Collaboration in Theatre: A One-Day Symposium

collaboration in theatre

Collaboration is essential to theatre. However, it has only recently begun to receive the scholarly attention it deserves. This one-day, interdisciplinary and trans-period symposium will bring together academics, practitioners and practitioner-academics to think through theatrical collaboration together. In particular, talks will focus on collaborative theatre-making practices, collaborations between theatre and academia, and collaborations across borders.

Dr Duška Radosavljević (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) will give the keynote, using the ensemble Improbable as a case study to define a 21st-century model of ensemble director. Practitioner speakers include playwright Bryony Lavery and director Melly Still in conversation about their adaptation of The Lovely Bones, and Zarema Zaudinova and Aleksandr Vartanov from documentary theatre company Teatr.doc.

A sandwich lunch with meat and vegetarian options will be provided. Please email if you have any allergies or other dietary requirements. St Luke’s Chapel is on the ground floor and is wheelchair accessible. Do please let us know if you have any access requirements that we can help to accommodate.

Please register to attend the symposium through Eventbrite.



9.15-9.30: Registration

9.30-9.40: Introduction to conference by Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (University of Oxford)

9.40-10.30: Keynote Duška Radosavljević (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), ‘The Heterarchical Director: A model of authorship for the twenty-first century’

10.30-10.45: Coffee break

10.45-12.00: Leadership in Artistic Collaborations

John Terry (Artistic Director of The Theatre Chipping Norton) and James Dacre (Artistic Director of the Royal & Derngate) in conversation

Jen Harvie (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Collaboration, Leadership and Democracy’

12.00-1.00: Collaboration across Borders: Transnational theatre in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Introduction by Julie Curtis (University of Oxford)

Practitioners from Teatr.doc Zarema Zuadinova and Aleksandr Vartanov in conversation with Alex Thomas (University of Oxford)

1.00-1.45: Lunch

1.45-3.00: Academic and Industry Collaborations across Media

John Wyver (University of Westminster), ‘Collaborating to produce Shakespeare for the screen’

Oliver Taplin (University of Oxford), ‘One ancient Greek academic’s experiences of a wide range of collaborations’

Eleanor Lybeck (University of Oxford)

3.00-3.45: Adaptation as Collaboration: The Lovely Bones

Playwright Bryony Lavery and director Melly Still in conversation with Kitty Gurnos-Davies (University of Oxford)

3.45-4.00: Coffee break

4.00-4.45: Lightning talks by postgraduate students on the theme of collaboration from classical drama to contemporary opera

Alison Middleton (University of Oxford), ‘How do you collaborate with someone who’s been dead for thousands of years?’

Bill Kroeger (University of Oxford), ‘Possibility as Collaboration: Playtexts, Audiences, and Drama’s Critical Potential’

Ellen Brewster (University of Oxford), ‘Spouting Clubs: Extracts and Amateur Performance in Eighteenth-Century Pubs’

Robert Laurella (University of Oxford), ‘Theatrical Heredities: Victorian Adaptation and its Contemporary Legacies’

Gabriela Minden (University of Oxford), ‘Whose Play is it Anyway?: Questions of Authorship in J.M. Barrie’s (?) The Truth About the Russian Dancers’

Oge Nwosu (Guildhall School of Music & Drama), ‘An Operatic Intervention: Three Propositions and a Compositional Response’

Hannah Greenstreet (University of Oxford), ‘Collaborative character in Katie Mitchell, Chloe Lamford and Alice Birch’s Ophelias Zimmer

4.45-4.55: Concluding remarks

5.00: Drinks and informal discussion


Organisers: Hannah Greenstreet, Kitty Gurnos-Davies and Alex Thomas

Image: Nazareth College under Creative Commons License.


Theatre and Performance