Dr Paola Botham (née Sotomayor) teaches theatre history and theory in several programmes, including Acting and Applied Theatre at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, RBC. She was born in Chile, where she studied Journalism and Aesthetics at Universidad Católica (ranked as the top academic institution 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 is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has been an active participant in subject research associations such as IFTR, TaPRA and CDE.
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 a number of articles to academic journals, in Britain and Chile, and is a former convenor of the Political Performances Working Group at the International Federation for Theatre Research, IFTR. She co-edited the latest volume of essays from this research group, World Political Theatre and Performance: Theories, Histories, Practices (Brill Rodopi, 2020), and is currently working on the monograph Political Theatre Reconstructed (Bloomsbury).