Russell Anderson

Russell Anderson



Thesis title: Hypertextual Performance: developing audience-controlled narratives in theatre

Start year: 2013


Research topic

My research is a practice-based project in Drama, investigating potential methods of interactivity within the theatre, with the intent to develop a methodology of audience-controlled narratives in performance.

The twenty-first century is witnessing an exponential increase in interactivity: the increasing dominance of information and communication technologies is encouraging us to interact with the world around us in an ever-increasing manner, to the degree that interactivity and influence are often not only possible, but often expected. This project therefore aims to define and create a new form of theatrical performance for that modern audience perspective, one which is fundamentally based around interaction, choice and control. The Hypertextual Performance will be a multi-linear live theatrical event within which control of the narrative development is put in the hands of the audience.

As a practice-based project, my methodology involves producing performances to test and refine my theoretical research and development. The first of these productions is beginning in 2014: an immersive hyperdrama based on Georg Béchner’s Woyzeck, focussing on questions of framework and structure, developed from cybertextual structures including those postulated by Marie Laure-Ryan in Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion an Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media (2001) and George Landow in Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an era of Globalization (2006).

Theoretical research explores areas including: hypertext, cybertext and digital narratives; immersive theatre; digital theatre; virtual reality; media and remediation; presence and liveness; postmodernism; flow theory; liquid architecture; and ludology.


Drama, Theatre, Interactivity, Hypertext, Narrative, Liveness, Digital Theatre

General research interests

Contemporary Drama and Performance, Digital Fiction, Interactive Narratives, Cybertext, Virtuality, Remediation, Presence, Ludology

Work in progress

“Moving the Audience: participatory bodies in the theatre” for the Oxford Brookes Humanities and Social Sciences Research Conference (2014)

Teaching experience

  • U67017 – Approaches to Performance (associate teacher)
  • U67120 – British Theatre 1950-Present (associate teacher)
  • U67171 – Spectacular Origins: Theatre, Medicine and Science (associate teacher)
  • U67172 – Final Production (associate teacher)

Academic and professional training

  • First Steps in Teaching training course, Oxford Brookes University, 2012
  • MDrama, Drama and Theatre Studies specialising in Contemporary Performance Practice [2:1], University of Kent, 2007

Professional affiliations

Other experience and professional activities

I am the Director of Re:Conception Theatre (, an Oxford-based theatre company devising and producing original work. We have produced three original plays (and are working on our fourth) in venues including the Pegasus Theatre, Oxford; the Old Fire Station, Oxford; Underground Venues, Buxton and Oxford; The Warren, Brighton.

Freelance theatre technician, and Drama Technician at Oxford Brookes.