acta seminar


acta’s free open access quarterly seminar programme provides opportunities to get together to discuss a range of issues currently facing community arts practitioners. Seminars are attended by acta staff, volunteers and participants; academics and students; experienced practitioners from across the sectors of community theatre and community arts; and people interested in learning more.

Next seminar

Wednesday 12 June 1.30pm – 4.30pm 

acta and University of Exeter Drama Department are proud to present an extra special international seminar, to consider community theatre and arts in rural and urban communities, with a specific focus on the USA and Europe.

We are particularly excited and delighted to welcome to the seminar Alex Gibson, of Appalshop, Kentucky; an inspirational community development project which grew from Roadside Theatre in the 1960’s. And on the very same day, we will be welcoming back to acta the renowned Dr Eugene van Erven (ICAF and Utrecht University).

Neil Beddow, acta Artistic Director

To book a place, email [email protected] or call 0117 9532448

This is the 17th seminar in a series produced by acta theatre (supported by ACE, Paul Hamlyn Foundation). The seminar series aims to provide a much-needed space for practitioners, participants and stakeholders/partners to come together to share experiences, methodologies and practices of community theatre and to disseminate this knowledge throughout the wider cultural sector.

As community arts and theatre enjoys a resurgence in the UK,  acta has invited two international experts to share their thoughts and experience of the “State of the (community) Arts,” in Europe, USA and across the world.

What can we learn from the experience and practice in other countries? How will UK community theatre makers continue to have an international presence in the future? How can we use these examples to strengthen the case for community theatre development in the UK?

Because for sure, there has never been such a need for this work in our increasingly divided country.

To discuss these questions, and in what can only be described as a ’coup’,  acta is hosting two extraordinary guests, from two equally extraordinary organisations:

Alex Gibson is Executive Director of Appalshop, a multi-media arts organization established in the Appalachian Mountains since 1969, growing from the trail-blazing Roadside Theatre project

Eugene van Erven, is director of the ICAF – International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam, and widely recognised as an expert in global community theatre.

The seminar has been organised in partnership with University of Exeter Drama department, and will be chaired by Neil Beddow, AD of acta.

Most recent seminar

“What’s My Motivation?” on the afternoon of Wednesday 13 March, with Francois Matarasso and Conrad Murray. 

There has never been more interest in the arts world in involving communities in creating work. But is it a good idea? And why do it anyway? This seminar provides a timely opportunity for reflection and debate for anyone involved in community arts and participatory practice. It will include presentations from Conrad Murray (Battersea Arts Centre) and from Francois Matarasso (