Past Conferences


Tue, 1 Dec 2020 to Fri, 4 Dec 2020

ADSA 2019: Festivals and Performance

Tue, 25 Jun 2019 to Fri, 28 Jun 2019

2018 AGM

Fri, 29 Jun 2018

ADSA 2018: Actors and Acting in the Twenty-First Century

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 to Fri, 29 Jun 2018

Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
June 26-29 2018

Conference Convenors Matt Delbridge and Mary Luckhurst

This conference reflects on the multiple challenges experienced by actors past, present

and future in context of current innovations, collaboration and forms of training across a wide variety of performances, 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 industrial 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 cause academics and actor educators to reframe their pedagogical approaches to training. 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. Indeed, the borrowing of the terms ‘actor’ and ‘acting’ by a wide variety of disciplines (after the performative turn) might give acting studies pause for thought.

We therefore invite papers, panels and workshops that address the actor and acting in the following formats: individual papers (20 minutes duration), practical/skills workshop sessions (45 or 90 minutes duration) and panel presentations (60 minutes duration).

Questions and discussions might stem from, but not be limited to, the following areas:

Actor systems, training, and methods

Actors, audience and participation

Acting and drama (character and text)

Acting, indigeneity, race and ethnicity

Acting historiographies

Classical and Contemporary acting

The Actor’s body

Acting and science

Acting, industry and celebrity

The Actor in music theatre

The Actor, scenography and costume

The Actor, the screen, the camera (including CGI and motion capture) 

The Actor and performance space

The Actor as director/writer/scenographer

Acting and discourses (LGBTIQ+, gender, queer, comic, disability, feminism, ageing, ethics, etc)

Acting and therapy

The Actor and Voice

We look forward to welcoming you to the Victorian College of the Arts, located at the Southbank campus of the University of Melbourne in 2018.


Conference Facebook group:

Earlybird registrations close 23 May and all other registrations close 23 June.

For more information please contact convenors directly at:

ADSA 2017 Performing Belonging in the 21st Century

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 to Fri, 30 Jun 2017

ADSA 2016 Resilience: Revive, Restore, Reconnect

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 to Fri, 24 Jun 2016
Thankyou to our colleagues at USQ for hosting a terrific conference at the Toowoomba campus. Special thanks to co-convenors Rebecca Scollen and Michael Smalley

The published conference proceedings are now available here.


ADSA 2015 The Player's Passion Revisited

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 to Fri, 26 Jun 2015

ADSA 2014 - Restoring Balance

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 to Sat, 28 Jun 2014

2014 Program and abstracts

ADSA 2013 - Staging Changes: Translation as Innovation and Intervention

Tue, 9 Jul 2013 to Fri, 12 Jul 2013

2013 Program and Abstracts

ADSA 2012 - Compass Points

Tue, 3 Jul 2012 to Fri, 6 Jul 2012

2012 Program and Abstracts

ADSA 2011 - Transcultural. Transnational. Transformational

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 to Sat, 2 Jul 2011

2011 Program and abstracts

ADSA 2010: Stripping bare ...

