Drama, Theatre and Young People

deadline for submissions: 
December 10, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
University of Lille

Drama, Theatre and Young People


A two-day symposium organised by CECILLE and CEAC

with the participation of Compagnie Théâtre du Prisme, Action Culture and RADAC

Lille University (Villeneuve d’Ascq), 2-3 February 2017


Scientific Committee: Constantin Bobas (CECILLE – Université de Lille), Claire Hélie (CECILLE – Université de Lille), Véronique Perruchon (CEAC – Université de Lille)


Thursday 2 February 2017: Symposium


Call for papers


This symposium welcomes papers that aim at studying the representation of youth in theatrical productions and, most importantly, at analysing the way playwrights and directors address and appeal to young people (15-24 according to UN definitions).


English-speaking playwrights and directors are building a repertoire that puts young people centre stage – Edward Bond, Tim Crouch, Evan Placey, Anna Jordan, Gbolahan Obisesan, Alice Birch, among many others, have written plays that specifically address young people or that involve young people in the creative process. French-speaking playwrights and directors are also getting interested in finding ways to involve a population that is not so easily drawn to theatres – Wajdi Mouawad, who claims that theatre is the intimate mirror of youth, is a perfect example of that trend. Yet, even if their plays target a specific type of public, it does not mean that they are only linked thematically (the problems young people may encounter in their daily life, the desire for emancipation from parental control, the discovery and exploration of sexuality, how to find one’s place in society, how to become an adult…) or that they infantilise young people to lure them into buying their tickets. On the contrary, they are highly demanding in their exploration of a wide range of dramatic, aesthetic, scenographic possibilities, which should be analysed.


This symposium seeks to bring together contributions from scholars who wish to analyse any aspect of the interaction between young people (15-24) and theatre. Potential topics may include, but are not restricted to:

-       Theatre and drama as privileged means of emancipation for young people

-       Theatre, youth and the concept of “minor literature”

-       Young people and the classics

-       The place of violence and the spectacular in theatrical productions for young people

-       Drawing young people into theatres

-       Young people reflecting (on) theatrical productions

-       Aesthetic and ethical tensions in theatre for young people

-       Theatre for young people as a resource for learners of a foreign language


Guest speaker: Alice Birch, writer


Papers will be delivered in English or French but productions from different linguistic areas are welcome.

Proposals in English or French (max. 500 words) together with a title and a short biography should be sent to Claire Hélie (claire.helie@univ-lille3.fr) by 10 December, 2016. Selected participants will be notified by 16 December, 2016.


Friday 3 February: Theatre and Young people in Practice

9.00-10.30: translation workshop with Séverine Margois (Maison Antoine Vitez) for the Performing Arts students and the Mélextra Masters students. Text: selection of Alice Birch’s plays.  

11.00-12.30: round table with Alice Birch, Séverine Margois and Arnaud Anckaert, hosted by Véronique Perruchon, Professor in Performing Arts, and Claire Hélie, Lecturer in English.

2.00-5.00: performances of extracts from Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Performing Arts students and reading of excerpts translated into French during the workshop.


The symposium will end with an optional representation of two British plays in French produced by Théâtre du Prisme at Le Garage (Roubaix)

7.00: Iphigenia in Splotts by Gary Ownen

9.00: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, by Alice Birch

NB: a buffet will be served between the two evening performances.

Reservations: contact@theatreduprisme - +33 (0)3 20 56 15 12 – 10 euros