Past projects and events

Highlights of selected past CRUAT projects and symposia.

Tuhia ki te ao - Write to the natural world

Dr Molly Mullen is currently part of the research team for Tuhia ki te ao - Write to the natural world. This TLRI-funded project explores how people communicate a relationship and kinship with the natural world within the secondary school context. Through the project the research team will gain understanding of how literacy shapes a sense of our place in the world - our environment, our culture and our identity. Molly is focused on teaching and learning about ecological sustainability within the arts learning area of the New Zealand Curriculum. 

Teaspoon of Light

CRUAT was involved in schools immediately following the February earthquakes in Christchurch. It ran workshops with children as they returned to schools and also training workshops with teachers. The Teaspoon of Light Theatre in Education Company was established through funding and support from UNESCO, The Mental Health Foundation and Norcross Print. In 2012 it worked with nearly 4000 Year 3-5 children in the most quake affected areas of Christchurch. Ongoing support from UNESCo allowed the project to take other forms over the next two years.

An academic account of the project can be found in O'Connor, P. (2013) Theatre in Education: The Pedagogic as the Aesthetic in a Crumbling World. In: Jackson, T; Vine, C. (Eds.). Learning Through Theatre. 3rd Edition, New York, Routledge. (p.305-321).

World Vision Australia: Young Mob Evaluation Project

In partnership with the University of Sydney, applied theatre processes were used as the basis of a research report on the progress and future plans for Young Mob, a programme for aboriginal youth leaders in Sydney, Australia.

To find out more see Anderson, M. & O'Connor, P. (2013). Applied Theatre as Research: provoking the possibilities. Applied Theatre Research Volume 1, Number 2, pp. 189-202.

Romeo and Juliet in Youth Justice

The project involved the setting up and running of a multi arts programme in an Auckland youth justice setting. It used Romeo and Juliet as a framing device. The research looks at how the creation of powerful moments of beauty has the potential to shift the culture of detaining institutions.

A detailed description of the project was published in O’Connor, P. and Mullen, M. (2011). Prison theatre: Letting the light in to disciplinary relationships. NJ The Journal of Drama Australia,35.

Past symposia

CRUAT typically hosts a biennial applied theatre symposium. In July 2018, CRUAT hosted the 9th International Drama in Education Research Institute, which focused on the theme: ‘The tyranny of distance’.

Details of past symposia are available below:

2015, Applied Theatre: Performance of Hope

2013, Critical journeys in applied theatre

2011, Critical Research in Drama Education International symposium: Pedagogy of Possibilities

2010, Critical Studies in Drama in Education International Symposium: Pedagogy of Hope