AHRC SGSAH PhD Studentship – Pasts, Presents and Futures of Digitally-Mediated Theatre

  • DeadlineDeadline: 17 April 2024
  • ScotlandScotland


Qualification: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: Home and International applicants

Funding amount: Annual stipend at the UKRI rate (£19,237 for 24/25) for 3 years 6 months full-time (pro-rata part-time), plus PhD tuition fees

The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with AHRC, SGSAH and the Traverse Theatre are offering a 3.5-year full-time / 7 year part-time funded Collaborative Doctoral Award.


In recent years, theatre-makers have experimented widely with how to record and distribute live performance through digital media and platforms. Since the return of live, staged performances, profound questions remain about the role, opportunities, business models and implications of digitally-mediated theatre, and the ways in which theatres do – or do not – produce digital ‘content’.

In partnership with the Traverse Theatre, this research will study how innovative contemporary practices for digitally-mediated theatre production can be applied to create unique, innovative and compelling audience experiences. It aims to explore how digital theatre assets and content can be produced and distributed for online audiences, while complementing live staged productions, enabling new forms of value co-creation for theatre-makers and their audiences.

The Project

The enforced closure of theatre venues and arts festivals during the pandemic led to widespread innovation and experimentation with digitally-mediated theatre – where a work of performance is mediated, live, or recorded, via another visual or technological medium – to connect with audiences remotely, or asynchronously. Notably, much theatrical work took on new life and meanings as forms of recorded and on-demand content, situated on different digital platforms.

These developments and others (e.g. AI, Immersive technologies) pose some fundamental questions for theatre: How is the meaning, impact and accessibility of a piece of theatre transformed by the medium(s) through which it is staged, presented and recorded? How can live and recorded theatre be interwoven to create unique and valuable experiences for audiences? What implications does the growth in digital recording and distribution of performance as digital content have for those working in the performing arts? And what role does digitally-mediated theatre have to play in sustainable, contemporary business models for theatre production, particularly given the convergence of technologies in the production of performance, immersive, film, tv, and game and the skill sharing taking place across these domains?

In partnership with the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, this research will examine the recent past, present and futures of digitally-mediated performances by: 1) pursuing in-depth case studies of recent digitally-mediated performances and their value, for audiences and theatre-makers; 2) creatively engaging theatre-makers across Scotland in reflection of current and potential future applications of digitally-mediated performances 3) working alongside, studying and contributing to the delivery of an innovative digitally-mediated programme at the Traverse Theatre. 

Find out more

For more information on this PhD and how to apply, please visit our website.


Application deadline: 17 April 2024

Interview: 8 May 2024 (interviews will be held online)

Start date: September 2024

Who is eligible to apply?

Home and International applicants

University of Edinburgh Campus

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