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Only kindness that raises its head From the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for And then goes with you everywhere Like a shadow or a friend
N.S.Nye 1995

Biography

Dr Persephone Sextou holds a PhD from Goldsmiths University of London and previous to that an MA with Lancaster University and a BA (hons) from the University of Ioannina in Greece. She is a Reader in Applied Theatre at Newman University Birmingham (UK), and the Founder and Director of the Community & Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab) for theatre and child wellbeing (HEFCE and UnLtd. grant). With over 20 years of academic experience and leadership of applied theatre projects in the UK and abroad (Greece, Poland, Gambia W. Africa), she is currently leading a grant from BBC Children in Need (50K) to continue her research on the impact of specially-developed bedside performance for children in hospitals and hospices. She works closely in partnership with the NHS and Local Educational Authorities. ‘Bird Island’, a multi-art performance using storytelling, puppetry and signing at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Heartlands hospital is widely covered by the media. Persephone is a Fellow of HEA and she was nominated for the NTF award by her institution. Her book ‘Theatre for Children in Hospital. The Gift of Compassion’ (2016) has gained appraising reviews from USA and Australia (Medical Humanities and ATR). Persephone is Chief investigator of a research study at Griffith University, Brisbane Australia (2018-).

Broken Puppet 3 International Symposium on ‘Puppetry: Community, Health, Wellbeing and Disability: Professional Training Opportunities’

Profile

Research Interests

Applied Theatre in Education and Healthcare and Wellbeing; Theatre for Children in Hospitals and hospices; theatre in care homes, the artist in healthcare and their training needs, and mixed methodologies. Persephone supervises PhD studies in the wider spectrum of applied theatre and wellbeing. She holds a track of successful research funds from Charities and Trusts.

Teaching Interests

Persephone teaches various theoretical and practical aspects of Applied Theatre with focus on educational, health and wellbeing concepts, practices, contexts and environments. She is PhD supervisor with Liverpool Hope University. She is currently supervising a PhD thesis on ‘Applied Theatre practices in residential care homes: Can they effect the social wellbeing of residents in care homes in Wales?’ and another PhD thesis on ‘An investigation into the personal experiences of theatre practice and disability among professional directors and disabled actors in theatres funded by Arts Council England from 2015-2018’.

Administrative Responsibilities

Member of the Research Committee
Research Director of the Community & Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab)
Founding member of the Newman Humanities Research Centre
Member of Validation Panels (UG and MA programmes)
Member of the Moderation Approval Panel
Member of the Editorial Board of Critical Commentary

Membership of Professional Organisations

Co-leader of the Cathedral’s group Arts, Health & wellbeing Group in England and Wales with Prof. Stephen Clift from Canterbury Christchurch University

Visiting academic at the University of Gdansk

Memberships:

International Drama & Education Association (IDEA)
Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA)
International Universities Association (IUTA)
Medical Humanities Association
Arts in Society Community of Scholars
International Health Humanities Network
The National Research in Arts and Health Network
West Midlands Arts, Health and Wellbeing Network
Creative Arts Therapies and Neuroscience

Editorials:

Arts & Health

Applied Theatre Reader

Arts in Communities

She is also a reviewer for RiDE and Drama Research.

 

Other Activities

Conferences and Other Research Activity

TaPRA interim event, Belfast, 2018

Swansea College of Art, University of Wales, 2017

‘Broken Puppet’ international Symposium, Cork, Ireland 2017

‘Culture, Health & Wellbeing’ International Conference, Bristol, 2017

‘Aksept’ Theatre Festival & University of Gdansk, Poland, 2016

10th International Conference on the Arts in Society, Los Angeles 2016

‘Negotiating space for (dis)ability in Drama, Theatre, Film and Media, University of Lodz, Poland, 2015

‘Aksept’ Theatre Festival & University of Gdansk, Poland, 2015

‘Children and Childhood Conference’, University Campus Suffolk , 2015

9th International Conference on the Arts in Society, Rome Italy, 2014

‘Culture, Health & Wellbeing’ International Conference, Bristol, 2013

Higher Education Academy, Annual Conference, University of Warwick, 2013

Communicating Mental Health, University of Birmingham, 2013

‘Isolated Acts’, University of Exeter & University of Cambridge, 2012

TaPRA Conference at Canterbury, Kent, 2012

7th International Conference on Arts in Society, Liverpool, 2012

Medical Humanities Association, ‘The Medicine of Drama’, Leicester, 2011

8th International Universities Theatre Association (IUTA) World Congress, 2010

Publications

Books

Sextou, P. (2016) Theatre for Children in Hospitals. The Gift of Compassion. Bristol & New York: Intellect Publ.

