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Due to the latest advice on Coronavirus we have made the difficult decision to postpone the  Symposium. We envisage relaunching the event in the next year.

Through Children’s Eyes;  School Children as theatre audiences.

DAtes tbc, University of Exeter

A symposium hosted by Theatre Alibi in partnership with Exeter University and ASSITEJ UK.

As school budgets are cut and arts in the curriculum are squeezed tight, what will be missed if school children lose access to theatre? We’ll be looking at the case for live performance having a considerable and lasting impact. Given that performances for school children are a way of reaching an exceptionally diverse audience, we’ll be exploring models that might allow the activity not only to survive but to thrive. Aimed at artists, programmers, policy makers, educators and academics, this is an opportunity to hear from UK and International speakers, to have discussions, to plan and to party.

Theatre Alibi have been taking shows into UK primary schools for over thirty five years and the symposium builds on PhD research, supported by Exeter University, revealing the impact of the company’s work.

Keynote by Sir Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo is an English author best known for his children’s novels such as War Horse  and Private Peaceful. Morpurgo started his working life as a teacher and, realising the importance of storytelling in the classroom, began writing his own stories to share with his students. He has since written over 130 books, has been the Children’s Laureate and is one of the nation’s favourite authors.

Speakers include;

Peter Higgin

Peter is the Director of Enrichment, founder member and joint CEO of  Punchdrunk. As a graduate of Exeter University, he helped establish Punchdrunk in 2000 and has been part of the company ever since. Over the last 20 years Punchdrunk has been responsible for pioneering the immersive form nationally and internationally. Since 2008, armed with experiences of working as a secondary teacher and extensively within the TIE realm, Peter, established the company’s enrichment practice. Taking work into schools, community settings, and making work for family audiences. Current work includes working with teachers to develop immersive pedagogy through The Punchdrunk Learning Collective. Credits include the Lost lending Library, Small Wonders and Against Captain’s Orders. 

Simon J. James

Professor James is the Principal Investigator and the Chair of the Research Team for the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education. The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education is a joint research collaboration between Durham University and Arts Council England, looking at the role creativity and teaching for creative thinking should play in the education of young people. The Commission was convened in response to the strength of opinion across the business, education and public sectors that young people are emerging into a world in which the skills and knowledge of the current education system will no longer be sufficient. Its ultimate intention is to change government policy on education in and out of school.

Kate Cross

Kate Cross is Director of the egg at Theatre Royal Bath. Starting in 1998 as Head of Education she worked alongside Theatre Royal staff and Board to create and build the egg, which opened in 2005. She has overseen the launch of ground-breaking creative learning programme, School Without Walls, launched The Incubator Idea Development Programme and produced 8 touring productions, and enabled a great many more, recently extending beyond these shores. Prior to Bath she worked for Salisbury Playhouse, Colway Theatre Trust and Beaford Arts, amongst others. She is the current Chair of ASSITEJ UK, the national centre for the international network of Theatre for Young Audiences, ASSITEJ and was recently awarded an MBE for services to children’s theatre in Bath.

Michael Judge

Michael Judge is Associate Director at New International Encounter. He has worked in the field of Theatre for Young People for over 20 years with Royal Opera House, Dundee Rep, British Council & Theatre Centre.

Henrik KØhler

Henrik KØhler is the CEO Teatercentrum, a competence centre for the dissemination of theatre for children and adolescents and organiser of the Danish Aprilfestival for theatre for Young audiences. Henrik has served as the chair for the Danish Children’s Theatre Organisation and for Scenit, an Organisation promoting sales, visibility, access to and documentation of performing arts. He has also served on the advisory board for the Danish National School of Performing Arts.

Monique Corvers

Monique Corvers is the Artistic Director and founder of Het Filiaal theatermakers. Characteristic of her directing style is the infectious love for the merging of music and theatre, of musicians and actors. The inspiring collaboration with the Hungarian-Canadian composer Gábor Tarján bears witness to this. Their joint productions excel in craftsmanship, humour, musicality and the use of powerful, almost cinematic images on stage. The last couple of years object theater (by associate artist Ramses Graus) and the use of live video have become more and more part of their signature style. Het Filiaal theatermakers is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Monique’s shows, for example The great Illusionist, Miss Ophelia, Falling Dreams and Baron Rabinovitsj have toured the world, from Sydney to Shanghai, from New York to Moscow.

Matthew Reason

Matthew Reason is Professor of Theatre and Performance at York St John University (UK). His research engages with a number of areas across theatre, dance and performance studies, including: audiences’ research, theatre for children and young people, theatre and learning disabilities, and cultural policy. His work is often undertaken in collaboration with arts organisations and he is interested in the use of creative and participatory research methods designed to explore the impact of arts practice.

He is currently working on editing the Routledge Companion toAudiences and the Performing Arts and amongst other projects is working with Mind The GapTheatre Company.  

Erica van de Kerkhof

Erica van de Kerkhof is an educator at Theater Artemis. She is schooled as a visual arts teacher, experienced at teaching (aspiring) teachers and has been with Artemis for 17 years. Theater Artemis has its home in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the South of the Netherlands. In 2013 Jetse Batelaan became the company’s artistic director. In addition to the performances by Jetse Batelaan, Artemis produces art projects by Liesbet Swings, who has been associated with the company since 2014. Her projects arise in the encounter between artists and children.

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