Performance for Futures Symposium

On the 14th July our partners at Middlesex University welcomed attendees to their multiplier event, Performance for Futures Symposium. Part of the concluding stages of the ‘FUTURES – Future laboratories for professional and personal development,’ the event was aimed at encouraging an inclusive and mixed range of participants who would enrich the conversation to think collectively about their (or others’) futures. Attendees included representation from professional sectors including teacher training, business management, media, performing arts, psychology, and human resources and attracted an international audience including colleagues from Europe and Pakistan’s Institute of Business Management.


Project lead Pedro De Sena (he/him) commenced proceedings with a project overview. He established how methodological practices drawn from theatre had enriched the dissemination of modules created across the partnerships within ‘FUTURES 2020-2023.’ Care was taken to ensure that while our event would be participatory and experiential, no one needed to be a drama student to participate! Dr Nic Fryer (he/they) extended this intention creating a space to feel relaxed within as the participants explored Act 1 from Performance for Futures. Here the notion of playing was encouraged, and experiences were shared through an exploration of status. Inspired by the concept established in the practice and improvisatory Theatre Sports of Keith Johnstone, his status techniques (as repurposed in Act 1) were utilised to develop an awareness of how participants might navigate future situations. Dialogues that emerged from this were facilitated further by Dr T J Bacon (xe/xem) through the application of Open Space Technology. This ensured that the overall intention of the symposium to support the diverse voices of the collective was not lost in didactic summation; holding opportunity for tangential thought, provocation and disruption alongside discussion of the practical application of a new skillset of status tools.


In feedback, a participant contacted the partners at Middlesex University after the event to say: “It was a wonderful and amazing experience to attend the workshop. It helped us explore our inner self and attempt to apply futuristic thinking in a very creative and interactive manner.” (Ambreen Bashir Haris, CEO – CareForHealth [NGO] and Adjunct – Institute of Business)