Poor theatres

A critical examination of theatre, performance and economic precarity (AHRC Early Career Fellowship, February 2014 - January 2016)

Drawing of two chairs in a theatre

Dr. Jenny Hughes pursued this project as an AHRC Early Career Fellowship from 2014-16. It explored the relationship between theatre, performance and poverty by interrogating their interstices at three distinct historical junctures (in the 1830s, 1980s, and the 2010s). Taken together, they provide an opportunity to explore the interstices of theatre, performance and poverty in relation to the emergence and contestation of classic liberal and neoliberal economic practices respectively, and the associated rise and decline of industrial society and transition to a post-industrial economy.

The research developed a contribution from theatre and performance studies to the understanding of social welfare and resource management systems in times of economic austerity and ecological uncertainty. The project included collaborative research activity with local and international theatre-makers and organisations working with economically precarious groups.

The website provided a platform for learning more about theatre projects that are embedded in social welfare or economic development initiatives, and theatre practice that deals with issues of economic security or economic justice.

Poor Theatres website


To find out more, contact Dr Jenny Hughes:

Dr Jenny Hughes, Senior Lecturer in Drama
The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL