Unrehearsed Futures Episode #19: Collaborative Theatre-Making and/as Participatory Justice livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 12 August 2021.
In this week’s conversation with noted South African theatre-maker, writer, and director Neil Coppen, we explore collaborative methods of theatre-making as a way of engendering participatory forms of justice. How can creative practice founded in empathy and deep listening help us to foster communities of care, and propel us towards more ethically sound ways of not only witnessing, but being with one another in a world that otherwise insists on our insuperable differences?
Speaker 1: Neil Coppen
Organization / School: Co-Director & Co-Founder | Empatheatre
Neil Coppen is one of South Africa’s most renowned and prolific storytellers working across mediums and disciplines including those of theatre, film, dance and journalism. Neil has won several major awards for his writing, design and direction work including Naledi’s, Fiesta and Kanna Awards, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama 2011 and the 2019 Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama. He is one of the six South African playwright’s to have been granted a staged reading of his work at The Royal Court Theatre.
Curator: Mbongeni N. Mtshali
Mbongeni N. Mtshali works across a range of performance disciplines, including dance and movement composition and performance, animation and puppetry, and site-specific performance installation among others. He earned a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, as well as the Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award and the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for his achievements in directing and performance-making. Mtshali is primarily interested in black queer/femme performance in South Africa as well as Africa and its diaspora, turning towards queer genealogies of African decolonial world-making in the Caribbean, South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. These research interests frame his practical and theoretical enquiries - with Unrehearsed Futures, as another venture into understanding the broader landscape of global theatre practice.