Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Visual and Performing Arts, College of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. James Al-Shamma

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Theatre in the twenty-first century has been largely based on political and social reform, mirroring such movements as Black Lives Matter and Me Too. New topics and ideas are brought to life on various stages across the globe, as many artists challenge cultural and constitutional structures in their society. But how did protest theatre get started?As specifically the feminist movement, political theatre on the topic of women’s rights can be traced back to an acting society called the Pioneer Players, which was made up of British men and women suffragettes in the early twentieth century.The passion and drive of its members contributed to its success:over the course of a decade, patrons and actors worked together to expose a rapidly changing society to a variety of genres and new ideas.In this presentation, I hope to prove that, in challenging traditional theatre, the Pioneer Playershelped to pave the way for the avant garde, spur political reform, and promote uncensored theatre in Great Britain. Their efforts facilitated a transformation of the staget hat established conditions under which political theatre could, and did, flourish.