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Curated Panels - exploring mess, complexity and uncertainty

Whilst ‘mess, complexity and uncertainty’ may be viewed as troublesome and disruptive entities, we recognise that artists and researchers often embrace messy practices and are drawn towards the knotty, insolvable ‘wicked problems’ of our time. Throughout the week in July, we will host a series of 'curated panels', inviting leading scholars, performers, artists, cultural leaders and practitioners to respond to provocations about:



WED 13th AM

WED 13th PM



If the pandemic is ‘a portal, a gateway between one world and the next’ (Arundhati Roy, 2020), where are we going? What are we stepping into?

Reflecting on a global pandemic


Understanding mental health, sociality, and wellbeing

Confronting the climate crisis with/for/by youth

Questioning inclusion/exclusion: accessing, welcoming, co-creating, belonging


Panel content






Following the pandemic, this panel aims to make sense of the seismic shifts on our ways of being, knowing and relating to each other. After two years of social distancing, how do we come back together again?


In the context of drama, theatre, and performance within educational and community settings, how have we changed the ways we create work and conceive new projects? We will consider the growth of digital practice and the impact this has had on the live experience of theatre-making in schools, community settings. What hybrid creative practices and methodological discoveries are emerging?


Please note that these conversations will be continued with our Local Section partners in the informal lunch later this day. Check main programme for timings.


This panel considers the ways drama, theatre and performance practitioners and researchers have responded to the public discourse around mental health and wellbeing. We focus on the relevance of social relationships including perspectives on care, empathy and kindness. We question how recent national and international political and economic turmoil affects our sense of self and community. What role can arts and education play in making sense of the mess? We encourage a flexible interpretation of this topic to accommodate a broad range of expertise and responses.




This panel considers one of the most pressing and ‘wicked problems’ of our time by focusing on the role drama education and applied theatre might play in making sense of the uncertain futures we face. How do ‘gloom’ and ‘hope’ work together in a productive tension? Do we turn more squarely towards activism? What about our emotional responses to scarcity of resources? How might arts practice provide a space to navigate eco-anxiety/grief/anger?


We focus on three youth-led projects to ask: who is responsible for making change and how do we use drama and theatre as ways of exploring agency, power and voice?



This panel reflects on a perennial concern in our field. What do we mean by ‘inclusion’, ‘access’ and ‘belonging’ in arts and culture? We will reflect communally on innovative responses to decolonisation, diversity, and intersectionality. How do we move more meaningfully towards inclusion and what does it look like and feel like as a collaborative artform/praxis? We will hear from a range of voices to make sense of the messy complexities involved in co-creating theatre across difference.







Corey Campbell (Creative Director, The Belgrade)

Doreen Foster (Director, WAC)

Dr Paul Sutton and Max Dean (C&T)

Prof. Peter O’Connor (University of Auckland)

Big Brum Theatre






Prof Robin Banerjee CRESS (Children's Relationships, Emotions, and Social Skills), University of Sussex.

Nor Aziz (Community Activist and Creative Practitioner)

Dr Charru Sharma (Fulbright Visiting Faculty, University of Pennsylvania)

Chris Cooper, theatre director and playwright

Hannah Barker and John Bernard (The Belgrade)


More contributors to be confirmed shortly


Highly Sprung and young people

Company Three and young people

Acting on Climate and young people


With special contributions from Professor Kathleen Gallagher (OISE, University of Toronto) and Dr Rachael Jacobs (Western Sydney University)


Richard Hayhow, Warwick Students (Open Theatre)

Ned Glasier (Artistic Director, Company Three)

Rachael Jacobs

Jeffrey Tan (Theatre Today, Singapore)

Dr. Natalie Hart (The REP)

Yasmin Sidhwa (Mandala Theatre Company)




New Scholars chaired by Professor Helen Nicholson

During IDIERI, there will be a New Scholars panel in which Doctoral, Post-Doc and Early Career scholars are invited to share their work with the rest of the delegation. We are thrilled to announce the IDIERI 10 'New Scholars' panel:

Jennifer Kitchen. Social Justice and Active Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century.

Claire French. Multilingual global south-north collaborations

Christine Balt. Navigating Desire and Transgression in the Mess and Complexity of Toronto Youth’s Right to the City

Adelina Ong. Multispatialities: Placemaking at the Edge of the Metaverse

Christine Balt 

Christine is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Pedagogy in the department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include interdisciplinary applications of applied theatre, performance, audience research and drama education in studies of ecologies, place, and urban environments. Her current research engages with how youth are using performance to claim a right to the city during the COVID pandemic and the climate crisis.

Claire French

Claire is a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick. She investigates analytical and methodological approaches to making multilingual performance while developing practices that privilege the storyteller in their unique social, epistemological and interactional context. She is currently completing the monograph Making multilingual performance: Omission, alignment, disruption for Routledge. French comes from a migrant Irish Australian heritage and has lived and made work in Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.

Jennifer Kitchen

Jennifer completed her PhD with The University ofWarwick in 2018. Her research focused on the social justice implications of playful, ensemble approaches to teaching Shakespeare via an ethnographic case study of Coram Shakespeare School Foundation. She has published and presented widely on play, social justice and active Shakespeare pedagogy: her monograph Critical Pedagogy and Active Shakespeare is out with Cambridge University Press later this year. Jennifer has also worked for many years as a theatre education practitioner, focusing on Shakespeare, storytelling, early years and work in heritage theatre spaces. She is currently based in Scotland, and teaches at The Universities of Warwick, Glasgow and Highlands and Islands.

Adelina Ong

Adelina is an early career applied performance researcher based at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London, UK). She writes about Compassionate Mobilities (a theory for negotiated living developed from her practice as part of her PhD), death and AI chatbots for mental wellbeing. Her place practices are inspired by cosplay, Death Cafes, D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) and urban arts (parkour, Art du Déplacement (the art of displacement), breakin’ (breakdancing) and graffiti). She has published in Theatre Research International and Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (RiDE).