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Performance, Learning & Heritage

About Us

The PERFORMANCE, LEARNING AND HERITAGE research project is an investigation into the uses and impact of performance as a medium of learning in museums and at historic sites.

The Centre for Applied Theatre Research (CATR) at the University of Manchester was in 2005 awarded a major research grant by the Arts & Humanities Research Council to undertake research into the increasing and varied use being made of theatre and other drama-based activity as interpretive tools with visitors to museums and historic sites - an expanding but relatively under-researched field of performance practice. The project has been led by Professor Tony Jackson in partnership with the University's Centre for Museology and the Manchester Museum . Further partners included museums and sites involved in the research process. Among the many tasks we set ourselves, we have now:

The three year project began work in July 2005 and has culminated in publications (including journal articles, plans for an edited book, a searchable database and a DVD) and an international conference in Manchester in Spring 2008. An overview of the project and the findings is now available. See notice above on how to access the Main Report and the Executive Summary; and how to order the DVD.

Although the project grant has now come to an end (November 2008), aspects of the research continue; the database will continue to gather new and updated material; and, to that end, we are still very keen to hear from, talk with and learn from practitioners in the field of museum theatre/live interpretation - performers and museum staff alike - and with other scholars and researchers working in the same or similar fields , both in the UK and abroad.

Project database

The project database was launched at the April 2008 conference. You can access it here. The database houses many digital resources connected to performance and heritage.

Tony Jackson and the Research Team