Confirmed keynote speakers: Mark FleishmanJay Pather,  Cécile Rousseau, Alexandra Sutherland, Jane Taylor and Mathias Warstat.

Prof. dr. Mark Fleishman is head of Drama at the University of Cape Town. He has contributed articles to journals and chapters for books but the main body of his research has been realized through production. He is a director of Magnet Theatre, has created 18 new works for the company over 20 years, and is involved in a number of projects in urban townships and rural communities using theatre as a tool for social transformation.

Prof. dr. Jay Pather is Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts and Artistic Director of Siwela Sonke.  A Fulbright Scholar, he read for an MA in Dance Theatre at New York University and since then Pather’s work has traveled widely extending across discipline, site and culture. He has collaborated with visual artists, architects and urban planners, since 1984, taking his inter-cultural performances into public spaces and working with the architecture of Johannesburg, Durban, London, Zanzibar, Amsterdam, New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, Muscat, New Delhi, Copenhagen and Cape Town.

Pather has presented papers at amongst others the African Knowledges Workshop, the School for New Dance in Amsterdam, the International Leadership Forum at Aix en Provence, the UNESCO Conference on Art Education in Africa, at the Territoires de la creation Conference in Lille, the Metropolis Conference in Copenhagen, the World Cultural Forum in Brazil, the African Urbanism Colloquium in Cairo and at the International Theatre Institute in London.

Pather has served on the National ACTAG, the Arts and Culture Trust of the President, the Advisory and State Theatre Board and the delegation investigating cultural exchange with Cuba. In 2006, he was appointed onto the National Arts Festival Committee and elected as Chairperson for the Performing Arts Network of South Africa. In 2007 Pather was appointed co-curator for both the Spier Contemporary Exhibition and the Infecting the City Festival.

Prof. dr. Cécile Rousseau, MD is Full Professor of psychiatry at McGill University working with refugee and immigrant children. She is also the scientific Director of the Research Center of the CSSS de la Montagne. She has been working with immigrant and refugee communities, developing specific school based interventions and policy oriented research. Presently her research is focusing, on the evaluation of collaborative mental health care models for youth in multiethnic neighborhoods.

Prof. dr. Alexandra Sutherland is an Associate Professor in Drama Studies at Rhodes University where she heads the Applied Theatre programmes for under-graduate and post-graduate students. Her theoretical interests: how post-colonialism is performed; gender, race and performance; and theatre as/in social change. Her teaching, research and community engagement activities focus broadly on the creation of play and performance spaces within institutional settings as a way to generate alternative physical, social, emotional and political modes of expression and representation. She established the Art of the Street project (2003-2009) with street involved youth, resulting in commissions for the National Arts Festival main programme and the first African youth theatre group selected to perform at the Contacting the World theatre Festival in Manchester, UK (2006). Her current practical and research focus involves the social and aesthetic meanings of performance in criminal justice settings, and the possibilities of performance and play in psychiatric institutions. Her research is published in local and international books and journals.

Prof. Dr. Jane Taylor holds the Wole Soyinka Chair of Drama and Theatre Studies. She is a South African who has worked extensively across creative arts and literary/cultural scholarship. For a decade she held the Skye Chair of Dramatic Art at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and has been for several years a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and at Cambridge, and has been a recipient of Mellon and Rockefeller Fellowships.

Taylor has a scholarly and creative interest in puppetry and has written plays for Handspring Puppet Company.  She writes on questions of the history of performance and is working on a large-scale study of the History and Theory of the Performance of Sincerity, an undertaking that examines the impact of the Reformation on modes of self-presentation.  She also writes about the work of contemporary artist/director, William Kentridge.

In the 1990s she established Fault Lines, a series of cultural responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Her play (with Handspring), Ubu and the Truth Commission, has been staged in several contexts of political upheaval, and Taylor frequently engages in public discussion around the meanings and questions provoked by ideas of transitional justice.

Prof. dr. Matthias Warstat is professor of Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin since August 2012. After graduating in Theatre Studies and Modern History at Freie Universität Berlin (1999), he worked in a DFG-research network on “Theatricality as a Paradigm for Cultural Studies“ and finished his Ph.D. on theatrical aspects of early 20th century working class celebrations in 2002. In his habilitation thesis (2008) he analysed the dialectics of crisis and healing in avant-garde theatre and aesthetics. During the years 2006 to 2009, he also run a project on “International Theatre Festivals in Europe“ funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Between 2008 and 2012, he was chair of Theatre and Media studies at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. In 2012, he was awarded an ERC advanced grant for “The Aesthetics of Applied Theatre”. His main research topics are contemporary theatre and society, theatricality of politics, and the historiography of modern European theatre.