Forum: Performances of Healing and Reconciliation


  • R Aslan Once We Were Islands
  • Chris Gylee Once We Were Islands
  • Rand T. Hazou Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Joseph Morgan Schofield FUTURERITUAL
  • Sarah Woodland Griffith University
  • Joshua Edelman Manchester Metropolitan University.


performance, art, performance art, performance studies, theatre studies


This forum looks at a particular effect that is often claimed both ritual and theatre: that of healing or reconiclliation, whether social, political, or personal. In this
forum, we bring together artsits who work both inside and outside what might be seen as the ‘applied’ theatre world to discuss what that healing or reconciliation might look like, and the challenges and problems with the way it can be thought about and executed. I would venture that most readers of this forum would be loath to abandon the claim that performance has the potential to offer some sort of social healing, but the critical examination here of just what sort of healing is possible, and how it might operate, can help us make better sense of the limits and possibilities of such claim.

Author Biographies

R Aslan, Once We Were Islands

Performance maker and writer, Once We Were Islands collective.

Chris Gylee, Once We Were Islands

Performance maker and scenographer, Once We Were Islands collective.

Rand T. Hazou, Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand

Rand is a theatre academic and facilitator with experience working across a variety of creative and community contexts. In 2004, he was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to travel to the Occupied Territories in Palestine to work as a theatre consultant running workshops for Palestinian youths. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Theatre in the School of English and Media Studies at Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand. His research explores theatre that engages with issues of social justice. His research on Asylum Seeker and Refugee Theatre has been published in a series of international journal articles. In Aotearoa he has recently led teaching and creative projects engaging with both prison and aged-care communities.

Joseph Morgan Schofield, FUTURERITUAL

Joseph Morgan Schofield is a performance artist working in the United Kingdom. They are the lead artist of F U T U R E R I T U A L, a research and performance project considering the place, use, and function of ritual in contemporary queer and performance cultures. Joseph has performed throughout the UK and internationally,
including at ]performance s p a c e[, Arnolfini, Tempting Failure, Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival and Venice International Performance Art Week. Their recent writing has been published in hereafter (eds. Charlie Ashwell and Es Morgan) and (re)collecting (f)ears (ed. selina bonelli).

Sarah Woodland, Griffith University

Dr Sarah Woodland is a researcher, practitioner, and educator in socially-engaged and participatory arts, with a particular focus on intercultural praxis and working within the criminal justice system. Sarah's recent roles include Research Fellow for the Australian Research Council Linkage project 'Creative Barkly: Sustaining the Arts and Cultural Sector in Remote Australia' (2016-2019), and Chief Investigator for 'Listening to Country: Exploring the Value of Acoustic Ecology with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women in Prison' (2017-2018, funded by the Lowitja Institute) - both projects led by the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University. Sarah teaches theatre in Griffith’s School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences and
has published extensively in the fields of applied theatre and participatory arts.

Joshua Edelman, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Senior Lecturer and International Representative, Manchester School of Theatre, Manchester Metropolitan University.


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