Project Description

Mixed Company Theatre was engaged by the University of Saskatchewan, University of Waterloo, and Brock University to facilitate theatre workshops and presentations as part of a research study in 2022. This study used interactive theatre techniques to explore how universities respond to sexual violence on campus and how the institutional response can be changed by faculty and students.

Research study participants were faculty and students from across the country who were actively interested in or involved with trying to change their university’s or college’s responses to campus sexual violence — such as organizers, activists, and their allies. It was not the purpose of the study to explore or resolve trauma experienced by individual sexual violence survivors, but rather the institutional response to sexual violence.

The Process

Phase One: Workshops | January 17 – February 18, 2022

Participants in this phase of the research study were students and instructors from across Canada. They were invited to take part in five, 1.5 hour virtual interactive theatre workshops. Two separate workshops series were held: one for student participants (Jan. 24 – Feb. 11, 2022) and one for faculty/instructor participants (Jan. 17-Feb. 18, 2022).

In each workshop series, approximately 15 participants were invited to use theatre-inspired techniques to co-create multi-character scenarios depicting institutional responses to sexual violence on campuses based on their experiential knowledge as either a student or faculty/instructor.

Phase Two: Forums | September 27 – October 6, 2022

Based on the experiences explored in the workshops, a selection of dramatic scenes were scripted with all personal and identifying information removed. These dramatic scenes were performed by professional actors at a series of “forums” or online interactive theatre presentations in the fall of 2022. All students and instructors at Canadian post-secondary institutions education were invited to participate in these forums.

The students and instructors invited to these performances had the opportunity to discuss the scenes they watched and to enter into the dramatized scenarios themselves, to intervene and to explore different avenues for activism and allyship to create institutional change.

The interactive theatre forums took place as follows:

Student Forum

September 27, 2022 at 2:00 PM (EST)

Instructor Forum

September 29, 2022 at 2:00 PM (EST)

Combined (Student & Instructor) Forums

October 4, 2022 at 2:00 PM (EST)

October 6, 2022 at 7:00 PM (EST)

Project Leadership

  • Dr. Andrea Quinlan | Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Legal Studies, University of Waterloo.
  • Dr. Curtis Fogel | Associate Professor, Department of Sports Management, Brock University.

Project Coordinator

  • Jennifer W. Webber Forrest, Research Associate, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan.

For full details on the project, see:

Project Funder

This project was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The logo for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.