why), its original meaning, the transformations of meaning, its conceptual framework, the realities it designates, and its contradictory uses. Also of interest are the interactions between the linguistic use of social and historical dimensions, and definitions which, although belonging to distant disciplines, undermine or confirm the use of certain concepts or mobilize corresponding notions in theater and performance.


(proposed by Gerardo Guccini and Daniele Vianello)