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Broken Puppet 3 International Symposium on ‘Puppetry: Community, Health, Well-being and Disability: Professional Training Opportunities’

Posted on Thursday 31st January 2019 by Paul Crawford

Broken Puppet 3 International Symposium on ‘Puppetry: Community, Health, Well-being and Disability: Professional Training Opportunities’


at Newman University Birmingham


Wednesday 17th April - Thursday 18th April


CALL for Proposals

Deadline: 15th February 2019


*Conference Booking and accommodation is now open*



The Community & Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab) at Newman University Birmingham in collaboration with the UNIMA Research Commission and the UNIMA Commission for Education, Development and Therapy are delighted to announce a 2-day symposium exploring ways of training professional performers and health practitioners in approaches, techniques and embodied empathic relationships between performers, puppets, healthcare professionals and audiences.


This symposium will bring together actors, puppeteers, nurses, therapists, scholars, and members of the public to reflect on, analyse, and further develop work in the field of Applied Theatre, Puppetry and Disability and discuss the requirements of professional training and the development of educational courses in the field.

Our Keynote Speakers will be:

17th April              Raven Kaliana, Director Puppet (R)Evolution Theatre Company

Speaking on: 'Changing the Narrative’ followed by a performance of Love vs Trauma


18th April              Professor Ross W. Prior, BEd, MEd, PhD, PgCertRD Supervision, MACE, FRSPH, PFHEA, Research Professor of Learning and Teaching in the Arts in Higher Education at University of Wolverhampton

Speaking on: Training the animator anew: Developing cross-disciplinary opportunities for puppetry in arts, health and education

Raven Kaliana directs Puppet (R)Evolution. She's presented Hooray for Hollywood, her award-winning film on human trafficking at London City Hall, UN Geneva, and Commission on the Status of Women. She performed Love vs Trauma in Beijing and will tour it to Puerto Rico, with Transforming Trauma and Rehearsing Resilience workshops.

Professor Ross W. Prior is best known for his two books Teaching Actors: Knowledge Transfer in Actor Training and, most recently, Using Art as Research in Learning and Teaching. In 2015 he was appointed Professor of Learning and Teaching in the Arts in Higher Education at the University of Wolverhampton. He is the founding principal editor of the Journal of Applied Arts and Health, established in 2009, a member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • Puppetry, Community, Health, (Dis)ability
  • Empathy and Compassion
  • The Puppetry performer/facilitator in community contexts of wellbeing and health
  • ‘Participatory’ puppets in performance: the practitioner’s skills
  • Puppetry and audience participation in healthcare such as in hospitals, hospices and care homes.
  • Puppetry and languages of pain
  • Education on Puppetry and cultural change in training institutions
  • In which ways do the intersections of theatre, puppetry and therapy challenge the ways we understand each?
  • The accreditation of the puppeteer/ facilitator in contexts of health and wellbeing
  • Ways forward for a more coherent and widespread provision of professional training opportunities on Puppetry in health, wellness, (dis)ability and community contexts and professions

We welcome proposals on these or any other relevant topics within the area of puppetry, community performance, health and wellbeing. 

Proposal instructions

Title of Proposal, Type (Paper or Narrative, Workshop, Artistic Sharing), Abstract (250 words maximum describing your session and how your proposal addresses the themes of the conference), Biographical Statement (50 word maximum per presenter). For submissions, please email them to Dr Persephone Sextou at  and COYPY IN Cariad Astles at ,  Emma Fisher at and Jane Allcroft at

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