Russell Anderson

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

Start year: 2013


Supervisor(s): Dr Carina Bartleet, Professor Alex Goody

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

Academic school / department

School of Education, Humanities and Languages


Work in progress

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

Teaching experience

Modules taught

  • 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)

Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

Further details

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

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.