This paper will examine the complex transnational processes that led to an institutionalization of theatre in emerging nations after 1945. It is linked to a European Research Council project, "Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945," which undertakes a fundamental reexamination of the historiography of theatre against the background of internationally coordinated "development" and "modernization" programs that linked funding organizations, artists, universities, and governments in networks of theatrical expertise. This article outlines the methodological, terminological, and geocultural dimensions of a five-year research initiative. It explains methodological approaches such as actor-network theory, path-dependence, prosopography, and outlines some of the areas to be examined such as philanthropy, East-West rivalry, actor-training in India, and pan-African festivals. It argues that this intense activity was framed by the emergence of a "theatrical epistemic community" with roots in the pre-war period.