Theatre Music: Investigating Intercultural Collaboration and the Impact of Cultural Diversity on the Creative Process in Music Making

Applications are invited for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the National Theatre. This fully-funded studentship is available from October 2024. Further details about the value of an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP award are available on the DTP’s studentships page.


Closing date: 5 January 2024

Project overview

This doctoral project will investigate how diversity impacts the collaborative processes associated with music-making in theatrical productions. Engaging with the National Theatre’s expertise in creative collaboration, the student will delve into the opportunities, complexities, and power dynamics present in intercultural collaboration in theatre in order to examine how theatrical collaborations involving music work in practice and how they have evolved over time.

The primary aim of the project will be to analyse, interpret, and explore the ways in which the discourse and practices of cultural and musical diversity shape creative engagement among musicians, actors, producers, directors, technicians, and so on. The project will provide much needed insight into the status quo of intercultural collaboration and will contribute to the National Theatre’s mission as an industry-leading theatre that can send strong impulses into the whole sector.

Potential areas of research might include:

  • An investigation into the power dynamics of intercultural collaboration.
  • An analysis of the discourse of cultural diversity and the varied impacts this discourse has on collaborative processes and performances.
  • The creation of new methods of intercultural collaboration, contributing to theatre music production and theoretical understanding.
  • The compilation, assessment and comparison of case studies from the National Theatre Archive, focusing on the intersection of music, theatre, and cultural diversity.
  • The establishment of a creative framework promoting a productive intercultural environment, fostering collaboration, and cultivating mutual respect.

The student will adopt a mixed-methods approach, melding qualitative and quantitative methodologies with practical research. Qualitative analysis will involve conducting in-depth interviews and observations of contemporary collaborative processes, analysing selected case studies from the National Theatre Archive, and engaging in a theoretical analysis of related literature. The study will also deploy surveys to gather broad perspectives on the impact of cultural diversity on collaboration and performance, producing data to supplement the qualitative findings and provide a wide-ranging picture of the current state of intercultural collaboration in theatre. The researcher will also collaborate with musicians at the National Theatre, providing hands-on experience and a real-world testing ground for the research findings.


This CDA is based in Oxford’s Faculty of Music, with supervision from Professor Jason Stanyek. Supervision at the partner organisation will be provided by Marc Tritschler, Creative Director of Music at the National Theatre.

How to apply 

We invite applications from candidates from all backgrounds and ethnicities. You are normally expected to have a master’s degree in music or equivalent before embarking on the DPhil. Practical experience of performing and composing in a theatre music context is essential; extensive experience outside the western classical music context is desirable Applicants should meet the eligibility criteria for Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC studentships.

For an informal discussion about the opportunity and how you might frame your approach to the CDA project, please contact Prof Jason Stanyek ( in the first instance.

You should apply to the DPhil in Music at Oxford University by Friday 5 January 2024 (midday, UK time); please indicate your interest in being considered for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP studentship and submit a completed copy of the OOC DTP Application Form at the same time.