Theatre research examines various forms of theatre and performance as part of society. The discipline of theatre research at the University of Helsinki has long held nationwide responsibility for university-level research and teaching in the field. This is evident in the comprehensive nature of operations with an emphasis on international activities, as well as in the methodical study of Finnish drama and theatre.
Research areas include the history, theory and research methods of theatre, as well as the status and significance of the performing arts in Finnish society. Theatre research also analyses performances, scripts, the work of actors and directors, as well as other factors of performance. The study of theatre and performance is also needed for understanding everyday phenomena, since the act of performing has become increasingly prevalent in society beyond the realm of entertainment. Social media, for example, provides individuals with opportunities to perform and gain audiences.