ATHENS CONFERENCE 2018
WORKING GROUP: Theatre as social intervention development and social change
Coordinator: Tim Prentki, professor, University of Winchester, UK
Adrian Jackson, Artistic Director and Chief of Cardboard Citizens, UK,
Brendon Burns, Director of Applied Theatre and Community Drama Department, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), UK,
Alkistis Kondoyanni Emeritus Professor, University of the Peloponnese, Greece,
Sonia Mologousi, drama pedagogue, Greece (Reporter)
Commentator: Zoniou Christina, Department of Theatre Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of the Peloponnese, Greece
This working group will focus on the use of theatre/drama in education at different levels, with specific interest in the community. It will discuss matters of representations and experiences of theatre participants feeding in and connecting with a final theatre creation; the aesthetics of a devised work; personal and social development; cultural matters that influence the process. How can community/applied theatre achieve social inclusion for its participants on their own terms, rather than those of neoliberal societies? What are the possibilities and limits in using theatre to demolish the barriers to human development?
Tim Prentki is Professor of Theatre for Development at the University of Winchester where he ran the MA in Theatre and Media as Development for many years. He is the author of The Fool in European Theatre and Applied Theatre: Development; co-author of Popular Theatre in Political Culture and co-editor of The Applied Theatre Reader and Performance & Civic Engagement. He is a member of the Review Boards of Research in Drama Education and Applied Theatre Research and publishes regularly in academic journals around the world. He is currently co-editing The Routledge Companion to Applied Performance.
Adrian Jackson is the Founder, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Cardboard Citizens, a theatre company working particularly with homeless people, which he founded in 1991. Since then he has directed over 30 productions for the Company, devising and writing many of them. As well as directing and writing many Forum Theatre pieces, Adrian has also directed all the company's larger-scale site-specific productions, including Pericles and Timon of Athens, co-produced with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Beggar’s Opera (with ENO), The Lower Depths (with London Bubble) and the Evening Standard award-winning Mincemeat (also co-writer). He wrote and directed A Few Man Fridays in 2012 about the expulsion of the Chagos islanders which played to critical acclaim at Riverside Studios. In 2015 he directed Sarah Woods’ Benefitandin 2016 an updated version of Cathy Come Home, Cathy, by Ali Taylor, both of which toured nationally. In 2017 he commissioned and co-directed a season of new plays around the history of housing, Home Truths, with new work from 9 playwrights- Stef Smith, EV Crowe, Heathcote Williams, David Watson, Nessah Muthy, Chris O’Connell, Sonali Battacharya, Lin Coghlan and Anders Lustgarten. Adrian is one of the world’s leading experts on Theatre of the Oppressed. He was Augusto Boal's translator on five books Games for Actors and Non-Actors, The Rainbow of Desires, The Legislative Theatre, Hamlet and the Baker's Son (Boal's autobiography) and The Aesthetics of the Oppressed. He led workshops with Boal on many occasions, and they collaborated on The Art of Legislation, an Artangel-sponsored piece of Legislative Theatre at County Hall in London. He has taught this work in many contexts, throughout Britain and Ireland, and many places throughout the world, including master classes across Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and Africa. He was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours. This year (2018), he will revive Cathy in March for Soho Theatre and touring, and then co-directing a film for Artangel.
Brendon Burns is an experienced director and facilitator that has led major participatory and educational theatre projects in the UK, Europe and West Africa. He is currently Head of Applied Theatre and Community Drama at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Previous posts include artistic director of Solent Peoples Theatre, Indefinite Article and First Draft Theatre and associate director posts at Proteus Theatre and The Haymarket, Basingstoke. As a playwright, he has written numerous original plays and adaptions, including the first conventional theatre adaptations of Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Worldand John Boyne's Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. He trained as an actor at the Arts Educational School, London and later completed postgraduate research degrees in Theatre in Education at the University of Middlesex, and Rhetoric at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Alkistis Kondoyianni, Emeritus Professor of Drama in Education at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Peloponnese. She has graduated the Philosophy Department of Athens University, the Academy of kindergarten Teachers, St. Nicholas Training College, the Further Studies in Special Education at Marasleios, the University of Florence and the College of Writing (Omeros). Her doctorate at Athens University refers on Drama in Education and on the promotion of social competence of students with special needs. She is the author of 38 books for children and educators about Drama, Puppetry and Museum Education. She has participated at European research groups and has given lectures and workshops worldwide (England, Italy and Japan). Her last book is “Black Cow – White Cow, Drama and Intercultural Education”, while her last interest and voluntary work is the organization of Education inside the prisons (Tyrinth and Nafplio). Her dog, Eros, participates in all her activities.
Sonia Mologousi is a drama theoretician and theatre/drama pedagogue, graduate of the Department of Theater Studies of the University of Patras and the University of Warwick in the UK, where she completed her postgraduate studies on Drama/Theater in Education. She has volunteered with groups of children and young people in Greece (Hellenic Children's Museum, Life Roads) and abroad. She has also attended seminars on various dramatic techniques, Puppet Theater and drama/theater in education. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network (TENet- Gr, 2011-2014). As a drama pedagogue, she has been working in municipalities and primary schools since 2008 and has also facilitated workshops for children, teenagers, adults and teachers in collaboration with several Environmental Education Centers in Greece, the British Council, the 2nd Second Chance School of Korydallos Prison, as well as TENet- Gr and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as part of the project " It could be me;it could be you; A Human Rights and Refugee Awareness Project ".
Christina Zoniou teaches Acting and Social Theatre at graduate and postgraduate level as a Tenured Member of the Specialised Teaching Staff of the Department of Theatre Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of the Peloponnese Greece, since 2005. Her research interest include contemporary approaches in directing, acting and dramaturgy, actors’ training, performing arts in education, applied / social theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed. Since 1999 she has combined her research and theatre practice in both professional and applied theatre fields. She has worked as assistant director, director, acting teacher and dramaturg by theatre institutions in Italy (among others Laboratorio Nove, Intercity Festival, Τeatro della Limonaia, Teatro Verdi di Pisa, Prima Del Teatro – European School for the Art of the Actor, Blanka Teatro) and Greece (Nea Skini). She has curated many students’ performances and facilitated theatre workshops in university institutions, theatres, schools, NGOs, citizens’ and activist groups in various countries. She is an active member of the Theatre of the Oppressed movement. Since 2014 is member of the Board of Directors of TENet-Gr (Hellenic Thetare/Drama & Education Network). Since 2016 she is member of the Studies’ Commitee of the Epidaurus Lyceum- Summer School of Ancient Drama. Christina Zoniou has followed graduate and postgraduate studies in theatre studies, specializing in contemporary theatre practice (directing, acting, dramaturgy and theatre pedagogy), at the University of Athens (1997), the University of Glasgow (1998) and the Laboratorio Nove Acting School, Florence (2002) and attended numerous international training seminars. She holds a PhD from the University of Thessaly (2016) on developing intercultural competence through the Theatre of the Oppressed.