Dr Theron Schmidt

School of the Arts & Media


+61 (2) 9385 3218
+61 (2) 9385 6812
121, Level 1 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Performing Arts and Creative Writing

My research and publication areas include contemporary theatre and performance, particularly the political and interventionist potential of theatre and performance practices, as well as using ideas from theatre and performance to read and shift our understanding of broader political questions. I’m interested in the ways that certain problems of speech and gesture in the political realm can be considered as essentially theatrical problems – problems for theatre, but also ideas that theatricality makes problems of – such as problems of representation or of authenticity. Recent research has focused on the practice of artists such as Back to Back Theatre, Cassils, Tim Crouch, Richard Maxwell, Rabih Mroué, Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, Rimini Protokoll, and Christoph Schlingensief.


Teaching and Supervision

I teach practice-based courses such as ARTS2120 Writing for Performance and ARTS3124 Collaborative Making, and I created the new course ARTS2128 Art, Activism, Publics which combines historical and contemporary case studies of creative activism with hands-on experimentation drawing on individual experience.

I have previously taught courses on devised theatre; nineteenth and twentieth-century drama; performance and philosophy; Live Art and physical theatre; theatre and the contemporary city; and advanced topics at Masters and Honours levels.

At postgraduate level, I have experience supervising practice-based research projects; research into contemporary theatre and new forms of performance encounters; intersections between activism, creative practice, and social engagement.

Engagement and Professional contributions

I am a founding editor of the journal Performance Philosophy and Associate Editor of Performance Research.I was previously Associate Editor of Contemporary Theatre Review, where I conceived and led the editorial team for the journal's online Interventions.

In addition to my formal academic research, I have written widely about live art and performance for a variety of publications, including magazines and artist books.I’m also interested in innovative critical writing projects that foster interaction between artists, scholars, and publics.These have included magazine and online publications in Dance Theatre Journal, RealTime, Total Theatre, and Writing from Live Art; contributing essays to festivals and artist catalogues; facilitating critical writing projects such as SPILL Stings in London, The Resonance Project and SCRIBE in Melbourne, and a series of symposia at the Chelsea Theatre (London); and running Open Space events in a variety of contexts. I initiated and curated a collection of conversations and provocations from almost 50 artists and scholars for the publication AGENCY: A Partial History of Live Art, published internationally on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Live Art Development Agency.

I am a founding convener of Performance Philosophy, an international research network spanning multiple disciplines and geographic regions.

ADSA (Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies)
ASTR (American Society for Theater Research)
ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education)
Performance Philosophy
PSi (Performance Studies international)
TAPRA (Theatre & Performance Research Association)

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