Who they are:
The Society for Theatre Research was founded in 1948 and has just celebrated its 70th anniversary. It serves all those interested in the history and technique of British and British-related theatre: academic and independent scholars, researchers, performers and other theatre workers – and of course theatregoers. The only qualification for membership is enthusiasm for the subject.
What they do:
From the beginning the Society has been actively involved in campaigns to save historic theatres and to preserve theatre records. Its successes include the setting up of the International Federation for Theatre Research in 1956 and the insertion of a clause into the 1968 Theatres Act requiring all performed playscripts to be deposited in the British Library. The Society’s fight for an independent Theatre Museum lasted several decades and was rewarded in 1987 with its opening in Covent Garden. Although this display was subsequently taken back to the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2007, the Society retains a strong interest in the welfare of its collections and archive, which includes its own library.
Its principal activities are running lectures and conferences, publishing books and journals, offering funding and prizes, promoting excellent scholarship and supporting the continuing development of practice.
Its most recently introduced activity is the New Researchers’ Network (NRN), a supportive group for postgraduates, new scholars, practitioners, and Early Career Researchers. More details of these and other activities promoted by the Society, such as the Poel Workshops for recent entrants to the acting profession, will be found elsewhere on this website under the relevant tabs, as will information about how to join the Society and participate in its life.