The Society for Theatre Research

Frequently Asked Questions


When and why was the Society formed?
What has the Society achieved?
Do I have to be a researcher to join?
Are there concessions for students/Equity members/OAPs?
What if I live outside the UK?
Can I order books from the STR backlist?
What does my membership of the New Cavendish Club bring?
I want to update my research interests how do I do this?


When and why was the Society formed?
It was formed at a public meeting in the bomb-damaged Old Vic on 15 June 1948 by a bunch of luminaries from both the profession and the fledgling world of theatre research, summoned by the editors of Theatre Notebook, which from its foundation in 1945 had been devoted to this new field: in 1948 there was only one British University theatre department, at Bristol. No less a reporter than George Devine wrote about the new society in Theatre Notebook for January 1949, commenting that 'There is no limit to its possible scope and practical usefulness except that which may be imposed by the indifference of the very people in whose interests it has been founded,' namely the theatre community.


What has the Society achieved?
The Society's achievements during its first sixty years include the setting up of the umbrella organisation, the International Federation for Theatre Research; the insertion into the act, which abolished the censorship powers of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, of a clause that ensured that the good Lord's more positive function, as a repository of the script for every play given public performance, be continued by the British Library; and the creation, after a twelve-year campaign, of a dedicated Theatre Museum on its own site. More recently it has campaigned to save that Museum, and its failure to date is due in part to that indifference against which George Devine so presciently warned when he said 'There is no limit to its possible scope and practical usefulness except that which may be imposed by the indifference of the very people in whose interests it has been founded,' meaning the theatre community.


Do I have to be a researcher to join?
No. Anyone with an interest in the history and technique of British theatre is likely to benefit from membership.
See the membership pages for more information.


Are there concessions for students/Equity members/OAPs?
Student concessions are available, as is life membership for those over sixty.
For more information, see the how to join page.


What if I live outside the UK?
We have non-UK membership for those living outside the UK.
For more information, see the how to join page.


Can I order books from the STR backlist?
Yes. The facility to buy online will be available again shortly.



I want to update my research interests how do I do this?
You can fill out an online submission form, which is automatically sent to the research interests coordinator. Please note, that while non-members are welcome to make use of the interests listing, submissions of interests are invited only from members.