Theatre Arts Conference

All past Theatre Arts Conference programmes can be found here.

Past Events

All past Theatre Arts Conference programmes can be found here.


Theatre Arts Conference 2021 - Creative Disruption: Exploring New Ground

Challenge your ideas of inclusivity, community, and creativity at the SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2021 - Creative Disruption: Exploring New Ground.

How have our notions of 'theatre' been disrupted within people and places, allowing for new ways of living and working? What can we do to ensure better access and representation in our practices? How do we expand our capacity for discovery and reinvention?

Join SDEA from 22 - 30 May 2021 as we pilot our first fully-online Theatre Arts Conference. Broaden your perspectives, advance your practice and explore creative disruption through the lens of citizenship, community, education and health.

With both live* and on-demand presentations and performances, as well as your choice of masterclasses and workshops, we are putting you in full control of your exploration of new ground.

*Note that all timings are based on Singapore Time (SGT) / UTC +8. Calculate your time difference here.

Keynote Presentations

Citizenship Keynote

A Struggle In The Mist - What Can (And Can't) Drama Do?

by Dr. Phoebe Chan
Founder, Chan's Applied Theatre Lab (HK)

“What can drama do amid the current social climate?”

This is a question many drama educators in Hong Kong keep asking as the city experiences unprecedented political turmoil and the pandemic of an era.

In search for an answer to this question, a drama educator turned her wonder into action by carrying out a range of drama programmes despite the odds.

Community Keynote

Arts As A Practice For Individual, Community, And Social Change

by Koh Hui Ling and Han Xuemei
Associate Artists, Dramabox (SG)

How does a theatre company navigate the currents of change and respond to surrounding challenges? How do we remain connected to the everyday realities of the people? What is the role of artists and the arts in co-creating spaces and conditions both for disruption and reconciliation/re-assembling/repair?

Explore the evolution of Dramabox's socially engaged arts practice in relation to the political, social, and cultural environment in Singapore over the past 15 years in a process to discourse the role of arts in the society.

Education Keynote

Throwing A Light On Theatre-Making: Finding Spaces To Listen

by Professor Helen Nicholson
Professor Of Theatre & Performance, Royal Holloway, University Of London (UK)

As drama educationalists grapple with the challenges of social distancing, isolation and unpredictable learning environments, do we need a different set of vocabularies to shape new drama education? What ideas still work, and what needs to be reconsidered?

This speech by Professor Helen Nicholson, will ask how drama educators in theatres and schools can work together and find new ways to listen well, and in the company of others.

Health Keynote

Behind the Label

by Dr. Jennifer Hartley
Founder & Director, Theatre versus Oppression (UK)

A group of individuals with multiple issues – addictions, abuse, ex-prisoners, severe learning difficulties, mental health, homelessness – but one thing in common; all had been labelled throughout their lives and now felt they had lost their identity behind those labels.

Behind the Label set out to help people find their voice and explore who they were behind the labels given them by society.

On-Demand Programmes

Take your time! Our diverse selection of academic and non-academic presentations will allow you to explore how practitioners and educators from around the world respond to creative disruption.

These short presentations in the strands of citizenship, community, education and health will provide you a quick way to explore new ground, at your own pace.


  1. Theatre as service: a practitioner's response to creating work from disruption by Dr. Taiwo Afolabi (CA)
  2. Finding resistance, utopia and spatial justice through site specific performance in an urban village by Dr. Selina Jane Busby (UK)
  3. Brick to Click – A reflection on the shift in drama pedagogy for the young amidst Covid-19 by Aishwariyah Shanmuganathan (SG)
  4. Handle (me) with care: dressing rituals in long-term care within domestic environments by Noemie Soula (UK) 

Take a look at the full list of on-demand programmes.


Get An Affordable Pass To All Presentations

Purchasing a base Conference Pass will give you delegate access to all live keynotes, presentations and performances & dialogues during the week of the conference, as well as all on-demand presentations up to the end of June.

 Conference Pass (Non-SDEA Member) = SGD100
Conference Pass (SDEA Member) = SGD60
Conference Pass (Student) = SGD50


Faculty members and/or students of the same institute may write in to to enquire about purchasing a group Conference Pass at a discounted rate.


As a Conference Passholder, you decide which areas of practice you want to explore!

 When registration for masterclasses and workshops open, we will send you an invitation email detailing how to purchase the add-on tickets to your choice of masterclasses and workshops.

6-Hour Masterclass = SGD80 each
3-Hour Masterclass = SGD40 each
Workshop = SGD20 each

Find out more about the conference and how you can get your tickets at


SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2017

Since 2011, the international SDEA Theatre Arts Conference has brought together artists, drama educators and people in the arts who are interested in creating and sharing experiences with drama that are progressive, ethical and beneficial for communities and people they work with.

