Paola Botham

Senior Lecturer in Drama

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Dr Paola Botham (née Sotomayor) teaches theatre history and theory in several programmes at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC), including Acting and Applied Theatre. She was born in Chile, where she studied Journalism and Aesthetics at Universidad Católica (ranked among the top 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 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 focuses on modern and contemporary British theatre, especially political and documentary forms, as well as political drama in Spanish. Her publications include chapters on the feminist dystopian play for Twenty-First Century Anxieties (De Gruyter, 2022), on the contemporary history play for Twenty-First Century Drama (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and on tribunal theatre for Political Performances (Brill Rodopi, 2009), among others. She has also contributed a number of articles to international academic journals 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, titled World Political Theatre and Performance: Theories, Histories, Practices (Brill Rodopi, 2020). In 2023 she became co-convenor of the new IFTR working group Interdisciplinary Performative Pedagogies.

Postgraduate Supervision