University of Malta

Research Areas
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Theatre Studies Research

Research Areas 

Theatre History and Historiography

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; Eversmann, Peter; van Maanen, Hans, Sauter, Willmar; and Tulloch, John (eds.), Theatrical Events: Borders, Dynamics, Frames (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004).

Aquilina, Stefan. 2012. ‘Stanislavski’s Encounter with the Revolution’, in Studies in Theatre and Performance, 32 (1), 79-91.

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. 2010. Commedia dell’Arte and Opera Characters: Playful Opulence and Aristocratic Theatricality, in Plusieurs Nations, The Schwarzenberg Collection of Costume Miniatures in the Český Krumlov Castle, (book authors: Kateřina Cichrová, Vicki Ann Cremona, Lenka Nováková), National Heritage Institute České Budějovice, 2010, pp. 72-101.

Frendo Mario. Forthcoming. ‘Stanislavsky’s Musicality: Towards Physicalization’, in Studies in Musical Theatre.



Theatre in Malta as a Postcolonial Phenomenon

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

Galea, Marco. 1997. It-Teatru Malti tas-Seklu Dsatax [Nineteenth-Century Maltese Theatre], Malta: Mireva Publishing.

Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2008. ‘Politics and Identity in Maltese Theatre: Adaptation or Innovation?’, in TDR, 52:4 (T200), 118-44.

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.  

Aquilina, Stefan. 2015. ‘The Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Art: 1977-80’, in Storja – Journal of the Malta University Historical Society. Forthcoming 2015. 



Actor and Performer Training

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 – directly feeding off the research project ‘Habitational Action’ in Performance: Applications and Potential – as a twenty-first century research and practical methodology. 

Contact Person: Prof. Frank Camilleri 

Camilleri, Frank. 2013. ‘Between Laboratory and Institution: Practice as Research in No Man’s Land’, in TDR, 57:1, 152-66.

Camilleri, Frank. 2013. ‘“Habitational action”: beyond inner and outer action’, in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4:1, 30-51.

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. 



Performance and Interdisciplinarity

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. 2013. ‘Embodied Musicality: Nietzsche, Grotowski, and Musicalized Processes in Theatre Making’, in Studies in Musical Theatre, 7:2, 207-19.

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. 2009. ‘Grotowski’s Operatic Opus: A Discourse on Grotowski’s Musicality’, Conference Presentation, Grotowski and Beyond, organised by the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2003. ‘Brecht and Marxism’, in The Communist Manifesto: Karl Marx’s legacy to Humanity, eds. C. Vassallo and C. Thake Vassallo (Malta: Malta University Press).



Russian and Early Soviet Theatre: Everyday Life

This Research Area is linked to Performance Lineage: The Russian Tradition of Actor Training, a research project that is funded by the University of Malta. On a first level original sources in Russian about modern theatre and performance practices are identified and translated. On a second, these sources are read through critical theories on everyday life, especially those developed by Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau. An interdisciplinary approach is thus adopted to move the research close to other research practices carried out within the department.

Contact Person: Dr Stefan Aquilina 

Sample Publications and Conference Presentations

Aquilina, Stefan, ed. (with Pitches, Jonathan). Forthcoming. Stanislavsky in the World (Bloomsbury/Methuen).

Aquilina, Stefan. 2014. ‘Platon Kerzhentsev and his Theories on Collective Creation’, in Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 28:2, 29-48.

Student Representatives on Board of Studies
Theatre Studies, Music Studies and Dance Studies
Study-units on offer for Erasmus Students - 2017-2018

Please find the list of study-units for Erasmus Students for academic year 2017-2018

Optional Study-units on offer 2017-2018

Please find the list of Optional study-units for the the School of Performing Arts for academic year 2017-2018

Last Updated: 19 February 2015

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