Vlad Butucea

Research title: Theatrical Technologies: Challenging Gender and Sexuality in Theatre

Research Summary

Queer digital theatre brings humans and technologies in a close, intimate embrace. In the sensual exchange between flesh and digital, spectators can experience their bodies differently. Queered, touched or invaded by technological agencies, one enters a process of transformation beyond the limits of skin, beyond the known ways to be human.
My PhD asks what is the relationship between human bodies and digital technologies in theatre? How can spectators' bodies be digitally queered, touched or challenged? What does it mean to share an intimate embrace with a non-human performer? What are the possibilities and ethical limitations of these actions? Employing theoretical frameworks from Judith Butler, Donna Haraway or Sara Ahmed, I argue that queer digital theatre can change the ways in which we understand our bodies, our sexualities, our genders, and our humanity in general.


  • Peer-reviewed: Butucea, V. 2020. “Gaming as Everything: Challenging the Anthropocene Through Nomadic Performativity”. Nordic Theatre Studies. Vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 143-158
  • Non peer-reviewed: Pearson, M., Khalil, H. and Butucea, V. (2019) Interference. London: Methuen Drama


  • 2017: AHRC Scholarship for Doctoral Study, University of Glasgow


  • Butucea, V. 2018. The Cyborg Spectator: Cyborg Embodiment in Digital Performance. International Federation for Theatre Research Conference. July. Belgrade
  • Butucea, V. 2018. Limbo: The World through an Asylum Seeker’s Body in The Guardian VR. Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference. Sept. Aberystwyth
  • Butucea, V. 2018. Nicola Hunter’s MOTHERFUCKER: Queer Embodiment in Digital Performance. Connections PG Conference. June. Glasgow
  • Butucea, V. 2019. Video Games, Embodiment and Ecology. Theatre and Performance Research Association Annual Conference. Sept. Exeter


  • Reading the Stage (Theatre Studes)
  • Theatre and Society (Theatre Studies)

Additional Information


  • Member of the Performance and New Technologies Working Group at the Theatre and Performance Research Association


Theatre Practice

  • Beyond academia, I work as a playwright and dramaturg. Writing credits include Interference (2019, National Theatre of Scotland), Silkworm (2021, Pearlfisher, The Byre Theatre, Assembly Festival); Ghost Light (2020, National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival)



  • 2016: Alasdair Cameron award for best overall student on a Theatre Studies Postgraduate Programme (taught), University of Glasgow
  • 2015: GCU Award for Best Overall Media and Communication student, Glasgow Caledonian University

Previous Research
My postgraduate thesis used hermeneutic phenomenology to explore the ways in which the use of media and technology in Graham Eatough's production of Lanark: A Life in Three Acts (Citizens Theatre, 2015) can be understood to challenge normative accounts of being in the world.

My undergraduate dissertation used a phenomenological framework to describe Andrey Tarkovsky’s film The Sacrifice (1986), and to discuss the ways in which themes of time and spirituality are mirrored in its technological design.