Four exciting new PhD opportunities to be based in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries

Applications are invited from prospective PhD candidates for four collaborative doctoral awards, to begin in October 2019.

Embedded in the research culture of the School each PhD opportunity will be eligible to apply for full funding from the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH).*

We are seeking highly motivated individuals, with academic and professional experience and a willingness to contribute to the research needs of our partners, to undertake fully funded doctoral research, supervised by members of academic staff and industry professionals in the following projects:

Researching Radicalism in the North: Embedding New Modes of Dramaturgical Research at Red Ladder Theatre is a project that interrogates the place, function and efficacy of contemporary dramaturgy in the production of radical theatre in Yorkshire. It seeks to expand understandings of the role of the Dramaturg and embed these in a long-standing theatre company with a history of radicalism in the region: Red Ladder. It will provide the first longitudinal ethnography of the function, impact and critical agency of dramaturgy in small scale theatre in the UK, where currently its value is under-researched and its capacity under-utilised. Its findings will impact directly on the company as well as on small-scale theatre in Yorkshire.

Developing audiences for drama: a critical analysis of England’s regional touring strategy will see the successful PhD candidate working with the Royal National Theatre. The aim of the project is to critically review different approaches to developing regional audiences for drama in England based on a comprehensive case study analysis of National Theatre’s Theatre Nation project. Working alongside the dedicated evaluation team based at the University of Leeds and with relevant staff from the National Theatre and its key regional partner venues, the successful candidate will undertake an extensive literature review of leading audience development theories and practices from around the world and critically apply and compare these to the partnership model developed by NT with its regional venues.

Innovative Approaches to Ballet Audience Development with Young Asian Communities seeks a researcher who will engage with the challenges involved in developing and sustaining audiences for ballet through investigation of the use and value of diversity initiatives in school-based projects. Focused on an established partnership between Leeds based, Northern Ballet and Green Lane Primary School, Bradford, the research seeks to evaluate the design and impact of outreach partnerships developed and integrated into curriculum delivery. The research will provide opportunities to explore the changing landscape of participation across diverse audiences, and contribute to the strategic framework for the future development of education initiatives and audience development programmes.

The fourth award on offer in the School is A new model for large-scale community performance – SlungLow and Leeds Peoples’ Theatre. This practice-led project will draw on practices of applied or community theatre, ethnography and different dramaturgies (i.e. performance, behaviour, space, intervention). The successful candidate will be involved in preparing for and then contributing to the inaugural production by Leeds People’s Theatre (LPT), a new initiative by Slung Low. The student will have a stake in the creative process, co-developing methods for large-scale, regionally/ spatially specific performance in a community-run model, and also test creative strategies for their transferability. Balancing artistic excellence with new forms of co-creation will be an objective of this studentship, as well as liaising with other People’s Theatres (established companies such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Camden and Sheffield) to create a loop of experience and methodologies.

Full details of the four studentships, including how to apply and timescales, are available on the website of the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH).

*Important note: upon selection by the Collaborative Doctoral Awards project teams to be put forward to WRoCAH, the applicant will be considered competitively within the main WRoCAH competition. Being put forward for consideration is not a guarantee of funding