Anthropology of Theatre

Michael Allen

MPhil, B.Arts, B. Media,

Anthropology and Theatre are two sides of the same coin, exploring social relationships and cultural meaning from reflexive study and practice.

Ethnography, the long term qualitative research tool used by cultural anthropology, is akin to the movement psychology of acting and the practice of making theatre; investigating social structures and how they interact with meanings created by artistic practice.

Artistic Director Michael Allen, explores both practice-based research and research-based practice. What does that mean?

His creative background is embedded in the movement psychology of the Laban/Malmgren method. Over the years this methodology has been complemented with degrees in Media and Arts. Now, with a Masters of Philosophy in Anthropology, Michael combines an award winning international theatre career with social theories in phenomenology and performance.

Specifically, he explores hermeneutic phenomenology via performance; the reciprocal relationship of meaning between audience and performer and the suspended reality of life in the moment in time that is live theatre.

His thesis included the play ‘Chase the Feeling’ which is an exploration of these anthropological concepts and performance practices.

The essence of every MAP play explores;

how do humans make meaning from the live theatre experience

how does the experience facilitate this meaning

MAP is a place where technical expertise and academic rigour combine to celebrate, explore and promote the ancient practice of performance as we progress a new technological and digital age.




 ‘A highly competent and valuable contribution to the field of anthropologically derived explanations using ‘performance’

J. Mienczakowski


How can comprehensive social analysis of your company/community inform your identity?

How does your identity inform your company/community?

How can MAP consolidate research and theatre for you? We dont know until you ask but we cant wait to find out…