4th July

09:30 – 10:00     Registration

10:00 – 10:10     Introduction

10:10 – 12:15     PANEL ONE: Germany, The Netherlands, Poland: 3 Traditions – 3 Models

  • KEYNOTE: Heiner Goebbels, Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft, Gießen – There Is No Such a Thing as a Gießen School
  • KEYNOTE: Marijke Hoogenboom, Amsterdam University of the Arts – Three Scenes from the Art Academy: the Professional, the Ignorant and the Local School
  • Tomasz Plata, The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw – Theatre Studies Reviewed: Working with Theatre

CHAIR: Waldemar Raźniak, The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw

12:15 – 13:00    Coffee break and visit to an installation of the Jagiellonian University students under the supervision of Dr Ewa Bal

13:00 – 14:40     PANEL TWO: Theatre in Use

  • Ewa Bal, Jagiellonian University, Cracow – ‘Learning by Doing’. How to Study Local Performances and Locality as Performance
  • Bogna Burska, Fine Art Academy, Gdansk – Spatial Text – Between Visual Arts and Theatre 
  • Małgorzata Lipska, Warsaw University – Theatrology in Tel Aviv and Beyond – Thoughts on Theatre Education in Israel 
  • Brano Mazuch, DAMU (Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) – Directing of Devised and Object Theatre at DAMU
  • Justyna Sobczyk, Theatre Institute in Warsaw and Zofia Dworakowska, Warsaw University – Theatre Pedagogy Studies in Warsaw as a Laboratory for Democratic Artistic Practice 

CHAIR: Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, Theatre Institute in Warsaw

5th July

10.00 – 12:15     PANEL THREE: The School for the Body

  • KEYNOTE: Prof. Paul Allain, Kent University, Canterbury – Digital Actor Training
  • Tomasz Ciesielski, University of Lodz – Sense-Action – Recognizing Practice as Research When It Happened 
  • Małgorzata Jabłońska, Jagiellonian University, Crocow – Thinking Through Movement – a Few Thoughts on Practical Classes at University
  • Kent Sjöström i Liv Kaastrup Vesterskov, Malmö Theatre Academy, Lund University – Bodies Re-Considered

CHAIR: Zofia Smolarska, The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw

12:15 – 12:45     Break

12:45 – 14:20     PANEL FOUR: Theory – Practice – Work  

  • Weronika Szczawińska, The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw – Theoretical Democracies, Practical Institutions. Why Poland Encounters Difficulties Combining Theory and Practice of Theatre 
  • Kasia Lech, Canterbury Christ Church University – Culturosity: Drama and Performing Arts Students as Agents of Equality and Diversity 
  • Zane Kreicberga, LAC (Latvian Academy of Culture) – Thinking Loud. Proactive Education Vs. Shortsighted Market – How to Get There? 
  • Hendrik De Smedt, RITCS (Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema & Sound), Brussels – ZEEZIN  

CHAIR: Tomasz Plata, The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw

14:20 – 15:00     CLOSING LECTURE

  • KEYNOTE: Richard Gough, University of South Wales, Cardiff – Future Proof (With Courage & Curiosity): Training for a Theatre That Does Not Yet Exist

15:00 – 15:10     Closing remarks



The Institute for Applied Theatre Studies (Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft) at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany, established in 1982 by Polish theatre critic Andrzej Wirth and his collaborator Hans-Thies Lehmann, is still renowned as being one of the most influential theatre schools worldwide. Contrary to academic departments and acting schools, the institute created a new paradigm of theatre studies by integrating theatre theory and practice in an interdisciplinary, non-hierarchical, collective work-based program. From 2003-2011 the institute has been led by the renowned German composer and theatre director, Heiner Goebbles. Among the graduates are leading creators and directors of experimental theatre, such as Réne Pollesch, Gob Squad, She She Pop, Rimini Protokoll, Showcase Beat Le Mot and many more.

The international symposium ‘Giessen and others – Cross-disciplinary theatre education’ takes this highly effective model of theatre studies as a starting point for a discussion about other models of cross-disciplinary theatre/drama departments in Europe. After 35 years of successful existence, there seems to be an urgent need to ask about the relevance of ATW’s teaching methods in the context of the changes to the political reality and the situation of the art market. To present a broader scope of possible role models, the program of the symposium includes other cross-disciplinary approaches, such as Practice as Research or the international residential master’s program at DasArts (Amsterdam University of Arts).

The symposium will take place during the 9th International Theatre Schools Festival (ITSelF) in Warsaw, which represents an opportunity to meet theatre professionals from various creative environments.

Among our confirmed guest speakers are:  Prof. Paul Allain (Kent University), Prof. Heiner Goebbels (ATW Giessen), Prof. Richard Gough (University of South Wales, Cardiff) and Prof. Marijke Hoogenboom (Amsterdam University of the Arts).

The symposium is being held in agreement with the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen and with the support of The Theatre Institute in Warsaw, The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Embassy of Germany in Warsaw.

The symposium will be held in English and in Polish (with simultaneous translation).


Symposium committee: 

  • Dr Tomasz Plata, Dean of Theatre Studies Department, National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw
  • Zofia Smolarska

For more information please contact us at: