The Facility was awarded Research Centre status in 2011, having developed out of the highly successful Facility Research Group which focused mainly on Performance work. The newly formed Centre is directed by a steering group made up of academics and creative practitioners working in a diverse contexts and aims to support all kinds of creative practice as research as well as fostering cross- university links.
The Facility was created in 2005 by Lucy Richardson, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, and Anne Hogan, who was then Academic Leader with responsibility for Performing Arts, Theatre and Film Studies.
The Facility was created in response to London Metropolitan's thriving Performing Arts/Theatre Studies department, which was and is staffed by a mixture of highly skilled and experienced theatre/dance academics and practitioners. These include choreographers, live art performance makers, directors, actors, dancers, and scenographers. Most of these members of staff continue to work in the professional theatre/dance field and are interested in developing research through performance. There are also many high profile performance practitioners associated with the University either as Visiting Lecturers, ex-students, research students, through the Professional Performance Programme or via the Graeae residency. These are also artists with an interest in developing innovative and original performance research work. The Facility hopes to harness this creativity, attract other practitioners and encourage respect for this work.
The Facility exists in a climate where Performance as Research is rapidly growing in esteem and occupying, at best, as important a role as publication. It was founded at a time when other organizations such as PARIP (Bristol) ResCen (Middlesex) and CPR (Cardiff) also existed to promote Performance as Research. If academics are to remain at the cutting edge of performance research and be involved in the development of performance into the 21Century they need to be testing ideas, concepts and theories practically in performance. Clearly for Performing Arts/Theatre/Dance/Music academics Performance as Research is not only a valid, but an essential form of research.