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 to Fri, 2 Jul 2010

Program and abstracts


Fri, 3 Jul 2009

ADSA 2009: Boom and Bust

Mon, 29 Jun 2009 to Fri, 3 Jul 2009

ADSA2009 Program and abstracts

ADSA 2007 Extreme States - Issues of scale: Political, Performative, Emotional

Tue, 3 Jul 2007 to Fri, 6 Jul 2007

Abstracts and bios

ADSA 2006 - Being There: Before, During and After

Tue, 4 Jul 2006 to Fri, 7 Jul 2006

Program and abstracts

ADSA 2005 - Journeys to the Interior

Mon, 4 Jul 2005 to Thu, 7 Jul 2005

Program and abstracts

2004 AGM

Thu, 1 Jul 2004

ADSA 2004 - Listening to the Image

Tue, 29 Jun 2004 to Sat, 3 Jul 2004

Program and abstracts

2002 AGM

Sat, 6 Jul 2002

ADSA 2002 - Drama on the edge

Wed, 3 Jul 2002 to Sun, 7 Jul 2002

Program and abstracts

ADSA 1999: Industrial Relations

Mon, 5 Jul 1999 to Fri, 9 Jul 1999
Convenor: Paul Makeham
celebrates the diversity of contemporary professional theatre practice, as well as the connections between tertiary drama studies and the theatre industry. It aims to illuminate diverse modes of performance and a variety of artistic orientations. In this conference, drama and theatre studies specialists will explore questions of vital importance to contemporary theatre practice and the histories of theatre. These may include perspectives from theatre research, generalist theatre studies, training/vocational courses, and of course, from the industry itself.
The conference will appeal to a broad range of people involved in the performing arts, both from within and outside the tertiary education sector. Four distinguished theatre professionals will deliver Keynote Addresses to the conference: Wesley Enoch, Josette Feral, Keith Johnstone and David Williamson represent between them a fascinating diversity of views on the links between theatre scholarship and professional theatre practice. (See below for details of speakers.)
  • How does practical theatre-making benefit from rigorous reflection and analysis? How can the theoretical discourses of gender and sexuality, post-colonialism, multiculturalism, interculturalism and so on take into account the pragmatics of professional production? In what ways should the professional theatre be concerned with the politics of representation?
  • How can theatre histories and historiographies inform and support contemporary theatre and other performance practices?
  • What is being done to consolidate links between industry and academy? What are the benefits of Performance As Research for each? Should Performance As Research 'take account' of economic considerations?
  • What are the impacts of economic rationalism on drama studies, vocational training and professional theatre practices? What are the assumptions implicit in terms such as 'industry', 'profession', 'academy', 'university' and 'performance'?

The conference convener would be happy to discuss ideas and proposals, even if in the earliest stages of development.

One day of the conference (Wed 7.7.99) has been specially designated a 'Links with Industry' day. This day will include the official launch of the new ADSA 'Links With Industry' Brochure, as well as panels and papers addressing the following questions:  
  • What is the 'the academy'?
  • What is 'the industry'?
  • What links exist between them?
  • Do they have responsibilities towards one another?
  • Does dialogue between them constitute a type of intercultural exchange?

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS WESLEY ENOCH is one of Australia's leading young theatre directors and writers. The founding Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts, Wesley led the company to international prominence during his directorship. His critically-acclaimed play '7 Stages of Grieving' (co-written with Deborah Mailman) has been published by Playlab Press. Wesley will direct his new musical 'The Sunshine Club' (co-written with John Rodgers) in 1999 for the Queensland Theatre Company, with whom he is presently an Artistic Associate.
JOSETTE FERAL is full professor at the Drama Department of the Université du Québec à Montréal . She is currently Vice-President of the International Federation for Theatre Research, and is on the editorial boards of several international journals. She has published several books, including 'Mise en scène et jeu de l'acteur (I & II)' (1997/98), 'Rencontres avec Ariane Mnouchkine' (1995) and 'La culture contre l'art: essai d'économie politique du théâtre' (1990). She has also published several articles on the theory of theatre in Canada, the United States and Europe, mostly in Cahiers de Théâtre Jeu, SubStance, Théâtre Public, The Drama Review, Modern Drama, The French Review, Discourse, Theaterschrift and Poétique.
KEITH JOHNSTONE is Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary. A playwright and director, Keith is a leading authority in the field of public improvisation, and the inventor of the internationally-franchised Theatresports. 'Impro', his classic text on improvisation, has been translated into several languages. He has invented many new forms of improvisation, including Gorilla Theatre and Micetro Impro which, along with his teaching techniques, are used world-wide.
DAVID WILLIAMSON is Australia's best-known playwright. The author of more than 30 plays and screenplays, he has made a major contribution to the development of the Australian mainstage over 3 decades. His plays, produced regularly throughout Australia, are commonly the focus of academic analysis. At the same time, Williamson is known for his own, often satirical, representations of academics and academic discourse. His new work, 'Corporate Vibes', is set to open just prior to 'Industrial Relations'.
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS will also feature a strong performance program, comprising contemporary works of Performance As Research. In addition to conference papers and keynote addresses, there will be workshops and panel discussions.
KEITH JOHNSTONE has made himself available for a workshop designed specifically for conference delegates, on Sunday July 4th, immediately prior to the conference's official commencement.
CHAUTSI (Council of Heads of Australian University Theatre Studies Institutions) will hold its first annual general meeting during the ADSA Conference.