We curate a diverse programme of events, consisting of workshops, seminars, lectures, symposia and performances. The majority of our events are open to public audiences. Unless otherwise stated, they are free of charge to attend, and take place online. Some of our events during the course of a year will address a particular research theme. For 2022-23, our theme is making waves.
OSUN Worldwide Teach-in on Climate Justice: ‘Transformative Imagining as Resistance to Reckless Fatalism’
On Wednesday 29 March 2023, 1-3pm in G10, Birkbeck School of Arts, we present a two-hour collaborative rehearsal/transformation of Zoe Svendsen’s 5-minute collaborative play, Love out of the Ruins (commissioned for the 2021 Climate Action Theatre Anthology).
Love out of the Ruins explores imagining worlds other than the “extractive, transactive, individualist, colonising, fossil-fuel addicted ‘high carbon culture’” that we live in, and proposes that “there is no single one-size-fits-all utopia, but many overlapping potentialities, complementary and conflicting – an ecosystem of utopias.” The event invites its participants to a conversation, a polyphony of imagining otherwise.
In this theatre workshop, led by various artists from METIS, the participants will collaborate with each other in response to the play to “create, imagine, build and make – in full knowledge that we don’t, can’t and won’t know ‘what works’ before we start, or even as we are making this attempt.” This collaborative theatre workshop hopes to create space for its participants to “imagine alternative futures” with real possibilities that have been excluded from our collective imaginations as naïve, unworkable or unlikely. This event invites its participants to “a ritual – an invocation to conjure futures we would like to live in, in order to resee what is already out there.” The emphasis will be on doing and undoing text as a material to open up conversation about the world we live in, how we can imagine it and its futures differently beyond the given narratives of climate change towards the multiple layers, tissues and issues of climate justice.
The two-hour workshop will be followed by a 20-minute performance, open to a wider audience, followed by a Q&A between artists, participants and audience.
“Activists often speak as though the solutions we need have not yet been launched or invented, as though we are starting from scratch, when often the real goal is to amplify the power and reach of existing alternatives. What we dream of is already present in the world.” Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark (2015 edition)
GRiT: Graduate Research in Theatre
GRiT is our termly online research seminar, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students.
Dates for the 2022-23 academic session:
- Thursday 23 March 2023, 4-5pm GMT: Maurya Wickstrom (CUNY), ‘The Whale and the Waters: Towards Oceanic Epistemology in Performance’: The Whale and the Waters is the provisional title of a new book project in which Wickstrom is concerned to set Homer’s The Odyssey, Caribbean poet and playwright Derek Walcott’s epic poem Omeros (Homer), his play The Odyssey, and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick into archipelagic relation as oceanic texts connecting slavery, inter-species relation, and alternative (watery) epistemologies. Moby Dick, as the foundation of the project, is an unequaled text for contemporary work in the oceanic, an expansive field in which Wickstrom has been working for the past several years. The 1851 whaling epic yields profound insights into the intersections between race, Indigeneity, Blackness, the materiality of the ocean and the life in it, queerness, the disintegration of Enlightenment ways of knowing/seeing and being, and marine global proletariat labor. The work currently also builds on performances by Bill T. Jones and Mayfield Brooks and Wu Tsang’s film, Moby Dick, along with theoretical interlocuters. Wickstrom will share some of her current thoughts and questions about this project and speak about the process of developing it. Book your place here.
- Thursday 25 May 2023, 4-5pm BST: Kathleen Gallagher (University of Toronto)
London Theatre Seminar
Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre supports London Theatre Seminar. For information about the seminar in 2022-23, click here.
Read about our past events at the links below.