14 December 2023 / Call for Papers

CFP Special Issue of Theatre Notebook: ‘Celebration’ in Theatre and Performance Research

In light of the Society of Theatre Research who are celebrating their 75th Anniversary, the New Researchers’ Network are preparing a special issue focusing on ‘Celebration’ in Theatre and Performance Research.

Theatre and performance have been used to celebrate significant events, people, places, and communities throughout time, with Frederick Luciani pointing out ‘…public celebration and theatre were closely related’ (1996: 267). ‘Celebration’ in the context of theatre performance is a useful anchoring point to consider broader issues about why a celebration was needed. Was a theatrical required in celebration of a public holiday, the beginning of end of a conflict, the departure or return of a significant figure, or celebrating the life of a leader or member of a royal family? Indeed, following the reopening of theatre spaces post the COVID-19 pandemic, positive messaging to ‘Celebrate Theatre’ showcases the fact that theatre and performance has made a triumphant return, but needs continuous support to survive.

As such, this is an important time to reflect on the significance of celebration and how it is used in a theatrical and performance context to address wider issues. We seek papers that discuss, evaluate, and engage with ‘Celebration’ in Theatre and Performance research. Topics may cover, but are not limited to:

  • Performance in celebration of an event or figure
  • Festivals and festivities
  • Celebrating culture, people, and places
  • Celebrity and the celebrated
  • Festival theatres
  • Celebration as remembrance

We are particularly interested in providing opportunities for new scholars and early career researchers to submit their work on such themes for consideration in an issue of Theatre Notebook to be curated by a team from the New Researchers’ Network.

Theatre Notebook is a journal of the history and technique of the British theatre. It interprets theatre widely, covering theatrical activities inside and outside theatre buildings, professional and amateur theatre, the business of theatre, stage design, the history of theatre buildings, acting technique, and theatre outside the British Isles that relates directly to the history and technique of British theatre (see

Please send abstracts of 500 words (maximum) as PDF or .doc(x) attachments to and by Monday 11th March 2024. Abstracts will be considered anonymously so they should not contain any identification within the attachment itself. Final submissions for the selected essays of 5000 words (maximum) will be Monday 6th May 2024. All enquiries are welcome.