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Conference Details

Friday 13th - Saturday 14th October 2017

Rehearsal Room, Millburn House, University of Warwick

The event is free but places will be limited. Please register by contacting Ania Crowther before Monday 9th October 2107. Further practical details will be sent out to all registered shortly. The location, Milburn House, is no. 38 on the map.

Cognitive empathy - vector drawing of two brains connectingThis two-day event brings together theatre practitioners, clinicians, and scholars in humanities and medical ethics with other members of the public to consider the embodiment of illness (both physical and mental) in theatre. It will take as its starting point the following questions:

  • How does theatre elicit empathetic engagement; what different perspectives can it provide on a character or a ‘condition’; and how might this bear on encounters in medical practice?
  • How does the entire theatrical language of a play – the bodies, stage, use of space and gesture, lighting, sound, and so on – contribute to the exploration of the pathologies represented and the relationships that surround them?
  • What does theatre, including masked theatre, tell us about strategies for communication, particularly when the capacity for self-expression is impaired?
  • What might the processes of embodiment entailed in theatrical performance offer to our understanding of somatization, physical manifestations of mental distress, and the relationship between mental and physical illness?
  • How might the ethics of the consulting room be illuminated by the encounters in and complex emotional texture of these works?


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