CFP: ‘Theatre Plays on British Television’ Conference

‘Theatre Plays on British Television’ conference, University of Westminster, Friday 19 October 2012

The first conference arising from the AHRC-funded research project Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television will be held at the University of Westminster on Friday 19 October 2012.

Screen Plays is concerned with all plays written for the theatre that have been produced for British television since 1930. The project documents and develops new critical approaches to the television presentation of these plays, seeking to understand the institutional, production, technological and aesthetic contexts for these adaptations within both broadcasting and British theatre. More can be read about the project’s aims and activities on the blog at The permanent page for the conference is

Proposals are invited for twenty-minute papers and panels tackling issues and topics within the broad area of theatre plays on British television from 1930 to the present. In order to encourage a truly interdisciplinary discussion we warmly welcome proposals from scholars and postgraduate students working on the histories of broadcasting, media, drama, theatre and culture.

Possible topics for examination and exploration include, but are not limited to, the following:
.    The forms and screen languages of British television presentations of theatre plays.
.    Studies of particular genres, plays or playwrights across time.
.    The changing social and cultural meanings of theatre on television and the ways in which these were regarded and exploited by broadcasters in particular historical circumstances.
.    The extensive commercial and cultural relationships between the theatre, individual companies and television.
.    The movement of practitioners between the spheres of theatre and television.
.    The institutional, production, technological and aesthetic contexts of these adaptations within both broadcasting and British theatre.
.    Audience and reception studies into how viewers engaged with these productions.
.    The evolution of what may be regarded as the ‘normative’ style of studio drama, and the development of new forms within and beyond the studio.
.    The post-1980s decline of theatre on British television and the recent revival of interest in its possibilities in the multi-platform age.

Proposals in the form of a 250-word abstract and brief biography (or 200-word panel outline, with accompanying individual abstracts and brief biographies), should be submitted to both John Wyver ( and Dr Amanda Wrigley ( by 29 February 2012. It is intended that the conference will give rise to an edited collection of essays on theatre plays on British television.

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