ADSA 2018



Victorian College of Arts, University of Melbourne

26 - 29 June 2018


ADSA 2018 reflects on the multiple challenges faced by actors, actor trainers, directors and playwrights in the context of current challenges and innovations. The conference explores diversity issues, the industry climate, academic debates, modes of collaboration, and forms of training across a wide variety of practices, professional workplaces and environmental conditions. Actors are required to work in ever diversifying media arenas including theatre, performance, gaming, radio, film and television, and across a broad range of cultural, professional and industry communities. Consequently, acting programs are shifting to respond to the industries and professions they serve, whilst also attempting to address a global demand for greater intercultural exchange, renewal of canonical training methods and dramatic material, shifting politics of representations, tightening of financial resources, and championing space for practice-led learning and research within the academy. In addition, rapid advances in technology and hybrid projects offer new opportunities and pose exciting demands on actors and require academics and actor educators to reframe their pedagogical approaches to training and the very question of what acting is and how it might be defined.  Challenges to received ideas of how a performer’s body might look, how an actor might sound, or what an actor might, or might not, represent continue to fuel urgent cultural and scholarly debate and the #Metoo Campaign has highlighted many ethical issues. 

We are delighted to welcome Christian Penny, the Director of the Drama School Toi Whakaari, celebrated actors Jed Brophy and Leah Purcell, Matt Hargrave  from the University of Northumbria in the UK, Back to Back Theatre, and Joanne Tompkins, Executive Director of the Humanities and Creative Arts of the Australian Research Council. All provide provocations and insight into the conference theme “On Actors and Acting”.

Matthew Delbridge and Mary Luckhurst, Conference Directors