Dr Paola Botham (née Sotomayor) teaches theatre history and theory at the School of English and the Birmingham School of Acting (BSA). She was born in Chile, where she studied Journalism and Aesthetics at Universidad Católica (ranked among the top three academic institutions in Latin America) and worked as a culture journalist and textbook writer. After moving to the UK, she completed an MA in British Theatre Studies and a PhD in Drama and Performance. Her doctoral thesis explored how to redefine political theatre in the twenty-first century, questioning ideas from postmodern theory that had become dominant in drama scholarship.
Paola’s research interests are in modern and contemporary British theatre, especially political and documentary forms, as well as Hispanic drama. Her publications include chapters on the contemporary history play for Twenty-First Century Drama (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), on Caryl Churchill for Modern British Playwriting: The 1970s (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2012) and on tribunal theatre for Political Performances: Theory and Practice (Brill Rodopi, 2009). She has also contributed several articles to academic journals, in Britain and Chile, and is currently co-convenor of the Political Performances working group at the International Federation for Theatre Research, IFTR.