DTD is a three year national umbrella project (2015-2017) developing from a shared general research question: “How does drama and theatre contribute to educate the democratic human being, in the encounter between product, event and work form”? The DTD-project is open for all researchers within the national research network of drama education, applied theatre and theatre studies at Norwegian universities and university colleges.


To date 56 researchers from 17 universities/university colleges have registered 52 individual (or collective) projects, exploring how different drama/theatre practices can contribute to democratic education, and if theatrical experiences can contribute to democratic understanding. Some Master students and some Ph.D. students take part in the project.


The project is based on a cultural understanding that gives preference to the engaged cultural participant rather than the observer; to action and production rather than reception. The engagement, competence and knowledge of researchers and lecturers in drama/theatre represent a cultural and educational dynamics that needs more visibility and more impact in the Norwegian society. The project will contribute to an enhanced democratic awareness – for the participants, for the culture & education sector, and for the public. The value of engaging a majority of the researchers in the field in a collective research lift, which may also invigorate the position of the discipline, belongs to the purpose of the DTD-project.


The individual research projects are different in design and methodology. They are grouped around six clusters, or focus groups: Drama/theatre and education/school, Drama/theatre and health, Drama/theatre and marginality, Theatre and drama for and with small children, Theatre in local communities, and Arts-based research. These clusters are all relevant research arenas within the broad field of applied drama/theatre. The majority of the projects are qualitative studies and/or artistic research-based investigations.