Derby Theatre and the University of Derby to co-host leading conference

Exploring New Voices: Future Practice in Applied Theatre Conference

On Monday 21 January, Derby Theatre and the University of Derby, in partnership with leading practitioners in Applied Theatre from across the UK, will co-host the Exploring New Voices: Future Practice in Applied Theatre Conference, a day of vibrant conversation, dynamic workshops and thought-provoking keynote presentations from across the field.

In response to Arts Council England’s proposed outcomes for 2030, regarding reimagined community engagement, Derby Theatre invites artists, academics and educators involved and interested in the field of Applied Theatre to join them for what promises to be a fascinating and insightful day, to extend and challenge their practice, where the following areas will be covered and discussed: co-production – how are communities influencing professional theatre-making; cutting edge practice and specific techniques; theatre and research in dialogue and co-design and shared agency in theatre practice with diverse communities.

As part of the conference, we are thrilled to announce that the day will also feature workshops led by some of the country’s leading practitioners in Applied Theatre including: Artistic Director of Geese Theatre, Andy Watson MBE who will explore the use of mask in co-creating work in custodial settings, working non-verbally and with silence; Deborah Pakkar-Hull, Artistic Director of Theatre Co Blah Blah Blah who will examine the use of questions and questioning to develop confident and curious learners; freelance applied theatre director and consultant, 
Tony McBride, will use Forum Theatre to explore how we can share the stories that matter to young people (Tony was formerly Head of Projects at Cardboard Citizens); Tim Wheeler, Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester, drawing on Boalian practice to look at how we collaborate and co-create with learning disabled artists (Tim was the co-founder of  Mind the Gap Theatre) and freelance writer and director, Anthony Haddon, associate of Theatre Co Blah Blah Blah, who will look at the dynamics of the 'teacher-in-role' method and how it can be applied in formal and informal learning environments to share power.

Keynote presentations on the day will be delivered by Derby Theatre's Artistic Director and CEO Sarah Brigham, Academic and Applied Theatre Practitioner, Ava Hunt and conference curator and Consultant in Theatre and Drama Education, Dr Geoff Readman. 

Caroline Barth (Creative Learning Director, Derby Theatre) said:
“This feels like just the right time for us to be covering a conference like this. As our Learning Theatre model develops and we launch our new MA in Applied Theatre and Education, we welcome the chance to bring practitioners, students, academics and communities together to really challenge our practice and find new ways to make a positive impact on society.”

The Exploring New Voices: Future Practice in Applied Theatre Conference will provoke and encourage the asking of questions, address challenges and share ideas, and explore how those present can ensure they genuinely bring new and often unheard voices into their work.

Conference prices are £10pp for students, £50pp for artists, £75pp for charities and local authorities and £100pp for universities. Book here.