Category: Scholars in Residence

The Pulse of Applied Theatre

By Dennis D. Gupa, PhD Candidate Applied Theatre | Department of Theatre University of Victoria & YPT Scholar in Residence

From my Field notes: Entering the Community, Re-imagining the Future, and the Pulse of Applied Theatre

My doctoral project focuses on climate change, indigenous knowledge, and sea rituals in coastal communities in the Philippines. I am interested in how community members particularly local elders who inhabit the coast tell their stories on the impact of strong weather events in their lives and their practice of traditional ecological knowledge. The research methodology that I am using is applied theatre-as-research, which is an innovative process of engaging the involved informants and the communities. It employs cutting-edge technique in executing a research that is both artistic and highly collaborative.

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Question for the Dramaturgy of the Future

By Dennis D. Gupa, PhD Student Applied Theatre | Department of Theatre University of Victoria & YPT Scholar in Residence

When the clouds become gray, the question grows intense.

I arrived here in Victoria in September of 2015 to commence my PhD in Applied Theatre and am now in my second year of study. I often ask myself, why do I study applied theatre and the Philippines in Canada? At the heart of this unresolved question, I continue to wrestle with the perennial experience of cultural translation while thinking of climate justice, indigenous ways of knowing and ethical artistic explorations. By reading the works of theatre scholars like James Thompson (performance affects), Peter O’Connor (public performed resistance), Jan Cohen-Cruz (engaged performance), and Jill Dolan (performance utopia) I sense an opportunity to contribute to the future of applied theatre, especially in sites of indigenous oppression. Continue reading

Conference for Emerging Drama in Education Scholars & Practitioners

Intersection, Drama & Resistance:

A Conference for Emerging Drama in Education Scholars & Practitioners

Sunday, June 4, 2017
Young People’s Theatre (YPT)

In connection with the inaugural Ada Slaight Drama in Education Award and the creation of a Scholars in Residence program, YPT is holding a conference for emerging Drama in Education scholars and practitioners – Intersection, Drama & Resistance.

We live in a time where many young people are experiencing precariousness, dispossession, and fears for the future. In this historical moment, we see an enlivening social response to structural injustice that is led by and particularly involves youth. This conference aims to examine current complex local, national, and global issues through dramatic work with youth.

The day will begin with a performance by participants in Youth Artists for Justice, a program led by 2016/17 Ada Slaight Drama in Education Award recipient, Rachel Rhoades. Two guest teaching artists from Boston, Massachusetts will also hold an interactive arts workshop on youth, resistance and culture. The remainder of the conference will be made up of a series of papers, roundtables and/or practical workshops proposed by conference presenters.

Invitation to Submit a Proposal
Emerging scholars, youth workers, artists and community organizers involved in practice or scholarship on theatre for/by/with youth are invited to submit a proposal.
Please respond to the following questions in your proposal:

  • What is the role of drama for youth in an increasingly precarious world?
  • How can youth engage in resistance through drama? How might this impact justice in their
  • How are the principles and theories of drama education and applied theatre used to examine
    injustice, foster resistance and imagine new possibilities?

Proposal Details
Proposals must not exceed 500 words. When submitting, please also include the following information:

  • Name of Presenter(s):
  • Preferred Format (paper/roundtable/workshop):
  • Contact person:
  • Affiliation(s):
  • Mailing address:
  • Email:
  • Telephone:

Please submit your proposal via e-mail to: Rachel Rhoades ( and Lois Adamson ( by Monday, April 17, 2017.
Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, April 24, 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact either:
Rachel Rhoades
Ada Slaight Scholar-in Residence, YPT
Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto
Lois Adamson
Interim Artistic Associate, Education
Young People’s Theatre

Youth Artists for Justice: Initial Boston Workshops a Success!

By Rachel Rhoades

[Youth Artists for Justice is a 15-week program that combines performing arts and community activism with youth participants at both Young People’s Theatre and the Teen Leadership Council in Boston. In this hybrid/online community-based action research project, youth at each site will have the chance to collaborate in creating original artistic work and critiquing barriers to social justice.]

The Youth Artists for Justice research project has officially begun. I am on the plane from Boston to Toronto after conducting two workshops at the Boch Center with the Teen Leadership Council, which is made up of 18 high schoolers from all throughout Boston.

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