There is strong community engagement and collaboration in the field of queer performance making and research at Central. We have a commitment to work at the leading edge of queer practice and research by hosting performances, a queer reading group, a seminar series Queer Shifts, and by publishing books and articles in the area. Queer Shifts is an ongoing succession of talks and events engaging with LGBTQ voices and practices across and beyond theatre and performance. The events range across round tables, academic papers, discussion panels and keynote speeches. Working in conjunction with intersectional and cognate discourses from disciplines outside of theatre and performance, Queer Shifts seeks to record, share and debate queer performance with makers, some of whom are not regularly seen inside the conservatoire or academy.
Central is also home to Outbox Theatre, a company whose artistic director is Central Lecturer Ben Buratta. Outbox work intergenerationally with LGBT artists to create one major touring production per year and a series of workshops with older LGBT people and LGBT youth, which are delivered nationally. Their work is supported by The Big Lottery Fund and has been performed in theatres and spaces such as The Arcola, Contact Theatre, Hackney Showroom, Shoreditch Town Hall and mac Birmingham.
Central’s research degrees programme currently houses projects in queer theory and performance and has supported several successful PhDs in this area. Successful PhD candidates have gone on to publish about their research and take their practice, which is rooted in their PhD studies, on to stages across the country.