Veronica Baxter

Veronica Baxter is Associate Professor at the Drama Department of the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Veronica Baxters teaching praxis is focused on aspects of research methodologies for undergraduate and postgraduate students, applied theatre and drama, analysis of performance texts in Africa and the world, theatre ‘history’, and documentary theatre. She convenes the BA Honours, MA Drama and MA Applied Theatre programmes, and supervises PhD students in cognate areas. She serves on the board of The Mothertongue Project and is co-convening the academic programming of ASSITEJ/ITYARN ‘Cradle of Creativity’ World Congress in May, 2017.

Research Focus

Her research focus is located in two main areas, namely applied theatre and drama, and (South) African theatre. What ties her work together in both areas of research is the question of aesthetics in theatre practice – particularly that which interrogates an ethical theatre practice, an aesthetics that re-examines and proposes hope/optimism and social justice.

Her praxis involves researching applied theatre and drama in education, social justice and health. This work involves evaluating the impact of theatre-making or participatory theatre workshops in non-formal settings (outside of theatres), as well as critical reflection on her own positioning in these contexts. Her applied theatre practice most recently has involved work in clinics, hospitals, prisons, streets, churches and on farms.

Her secondary focus is the research of South African theatre and theatre-makers, problematizing questions of ‘What is contemporary African theatre’, ‘Is South African theatre African’, ‘Is being rooted in the oral tradition (still) a defining feature of African theatre’, and ‘what does theatre achieve’ as a socio-cultural practice? Her response to these questions has been to document intercultural theatre created in South Africa.

Recent Publications

Applied Theatre: Performing Health and Wellbeing – co-written and edited by Veronica Baxter and Katharine Low, published by Methuen Bloomsbury books, 2017.

Parent, S, Erlich, R, Yassi, A, Baxter, V, Kannemeyer, N. ‘Occupational health and TB: a feasibility study of participatory theatre with South African healthcare workers’; The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 21 (2). 2017. pp140-148.

‘Theatre in one-person format’; (eds) Martin Middeke, Peter Paul Schnierer and Greg Homann; Methuen Drama Guide to South African Drama; Methuen, London. 2015. pp109-122.

‘Eastern Cape voices in post-apartheid South African theatre’; (eds) Marc Maufort and Greg Homann; New Territories: Reconfiguring Theatre and Drama in post-apartheid South Africa, Peter Lang, Brussells. 2015. pp57-74.

Imizamo Yethu – ‘our efforts’ to engage through theatre. Applied Theatre: Development, edited by Tim Prentki. Bloomsbury, February 2015. pp169-183.

‘Postcards on the aesthetics of applied theatre’, (ed) Hazel Barnes; Arts Activism, Education, and Therapies: Transforming Communities Across Africa, Rodopi publishers. 2013. pp257-268.

‘Senzeni na (what have we done?) – educational theatre in southern Africa’, Chapter 12, (eds) Anthony Jackson and Chris Vine; Learning Through Theatre: The changing face of theatre in education, 3rd edition, Routledge. 2013. pp209-228.

‘Practice as Research in South Africa’, Chapter 10, (ed) Robin Nelson; Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. Palgrave Macmillan. 2013. pp163-174.