Research areas

This Research Area is interested in the reconstruction and interpretation of theatre and performance events within their historical and cultural contexts, as well as with the different historiographical methods that theatre historians adopt in their research. It is an example of the creative dialogue we aim to nourish between the department’s various research specialisations: while particular interests include Commedia dell’Arte, Baroque Theatre, and Carnival, research in Theatre History and Historiography is also closely linked with research in ideas of transmission, Theatrical Events, and Performance Production.

Contact Person: Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2018. Carnival and Power. Play and Politics in a Crown Colony. (London, Palgrave Macmillan)
Aquilina, Stefan. 2017. ‘It is less about the System and more about the Attitudes: Stanislavsky’s Lesser Known Essays about Actor Training’, in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 8 (1), 19-32
Frendo Mario. 2014. ‘Stanislavsky’s Musicality: Towards Physicalization’, in Studies in Musical Theatre, 8:3, 225–37.
Camilleri, Frank. 2011. ‘Of Crossroads and Undercurrents: Ingemar Lindh’s Practice of Collective Improvisation and Jerzy Grotowski’, in New Theatre Quarterly, 27:4, 299-312.
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2011. From Louis XIV’s Paris to the Schwarzenbergs’ Český Krumlov: “Le Théâtre Italien”, Italian actors and Images of the Commedia dell’Arte, in Teatro e Storia
Research in Theatre in Malta expounds upon the efforts, struggles, but also successes of a small island nation in the construction of its own cultural identity, within a postcolonial context and through the medium of theatre and performance. A particular commitment is made to the increase of scholarly literature about theatre in Malta, which is encouraged through collaborations with the Department of Maltese, the Institute of Maltese Studies, and the Malta Historical Society.

Contact Person: Dr Marco Galea

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations
Aquilina, Stefan. 2015. ‘The Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Art: 1977-80’, in Storja – Journal of the Malta University Historical Society, 89–110.
Camilleri, Frank. 2014. ‘Stranger at Home: Some Insights into Research Theatre in Malta of the 1990s–2000s’, Conference Presentation The Performing Arts in 20th century Malta: Heritage, Transmission, Relevance, organised by the School of Performing Arts.
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2014. ‘Maltese Theatre, National Identity and Theatre in Maltese’, in Melita Historica, 2014, 16: 3, in Malta Historical Society, 129–138.
Galea, Marco. (ed.) 1997. It-Teatru Malti tas-Seklu Dsatax [Nineteenth-Century Maltese Theatre], Malta: Mireva Publishing.
Galea, Marco. 2016. ‘The Pantomime Other: Building Fences in Pantomime Performance in Malta’, in Otherness: Essays and Studies, 5:1, 113–130.
One focus of this research considers the area between training and performance processes as a self-contained and integral phenomenon. It is informed by primarily practical considerations, as well as historical and theoretical paradigms. The emergence and development of the ‘studio dimension’ and ‘laboratoriality’ (particularly in the work of Stanislavsky, Grotowski, Barba, and Ingemar Lindh) is infused with more theoretical discourses pertaining to the fields of poststructuralism, posthumanism, and technoscience. Attention is also given to Practice as Research  as a twenty-first century research and practical methodology.

Contact Person: Prof. Frank Camilleri

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations
Camilleri, Frank. 2019. Performer Training Reconfigured: Post-psychophysical Perspectives for the Twenty-first Century (London: Bloomsbury).
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2017. Drawing back the curtains on the actor’s ‘private place’ : A personal journey into ISTA 2016, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Routledge, 8:1, 33-45.
Camilleri, Frank. 2015, ‘Towards the Study of Actor Training in an Age of Globalised Digital Technology’, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 6:1, 16-29.
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2014. ‘The Poetics of Confrontation. Fadhel Jaibi and the State in Pre-Revolutionary Tunisia’, in Nordic Theatre Studies, 26:1, 69-77.
Camilleri, Frank. 2013. ‘Between Laboratory and Institution: Practice as Research in No Man’s Land’, in TDR, 57:1, 152-66.
Frendo, Mario. 2013. Musicality and the Act of Theatre: Developing Musicalised Dramaturgies for Theatre Performance (University of Sussex: unpublished doctoral thesis).
Aquilina, Stefan. 2012. Stanislavsky and the Impact of Studio Ethics on Everyday Life, in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 3:3, 302-14.
Interdisciplinary research and practices answer to what Richard Schechner calls the phenomenon of ‘blurry boundaries’, where the decidedly premodern approach of distilling fine categories and certainties has given way to ideas of continuum across different fields. Research within the Performance and Interdisciplinarity Research Area takes as a point of departure the eight overlapping performance categories elaborated by Richard Schechner – everyday life, the arts, sports, business, technology, sex, ritual, and play – and the endless permutations and combinations that these give rise to. Collaborative research with other disciplines, like Philosophy, History, Critical Theory, Digital Arts, the Sciences, and others, is also developed.

Contact Person: Dr Mario Frendo

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations
Frendo, Mario. 2019 (Forthcoming). ‘Ancient Greek Tragedy as Performance: The Literature–Performance Problematic’, in New Theatre Quarterly.
Aquilina, Stefan and Maliaka Sarco-Thomas (eds). 2018. Interdisciplinarity in the Performing Arts (Malta: Malta University Press)
Frendo, Mario. 2018. ‘Nietzsche’s Musical Perspectivism: Interdisciplinary Ontologies in Performance’, in S. Aquilina and M. Sarco-Thomas (eds) Interdisciplinarity in the Performing Arts: Contemporary Perspectives, (Malta: Malta University Press), 121–143.
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2017. Mapping Culture and Cultural Interaction in view of Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture (ECOC), Capitalising on Culture? Malta and the European Capital of Culture, Malta: University of Malta Publishing, 1-13.
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2016. Anthony Nielson's 'Stitching' and the High Moral Ground, Global Insights on Theatre Censorship, C. O'Leary, D. Santos Sanchez, M. Thompson (eds.) London and New York: Routledge, 245-258.
Galea, Marco (and Galea, Simone), 2014. ‘Francis Ebejer’s Struggle With Education’, in The Teacher, Literature, and the Mediterranean (Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei: Sense Publishers), 29-39.
Frendo, Mario. 2013. ‘Embodied Musicality: Nietzsche, Grotowski, and Musicalized Processes in Theatre Making’, in Studies in Musical Theatre, 7:2, 207-19.
Frendo, Mario. 2009. ‘Grotowski’s Operatic Opus: A Discourse on Grotowski’s Musicality’, Conference Presentation, Grotowski and Beyond, organised by the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
This Research Area is linked to Cultural Transmission of Actor Training Techniques (CTATT;, a research project funded by the University of Malta and the Malta Arts Council – Malta Arts Funds. The project studies how actor training practices are transmitted across cultures, and in this process appropriated and transformed. The Research Area contributes to the study of both contemporary as well as historical examples of actor training transmission, with particular emphasis on performance techniques developed by Stanislavsky and Meyerhold.

Contact Person: Dr Stefan Aquilina 

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations
Aquilina, Stefan. 2019 (forthcoming). ‘Cultural Transmission of Actor Training Techniques: A Research Project’, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training
Cremona, Vicki Ann & Francesco Galli, Julia Varley. 2017. Thinking with the Feet. Paths of Theatre Anthropology in Albino (Pensare con i piedi. Cammini d’Antropologia Teatrale ad Albino), Holstebro, Nordiskteater Laboratorium
Pitches, Jonathan and Stefan Aquilina (eds). 2017. Stanislavsky in the World: The System and its Transformations across Continents (London: Bloomsbury)