29-30 October 2018

29-30 October 2018

York Theatre Royal, York (UK)

The fifth and final Be SpectACTive! International conference will take place at York Theatre Royal the 29th and 30th October. The conference will mark the conclusion of the Be SpectACTive! project on audience engagement and active spectatorship in the performing arts, funded by Creative Europe.

Over two-days the conference will present the results of the activity undertaken over the past four years across the partner organisations, bringing together industry professionals from across Europe as well as academics, artists and representatives from the European Union, Creative Europe and cultural policy makers.

Three round-tables will explore key themes and issues:

  • The notion of cultural democracy and the role of audience participation in performing arts and cultural policy

  • The impact of active spectatorship and audience-centric approach in artists’ practice.

  • How taking an audience-centric approach can change how organisations work

The Be SpectACTive! partners will also present two collections of essays and a film documentary showcasing the difference experiences and practices of active spectatorship over the past four years of the project.

The project

Be SpectACTive! is a project funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union about performing arts and audience engagement. Its members are: Municipality of Sansepolcro and CapoTrave/Kilowatt (Italy), Bakelit Multi Art Center (Hungary), Domino (Croatia), LIFT (UK), Radu Stanca National Theatre (Romania), Tanec Praha (Czech Republic), York Theatre Royal (UK). Research aspects are followed by: Fondazione Fitzcarraldo (Italy), Le CNRS (France), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Université de Montpellier (France).

The venue

The oldest producing theatre outside of London, York Theatre Royal is one of the UK’s leading regional venues welcoming over 200,000 people each year. It has a reputation for producing high quality and ambitious theatre with highly regarded productions of new commissions, revivals at all scales and each year delivering a pantomime of international renown. York Theatre Royal has a thriving Youth Theatre and Creative Engagement programme and pioneered the nationally recognised TakeOver Festival, each year giving a group local young people aged 26 and under the opportunity to programme and run a week-long festival, mentored by the theatre staff.


Be SpectACTive!
Final International conference / 29th and 30th of October 2018

1st Day, 29 October 2018

13:30 I Registration and accreditation

14:00 I Welcoming from York Theatre Royal team

14:15 – 15:00 I Presentation – Be SpectACTive! Curators
Giuliana Ciancio and Luca Ricci

15:00 – 15:45 I Keynote “The Challenge of Cultural Democracy”
Steven Hadley, The Audience Agency London (UK)

15:45 – 16:00 Questions

16:00 – 16:30 I Coffee Break

16:30 – 18:30 I Round table: ‘About cultural democracy’
Moderator Emmanuel Négrier, University of Montpellier (FR), Lluís Bonet, University of Barcellona (ES)
Speakers: Yvona Kreuzmannová – Tanec Praha (CZ), François Matarasso – Community artist and writer (UK), Franco Bianchini – University of Hull (UK), Steven Hadley – the Audience Agency (UK), Marta Martins – Artemrede (PT),  Kinga Szemessy – Bakelit Multi Art Center (HU)

19:10-20:00 I Presentation of the Be SpectACTive! documentary (50′) by Graziano Graziani, co-author and theater critic

2on Day 30 October 2018

9:30 – 10:00 I Welcoming

10:00 – 10:45 I Keynote “A Restless Art: The valuable instability of participation”
François Matarasso, Community artist and writer (UK)

10:45 -12:45 I Round table: ‘The impact of the participatory approach on the artists’ practices’

Moderator Giuliana Ciancio and Luca Ricci (Be SpectACTive’s curators)

Speakers: Luisella Carnelli – Fondazione Fitzcarraldo (IT), Félix Dupin Meynard – University of Montpellier (FR), Vicenţiu Rahău – Sibiu International Festival (RO), Bonnie Smith – LIFT Festival (UK), Zvonimir Dobrovic – Domino (HR), Graziano Graziani – theater critic, Ahilan Ratnamohan (BE/UK) – performer and choreographer, Kristof Jonckheere – Kunstencentrum BUDA (BE), Kira Kirsch – Brut (AT)

12:45 – 13:00 I Questions

13:00 – 14:30 I Lunch and networking

14:30 – 16:30 I Round table: ‘The impact of the participatory approach on the organizations’

Moderator by Alessandro Bollo, Polo del Novecento (IT), Luisella Carnelli, Fondazione Fitzcarraldo (IT)

Speakers: Lluís Bonet, Giada Calvano – University of Barcellona (ES), Luca Ricci and Lucia Franchi  – Capotrave/Kilowatt (IT), Luca Kovecs – Bakelit Multi Art Center (HU), Damian Cruden – York Theatre Royal (UK), Julie Josserand – Réseau en scène Languedoc-Roussillon (FR), Ben Walmsley – University of Leeds (UK). Active spectators from: York (Takeover Festival), Visionari (Kilowatt Festival), Budapest (Bakelit Muti Art Center).

16:30 – 16:45 I Questions

17:00- 18:00 I Presentation of the books “Be SpectACTive! Challenging Participation in Performing Arts” and “Breaking the Fourth Wall: Proactive Audiences in the Performing Arts”

18:00 – 19:30 I Final toast