Held online in September 2021, the first Arts for Social Change Showcase brought together 10 quick-fire presentations exploring participatory arts projects, passions and practice. Each presenter had 5 minutes and no more than 15 slides to share the theme, project, issue or community that they wanted to showcase. Watch back the presentations and the question and answer sessions here.

Mark Knightley, La Lucha (‘The Fight Back’)

Mark Knightley is the co-artistic director of Crowded Room, seeking to speak to and work with people whose lives are both ordinary and remarkable and use their words to sculpt a script, or we work with them to co-create a play. In La Lucha, 9 female cleaners from Latin America make a play about their fight for justice and understanding in the face of workplace exploitation.

Lindsay Keith, an immersive theatre piece Space Plague

Lindsay is a BAFTA-nominated filmmaker, award-winning science and arts festival producer. She worked in broadcast TV, producing and directing science-based programmes for BBC1&2 and so on. This was where her interest in public engagement and attitudes to science developed. She founded SMASHfestUK, an immersive science and arts festival for marginalized young people and families. 

Pedro de Senna, a research project Futures

Pedro de Senna is a Brazilian theatre practitioner and academic. His current research focuses on the relationships between Futures Studies and Performance Studies, and between theatre, education and society. He is part of a project FUTURES which aims to develop innovative, future-oriented processes, tools, and methods that will foster personal and professional development. 

Kate Beckett, Using Drama to Improve NHS Trauma Care

Kate’s research uses forum theatre to bring diverse evidence alive and engage multiple stakeholders in co-producing innovative solutions to improve patient care. She collaborates with theatre practitioners, patients, practitioners, and researchers to combine and utilise their diverse expertise to catalyse change.

Tony Cealy, 1981 Exuberant Defiance

Tony Cealy is an arts practitioner, facilitator and creative producer who makes work designed to engage the public in issues that are important for social change. He often works alongside other practitioners using performative methodologies to bring together members of hostile communities to find ways for them to recognise their shared humanity and a way for them to start to communicate. 

Maria Tivnan, Making Home: A snapshot of Performance, Academia and Activism

Maria is a second year Irish Research Council doctoral candidate at NUI, Galway. Her practice based project examines how theatre artists create and challenge meanings of ‘home’ in Galway, Gaza and Mexico city. Maria is the artistic director of Galway based Fregoli Theatre, a theatre company, who tour nationally and internationally including performances at the Edinburgh Fringe. 

Question & Answer Session Part 1

Katy Rubin, Start Legislative Theatre Process to Imagine Democracy

Katy Rubin is a UK-based practitioner in the field of Legislative Theatre, a participatory democracy methodology that’s creative, accessible, and inclusive. Currently working with local councils across the UK on housing and homelessness, climate change, and cultural policy, she is passionate about community-driven policy change that moves the needle towards equity. 

Rob Brannen, ‘Strange Tale’: Creating a Community Drama for the Shakespeare North Playhouse

Rob Brannen is Professor of Arts Education and Head of Performing Arts at De Montfort University, Leicester. He has published, presented papers in the areas of pedagogy and performance, new theatre writing and the politics of arts funding. He is currently collaborating as playwright/facilitator with Community Theatre practitioners on Strange Tale for the opening of Shakespeare North Theatre. 

Matthew Hahn, A Little Panto By The Sea

Matthew Hahn is an international theatre director, playwright and theatre for development facilitator with experience of creating, coordinating and implementing theatre projects in the United Kingdom, the United States, East & Southern Africa. He regularly facilitates ‘Ethical Leadership’ Workshops based on his interviews with former South African political prisoners and selections from ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.’ He is a trustee at Most Mira, a charity which uses applied arts to help to build bridges between divided communities in Bosnia.

Lora Krasteva, Becoming British

Lora Krasteva is an artist, activist and cultural producer. She heads Global Voices Theatre, a female and non-binary, immigrant led theatre company dedicated to introducing international theatre by historically excluded creatives in the UK. She creates devised, socially engaged theatre with professionals and community members alike and works with Arts & Homelessness International to advocate for a place for creativity in homelessness provision.

Question & Answer Session Part 2