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What is research-based theatre?

Research-based Theatre (RbT) an innovative methodology that brings research to life as a mode of inquiry and/or knowledge mobilization. As a mode of inquiry, the approach supports researchers in finding creative ways to collect and analyze data. For knowledge mobilization, RbT uses dramatic performances to translate research findings. Both pathways aim to provide deep analysis and stimulate dialogue to foster new understandings about the social experiences explored. 

UBC Research-based Theatre Lab

There is a growing interest from researchers across disciplines to employ creative means of data generation, analysis, and dissemination with stakeholders, communities, and other researchers. The UBC Research-based Theatre Lab supports the exploration of theatre as a methodology and mode of knowledge sharing that can bring research to life and promote collaborative initiatives between researchers and community members.

Since 2016, the Research-based Theatre Lab has developed and produced six RbT plays. Each project demonstrated RbT as a methodology that engages both the heart and mind. Over this five-year period, the UBC-based team has performed the various RbT plays more than 100 times, reaching over 5000 audience members. Since COVID-19, the team has also adapted three of its plays for online presentation, enabling public participation in a dozen Zoom performances, with several online presentations scheduled for 2023.

The Lab is committed to equity and diversity and includes research team members dedicated to, and working in, areas related to mental health and social justice. As a collaborative and flexible methodology that can be driven by community members as co-inquirers, RbT is an effective modality for working with marginalized communities and allows those who are the experts in their own lived experiences to shape the telling of their narratives.

Research-based theatre Intro Workshops

If you are interested in learning more about RbT, consider signing up for one of our introduction workshops. For more information, please register your interest.