European theatre Research Network

Playing Identities, Performing Heritage

Playing Identities, Performing Heritage is a large EU-funded multi-institutional project which invites students from different countries to make devised theatre in collaboration with each other in order to study how different European identities are shaped and performed.

What is European heritage, and how does it differ from local or national contexts? How are our contemporary identities shaped as Europe grows and changes? What do we already share across borders, what do we already have in common?

The project aims to study how performances made in and across different European landscapes speak to each other, and how new shared, creole identities emerge from the process of devising such performances across borders.

Project Manifesto


Heritage is not a set of dead things

Heritage can be understood as a set of things invested with either financial, emotional or symbolic values which are important to those who inherit them. In neo-Latin languages, the word “heritage” (from the Latin, patrimonium) means “the father’s duty”, that is the act of donating something to the children to be remembered by them. Inheritance is an active process of transmission which involves knowledge and awareness, because it is necessary to comprehend the meaning of cultural assets in order to understand our identity as a kind of living and continuously evolving heritage.


Call for Applicants

Do you want to spend two weeks, all expenses paid, in sunny Italy in the summers of 2015/16?
Do you want to collaborate with theatre students from Romania, Lithuania and Spain to make theatre about an issue you care about? Do you want your show to receive its world premiere in Siena during the summer of 2016 along with three other shows by fellow students?

We are looking for six individuals to fulfil 3 specific roles within Playing Identities, Performing Heritage:

Groups of Four Performers

We invite groups of four students to put forward 300 words on a topic, theme or issue you would like to use as the basis for a devised piece of theatre made collaboratively as detailed above.
At this stage, you do not need to tell us how you imagine the performance: just the topic. Please also include all four participants’ names.
We encourage topics related to your local social, cultural or political situation which you believe could resonate across different European contexts. As such, we encourage you to think as broadly as possible about your local topic: is it part of a wider trans-European phenomenon? Are the effects, or indeed the causes of your issue locatable elsewhere? How do other areas deal with similar issues? How might the topic be in conversation with other European situations? You do not need to know the answers to these questions, but they are good questions to have in mind.
As well as the 300 words, we ask you to put forward the name and a person description (150 words) of somebody who could act as a link between yourselves and your topic (for example someone who is passionate about the subject, who works within your topic’s field, or who has some insider knowledge about it). S/he would act as the project’s ‘mobiliser’: s/he should be able to help you in your research, collaborate with you throughout the process and take responsibility for your project’s presence on social media. While we do ask you, where possible, to nominate someone as a mobiliser, this role will not be set in stone until a formal call for mobilisers is circulated, and formal interviews are held later in the term (this is a paid position).

The four performers MUST be free for travel in July 2015 and July 2016, and free to work on the project in Kent in spring 2016 (possibly during the break). Please do not apply unless you know you will be able to commit to the project throughout its duration.


Project Leads

For more information and to apply please contact:

Dr Margherita Laera -

Dr Flora Pitrolo -

Prof Paul Allain -


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Last Updated: 18/03/2015