An experienced dramaturg, educator and judge, Susan Haedicke has contributed to the development of professional street theatre. Her research explores what she calls the aesthetics of public space, an aesthetics that thrives on the interplay of the performance, the participation of the public, and the intervention into a public space. Her research looks at how artists appropriate public spaces, architecture and objects to alter their meanings, blur their boundaries, and invent new ways of using them. It investigates the ways in which street performances engage with and intervene into debates on important socio-political issues, such as immigration, discrimination and otherness, use of public space and urban renewal, community regeneration, and participatory citizenship. Street arts can change, even temporarily, how spectators see public spaces.
Improving the professionalization of existing training programmes
Dr Haedicke has been an invited participant to the Street Arts Winter Academy which was founded in 2011 with funding from the European Commission's Cultural Programme. She has worked to promote structured education in street theatre by identifying and developing pedagogic tools and curricula to help develop existing training programmes and to improve the integration of street arts into university-based training. In 2009, the Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN) UK invited Dr Haedicke to contribute to policy development in street arts training and education by mapping existing provision and identifying gaps in training.
Inputting into the development of joint educational programmes between universities and professional street arts companies
Dr Haedicke has long been an advocate of increased collaboration between Higher Education Institutions and professional street arts companies which lend street art performers greater legitimacy and standardise training. This has recently been realised through her work as a consultant to Formation Avancée et Itinerante des Arts de la Rue (FAI AR) which has resulted in a partnership with Aix-Marseille Université (both France) where students receive both a university degree and a professional diploma. Her work has also led to a similar partnership between FiraTàrrega and the University of Lleida (both Spain).
Enhancing the creative processes of professional street artists through critical reflection
Dr Haedicke's critical analyses have positively influenced the development of new productions by professional street arts companies. Artists in several street theatre companies, for example, Friches Théâtre Urbain, Opéra Pagaï, Jeanne Simone, Osmosis and Etxea have acknowledged the impact of Dr Haedicke’s work on their creative processes. Sarah Harper, Artistic Director of Friches Théâtre Urbain, uses Dr Haedicke’s critiques in funding applications and promotional materials. Dr Haedicke has been asked to advise on productions being developed by Etxea, Osmosis and Opéra Pagaï.
Her work has contributed to our productions and site specific projects, features on our website and is also invaluable in grant applications."
- Sarah Harper, Artistic Director, Friches Theatre Urbain, Paris