The 4th edition of SDEA Theatre Arts Conference takes place from 30th June to 1st July 2017 at Goodman Arts Centre. Its theme 'Future Generations: Projecting Playful Possibilities' invites diverse arts communities to imagine possibilities in the field of theatre for young people in the region and beyond.

The conference features practical workshops, performances, inspiring Pecha Kucha© and research paper presentations, roundtable discussions and keynote speeches from renowned artists and drama educators.

Visit the Theatre Arts Conference website


SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2015

The SDEA Theatre Arts Conference returns for its third edition!

TAC 2015 logo

After two successful conferences, the SDEA Theatre Arts Conference is coming back at The Arts House from 26th - 28th June 2015. The theme, “Standing Still: Still Standing” challenges presenters to reflect on the changing landscape of drama and theatre practices in the Asian region and further afield. It presents the opportunity for reflection and a celebration of how far the theatre practice have come over the years. This conference questions the viability, impact and sustainability of our practice through constructive, practical workshops, compelling performances and thought-provoking papers. So come - stand still, synthesise in stillness and respond together as a community!


The conference opens on the evening of 25 June with a networking dinner followed by programme sessions spread across three days: 26 June, 27 June and 28 June. The structure of each day is roughly as follows:

Breakout session(s)

Tea Break

Keynote Lunch

Breakout session(s)



Breakout session(s)

Session choices are varied and can be found on the schedule.

Venue: The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429

3-Day Conference Fees: S$500 (SDEA members) S$600 (Non-SDEA members) S$350 (Tertiary students only)

Engagement Event: June & July are jumping with drama and the arts!

Registration is closed.

Join representatives from SDEA, The O.P.E.N., IDIERI and Drama Box as they share what’s in store for the educator, the practitioner and the man on the street this June and July. So whether you are into visual arts, dance, theatre or the serious work of saving the world through applied theatre, look to be inspired this June and July!

Education & Engagement v3.7 (middle w logos)

Find out more about SDEA Theatre Arts Conference HERE.

About the Event

  Price: Free Admission. Registration is required.


SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2013

The SDEA Theatre Arts Conference is back for a second time!


Join us from 30th May to 2nd June 2013 for a line-up of electrifying workshops, inspiring presentations, stirring papers, and life-affirming performances that revolve around Education, Community, and Performance.

Black Bubble w White Border, Logo, and Date (150x113)

With over 70 presentations from 16 countries around the world, you will be sure to discover new ideas and fresh perspectives on theatre-making with our 2013 theme, 'Masak Masak: Let's Play!'   "(The SDEA Theatre Arts Conference provides) an important opportunity that brings together international ideas and practice and helps strengthen global networks of drama educators who can learn from and inspire each other."

Patrice Baldwin, President, IDEA

Venue: The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429 3-Day Conference Fees: S$500 (SDEA members) S$600 (Non-SDEA members) S$350 (Tertiary students only) Visit us at or email for enquiries for resources or more information.


SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2011

Join us for Singapore’s largest ever Theatre Arts Conference


SDEA brings together critically acclaimed theatre practitioners who teach, create, heal and enable through theatre arts in a 3-day event in association with the Singapore Arts Festival.

The moments you remember in your life are probably ones that are a little theatrical – the teacher who dramatised a story so you not only learnt plot and vocabulary, but also empathy and compassion, a warm up game that not only helped you connect with strangers but find out more about their personalities as well as your own, or how, after watching a performance, you were moved enough to examine your own opinions and notions, then make changes.

These are just some of the things that participants will re-discover and in turn, think about applying in their own lives at Singapore’s largest ever Theatre Arts Conference.

Held in association with this year’s Singapore Arts Festival, this inaugural event organised by the Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA) aims to provide a platform for practitioners to share their experiences, methodologies and research.

Targeted at teachers, independent teaching artists, counsellors, health care workers, social and cultural workers, as well as organisations engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts, the conference will see contributions from 50 theatre arts practitioners from 12 countries including Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, the UK and USA.

The extent of this conference is the first of its kind in Singapore and South East Asia is set to become a global player in theatre arts.

The current list of speakers includes Helen Cahill, Adrian Jackson, Kok Heng Leun, Mok Chiu Yu, Janet Pillai and Joe Winston, just to name a few.

Special focus will be placed on work in South East Asia with educators and practitioners from The Philippine Educational Theater Association, The Makhampom Theatre Group from Thailand, and Theatre for Development and Education Indonesia. They will be presenting at the conference alongside a strong Singapore presence which includes representatives from schools, the National Institute of Education, LASALLE College of the Arts and Singapore Polytechnic.

The conference, held at LASALLE College of the Arts opens on 2 June with a networking dinner followed by program sessions from 3 - 5 June which include workshops, presentations, dialogues, keynote addresses, lunch time performances, evening lectures and networking sessions. The event is open to all.

Venue: LASALLE College of the Arts 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940

3-Day Conference Fees: S$480 (SDEA members) S$600 (Non-SDEA members) S$350 (Tertiary students only)

Visit us at or email for enquiries for resources or more information.