We like to think that our research matters and that it is used not only by other researchers in university or conservatoire contexts but that it plays a role in informing work that is of benefit to society.
Our research has had impact in schools and other educational contexts; it has influenced industry practice; and many of our researchers have collaborated with professionals in other sectors, including nurses and social workers. This impact occurs, among other means, through applied theatre at Central, which is a hub of creative expertise for the ‘application’ of performance for new audiences/participants, and whose research incorporates areas of applied aesthetics, participatory practices, theatre and care, arts, health and wellbeing, and cultural education.
However, we seek to find new ways to make many types of research matter to many constituencies — from having a tangible impact on sound design in theatre to helping open valuable discussions in influential forums up to Parliamentary level.
Here are a few examples from the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework):
Ross Brown’s research has been instrumental in shaping theatre sound into a specialist discipline in its own right. It has influenced the practices, organisation and status of sound within professional theatre.
Amanda Stuart Fisher’s research began by looking at the theatrical enactment of stories of actual lived events.
Catherine McNamara researched new ways of speaking of this beyond-category identity.