Spaces of Play: Engaging with Young Audiences in Contemporary Global Cities (London, Japan, Singapore)

Ms Purni Morell, Dr Norifumi Hida, Ms Luanne Poh, Moderator: Mr Caleb Lee
(United Kingdom/Japan/ Singapore)

Context of Discussion: Early Childhood to Secondary School (Ages 0 to 16 )

This panel examines how theatre for young audiences can open up creative and socio-political possibilities. In contemporary global cities, young people’s cultural geographies and their lived experiences reveal how they view, think and feel. The theatre, as a physical and metaphorical space, is particularly well placed to illuminate the social and cultural complexities of the child’s experience of the world around him. Through playful dialogues, the panel will reflect on how their range of personal, cultural and theatrical practices might influence the child’s identity formation and social realities. 


Purni Morell is the Artistic Director of the Unicorn, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences. She also works as a freelance director and translator, with work to date produced at the Finborough Theatre, by Speeltheater Holland, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Muziektheater Transparant, ‘t Arsenaal and Vlaamse Opera, Gent. Purni began her career in stage management, working for Stephen Daldry and Annie Castledine, among others, before going to read History at the University of Glasgow. She was Head of Studio at the National Theatre, London, from 2007-2011. Her productions for the Unicorn include A Winter’s Tale, Dora, The Velveteen Rabbit, Baddies: the Musical; My Father, Odysseus and The Hunting Lodge. Outside the Unicorn, her production of Alpha Beta at the Finborough Theatre was nominated in the Off West End Awards for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Design. Her next project will be a staging of An Enemy of the People in Flint, Michigan, this June.

Norifumi Hida, PhD is a Research Associate at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University, Japan. He conducts research on theatre for young audiences, youth theatre, as well as drama and theatre education in Japan and other countries. He also teaches theatre theories at Toho Gakuen College, and English language through drama and theatre at Seisen University. He is on the Editorial Board of ‘ArtsPraxis’ at New York University in the U.S.A; International Advisor of Theatre for Young Audiences Centre at Rose Bruford College in the U.K.; and Board Member of the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network, ASSITEJ.

Luanne has been involved with playmaking and producing works for young people since 1999. She is currently spearheading “The Artground – A curious place to be”, the newest kid on the block for children 12 yrs and under. Inspired by the poem, 100 Languages of Children by Loris Malaguzzi, The Artground with its indoor and outdoor play spaces hopes to encourage curiosity through play. 

Recommended for:
Theatre Practitioners, Drama Educators, Cultural Workers, Programme Leaders

01 Jul 2017

1700 to 1800


Session code