Sextou, P. (2010) (5th edition) Dramatisation; The teacher-facilitator’s book, Athens: Kastanioti. (In Greek).

Sextou, P. (2007) Applied theatre in primary secondary and elementary education, Athens: Kastanioti (In Greek).

Sextou, P. (2005) Theatre-in-Education programmes in schools, Athens: Metaixmio (In Greek).

Journal articles

Sextou, P. and Karypidou, A. (in print 2018) ‘What does the actor need to perform in healthcare? Emotional demands, skills and competences’. Applied Theatre Research Journal.

Sextou, P. & Smith, C. (2017) ‘Drama is for Life! Recreational Drama Activities for the Elderly in the UK. Text Matters A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, University of Lodz Publications, 7, pp. 273-290.

Sextou, P. & Patterson, P. (2017) ‘Trapped in the Labyrinth’ – Exploring Mental Illness through Devised Theatrical Performance’ Medical Humanities Journal. BMJ Publishing Group. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2016-011094

Sextou, P. & Hall, S. (2015) ‘Hospital theatre: Promoting child well-being in cardiac and cancer wards’. Applied Theatre Research, 3:1, pp.67-84.

Sextou, P. & Patterson, P. (2014) ‘Theatre, Stigma and Society: Mental illness onstage’. The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, a Journal of The Arts Collection by Common Ground Publications, 9:1, pp. 1-10.

Sextou, P. & Monk, C. (2013) ‘Bedside theatre and its effects on hospitalised children’s wellbeing’. Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. Vol. 5:1, 81-88. Doi: 10.1080/17533015.2012.712979

Sextou, P. & Trotman. D. (2013) ‘Devised Drama, Shakespeare and Creativity; Practical work on Othello’s Pathos’. The International Journal of the Arts in Education, A section of the Journal of the Arts in Society, pp. Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.47-56. (CG Publishers, USA)

Sextou, P. (2012) ‘Devising monologues on domestic violence for the development of inter-professional training and community support services’. Drama Research Journal, http://www.dramaresearch.co.uk/journal/

Sextou, P. (2011) ‘The Pedagogy of Drama Supervision in Higher Education’. Brookes e Journal of Learning and Teaching (BEJLT). Vol. 3:1. Available at: http://bejlt.brookes.ac.uk/article/the_pedagogy_of_drama_supervision_in_higher_education/ (Oxford Brookes University, UK)

Sextou, P. (2011) ‘Drama Tickles Student Imagination and Verbal Expression’. In Coreil, C. (ed.) ‘The ‘X’ Point in Education: Where Imagination is Lost.’ The Journal of the Imagination in Language Learning. Vol. 9, 225-231. (New Jersey University, USA)

Edited chapter

Sextou, P. (2011) ‘Theatre for children in hospitals’. In Schonmann, S. (ed.) Key Concepts in Theatre/Drama Education. The Netherlands: The SENSE publishers, 313-318.

Reports

Clift, S. & Sextou, P. (2017) ‘Report on a Cathedrals Group Conference on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Newman University, 8-9 September 2017’.  Available at: http://www.cathedralsgroup.ac.uk/Docs/81.pdf

Sextou, P. (2017) Annual CADlab Report on ‘Bird Island’ project for children in hospitals. BBC Children in Need.

Mention of Sextou, P. (2016) in the All Party Parliamentary Report ‘Creative health’ (2017).

Media publicity

Arts Professional: https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/article/escape-hospital-stress

Goldsmiths University of London: https://goldlink-online.com/2017/02/22/guest-post-theatre-for-children-in-hospital-the-gift-of-compassion/

Lancaster University ‘Steps’: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/steps/features/dr-persephone-sextou-helps-secure-children-in-need-grant/

Medical Humanities: http://centreformedicalhumanities.org/theatre-children-hospital-gift-compassion-reviewed-ligia-batista-silverman/

Interview on Interjuli: http://www.interjuli.de/de/assets/Artikel/1701%20Interjuli/interjuli_17_01.compressed.pdf