Higher Education and Professional Theatre Conference



‘This has been a long overdue conference’ Charlotte Jones – Independent Theatre Council Sep 2015

Following the great success of our first conference in 2015, De Montfort University and Curve are proud to present their second annual event exploring the relationship between higher education and professional theatre in the UK.

Developing the conversations that began last year, we invite academics, theatre practitioners, programmers, policy makers, producers, technicians, students and audiences to come together to share experiences and practices, and to map future exciting initiatives.

Following an opening keynote by Jacqui O’Hanlon (Director of Education, Royal Shakespeare Company), attendees will be invited to consider key themes raised at last year’s inaugural conference across four working groups:

1. Structures, Scales and Purposes
Chaired by Charlotte Jones (Chief Executive, Independent Theatre Council) and Barbara Matthews (Pro-Vice Chancellor, De Montfort University)
How do our institutions work? How do they work with each other? What practices and processes can we share? What challenges do we face and what are we doing to overcome them?

2. Professionalism and Employabilty
Chaired by Professor David Thacker (Bolton University and Octagon Theatre) and Rebecca Blackman (Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England)
How is the student experience of professional theatre – as a performer, maker, manager, producer, technician?

3. Teaching and Learning Contexts
Chaired by Patrick Spottiswoode (Director of Education, Shakespeare’s Globe) and Rob Brannen (Head of the School of Arts, De Montfort University)
What role does/should/can Theatre have in a teaching and learning context? How do Universities bring learning expertise into theatres?

4. Research Contexts
Chaired by Eleonora Belfiore (Loughborough University) and Dr Claire Warden (De Montfort University)
What practices exist that explore the relationship between HE and Theatre in a research context? What opportunities might there be?

These discussions are aimed at stimulating dialogue and reflection, and identifying common interests and ambitions between the sectors. Attendees are invited to join the round table discussions with prepared cast studies, examples of best practice and key questions to explore in-depth with their peers on these themes.

The day-long event will be hosted in the state-of-the-art rehearsal rooms at Curve, with lunch and refreshments provided.


10am – 4pm
Registration from 9:30am


 Under 16s
£25* 16 – 26 yrs
£25* for over 60s and registered unemployed

Click here for more information and a full list of  our conference speakers

*Discounts are subject to availability and may be removed at any time. Only valid on certain performances - terms and conditions apply.

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