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Tuesday, March 9, 2021


(Neil Coppen)

The STAND Foundation Summer School Title offers a four-part interactive course on the Empatheatre theatre-making methodology, facilitated by Neil Coppen.

Empatheatre is a research-based, theatre-making methodology and award-winning Theatre company which emerged ten years ago from friendship and solidarity between artists, academic researchers, activists and responsive citizens.

The Empatheatre process begins with extensive action-based research in which co-participants and key partners work to identify matters of concern and a pressing central question. Through these research explorations the team works interactively to shape the research data into an engrossing, relevant and true-to-life theatrical experience. The theatre production offers new ways of seeing different perspectives on a complex situation, and above all honours the participants’ narratives.

The script is first performed to participants and partners to check the credibility of the play. Performances are then rolled out to strategic audiences. Audiences are made up of people with different levels of agency, power and privilege in relation to the matter of concern. Audience members are invited who hold diverse, even conflicting, views on the central concern represented in the play.

Post-play facilitated dialogues with the audience allow for another layer of reflexive data to emerge in relation to the issue of concern. In this way, Empatheatre is a method of conducting and publicly interrogating research that democratises the way in which we surface and co-create knowledge.

For more information visit the Empatheatre website:

Over four sessions, Empatheatre co-founder and award-winning theatre maker Neil Coppen (with input from guest lecturers Mpume Mthombeni and Dylan McGarry) will, using case studies of their companies’ previous productions as examples, guide participants through the process of developing their own mini Empatheatre monologues and projects. This course is aimed at anyone interested in using theatre to address social justice concerns as well as exploring the possibilities of theatricalizing and making accessible aspects of academic research.

Length of course: 4 sessions of 2 hours each

Venue: Online, Zoom

Number of participants: 15

Dates: March 9, 11, 16, 18

Times: 16h00 to 18h00

Fee: R250

Bursaries to cover fees and data to facilitate participation are available

To apply, click here: