CfP: TDPT Special Issue: Touch and Training

Special issue: Touch and Training to be published June 2023

Call for contributions, ideas, proposals and dialogue with the editors

Guest editors
Dr Ha Young Hwang, Korea National University of Arts, School of Drama, Seoul, South Korea ([email protected])
Dr. Tara McAllister-Viel, East 15 Acting School, University of Essex, London, UK. ([email protected])
Liz Mills, AFDA The School for the Creative Economy, Cape Town, SouthAfrica ([email protected]).

Training Grounds editor
Dr Sara Reed, Independent researcher, writer and project manager ([email protected]

Touch and Training (Issue 14.2)
Global happenings throughout this past decade, such as ♯MeToo, ♯blacklivesmatter, Asian Spring, Arab Spring, the Marriage Act (2013 UK) and Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” law (2013), and COVID-19, have radically repositioned touch in performance and performer training. Touch is a socio-cultural event, a political act between two people as well as a network of power positions and layers of institutional infrastructure: who touches, how does/should one touch, why and when can/should touch occur? These questions when raised within performance traditions, theatre, film and television rehearsal and performance spaces and performer training studios ask creative artists to (re)consider the ways we think about, talk about and stage touch: for instance, the rise of the “intimacy coordinator” in response to concerns about the inequitability of touch during re-enactments of intimacy is only one of a number of recent developments in performance-related fields (re)considering the role of touch during the creative process.

The aim of this issue is to look at the different ways performers and performer trainers across the globe have responded to issues of touch as a socio-cultural and political event within creative processes.

The special issue will:

  • (re)consider the role of touch in training in which race, gender, dis/ability, and health have a significant place in shifting understandings of why/when/where and who can/should touch.
  • examine the power relationships during touch between teacher/student; performer/audience; between performers in rehearsal rooms.
  • critically examine the ways in which touch is (re)framed and negotiated through policy-making and revolutionary protest in drama schools, rehearsal rooms and training studios.
  • Address questions such as ‘How do these movements influence and cross-fertilize each other?’

Contributors are invited to (re)consider:

  • Touch and gender
  • Touch and race
  • Touch as and/or despite contagion/infection
  • the value of touch to wellbeing and the impacts of being deprived of that contact
  • Touch as violence
  • Touch as revolution
  • Touch in training the actor’s body and voice in various training traditions.
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of touch in training and in rehearsal, between teacher/student, between performers, between performers and audience?  
  • When performers in rehearsal and actors-in-training cannot touch or do not want to touch during the creative process, how does this change creative processes in different ways? How does it change student actors, actor trainers and performers?
  • In what ways have performers and performer trainers (re)negotiated touch in their work?

Proposals are encouraged to look across disciplines, for instance between performance and Post Colonial studies, Queer studies, dis/Ability studies, to critically consider the ways touch has been framed by mainstream rehearsal and training traditions to the exclusion of other ways of working. This issue welcomes critical approaches to new forms of training and rehearsal processes.

Expressions of interest

We welcome submissions from authors both inside and outside academic institutions and from those who are currently undergoing training or who have experiences to tell from their training histories. To signal your interest and intention to make a contribution to this special issue in any one of the ways identified please email an abstract (max 250 words) to Ha Young Hwang ([email protected] ), Tara McAllister-Viel ([email protected]) and Liz Mills ([email protected] ).

Our deadline for these abstracts is (8 April 2022).

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training has three sections:

  • Articles” features contributions in a range of critical and scholarly formats (approx. 5,000-7,000 words)
  • Sources” provides an outlet for the documentation and analysis of primary materials of performer training. We are particularly keen to receive material that documents the histories and contemporary practices associated with the issue’s theme.
  •  “Training Grounds” hosts shorter pieces, which are not peer reviewed, including essais, postcards (up to 100 words), speaking images (one page of image and text response), visual essays and book or event reviews. We welcome a wide range of different proposals for contributions including edited interviews and previously unpublished archive or source material. We also welcome suggestions for recent books on the theme to be reviewed; or for foundational texts to be re-reviewed. For further advice on these please contact: Sara Reed: [email protected]

Innovative cross-over print/digital formats are possible, including the submission of audiovisual training materials, which can be housed on the online interactive Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal blog:

About Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT)

Special Issues of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (TDPT) are an essential part of its offer and complement the open issues in each volume. TDPT is an international academic journal devoted to all aspects of ‘training’ (broadly defined) within the performing arts. It was founded in 2010 and launched its own blog in 2015. Our target readership comprises scholars and the many varieties of professional performers, makers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs and composers working in theatre, dance, performance and live art who have an interest in the practices of training. TDPT’s co-editors are Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds) and Libby Worth (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Issue Schedule

8 April 2022: proposals to be submitted Ha Young Hwang ([email protected]r ), Tara McAllister-Viel ([email protected]) and Liz Mills ([email protected] ).

9 May 2022: Response from editors and, if successful, invitation to submit contribution

May to 12 August 2022: writing/preparation period

August to early October 2022: peer review period

October 2022 – January 2023: author revisions post peer review

June 2023: publication as Issue 14.2

We look forward to hearing from you.