About the project


Welcome to the Poor theatres research – a research project that explores the relationships between theatre, poverty and economic inequality. This website provides a platform for sharing information about theatre initiatives that are engaging with issues of social welfare, economic security and economic justice.

We would like the website to be a useful port of call for artists, researchers and communities, supporting an international conversation about the impact of economic precarity on theatre-making and participation. From the database, to the blog, to the resources section, the site offers opportunities to explore how artists from around the world describe their work, to hear from communities engaged in theatre projects in economically deprived sites, to extend awareness of a network of practice, and to gather ideas for new approaches and future research.

The Poor theatres research also has a historical dimension – exploring the histories of theatre’s relationships with poverty by working with arts organisations local to the site of the research to document their history, as well as looking at theatre’s engagements with and representations of the poor at selected historical junctures.

Outputs from the first phase of this research (taking place in 2014 and 2015, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council), include a database, a performance research output (‘The House‘) and a one-day symposium (‘Making theatre in the midst of austerity‘). Ongoing research is documented via our blog and includes teaching projects with students, academic publications and engagement activities with artists and arts organisations.

If you are an artist, arts professional, student or researcher interested in contributing to the material on these webpages, please get in touch. We are continuing to grow our list of artists and organisations working on issues of economic justice (see ‘resources‘), and we also regularly publish guest posts from artists and researchers our research blog.