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Elspeth Tilley

Eslpeth Tilley

Elspeth Tilley

Elspeth Tilley is a playwright, theatre maker and Massey University academic. Her scholarship unites practical theatre with communication theory in the area of 'creative activism' - or arts for social change. She is a three-time winner of the British Theatre Challenge (each time with a social justice comedy script, in areas of climate action, health rights and animal rights) and a three-time official playwright for the global Climate Change Theatre Action movement. She is also the author of the 'Use Humour to Undermine Authority card in the Beautiful Trouble Toolbox for Revolution'.


Interactive Workshop: Writing Comedy for Social Action

Saturday 12 September, 1:00pm - 3:00pm 

This hands-on workshop will combine writing exercises, improvisation techniques and narrative games to explore a range of ideas about what makes funny, funny. The focus will be on humour as a deliberate tool for comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable and awakening possibilities for change. Please bring writing materials and wear comfortable clothes that permit movement.

Please note - there is no expectation whatsoever that workshop participants need to consider themselves funny to join the fun! This workshop is for everybody, and focusses on introducing and exploring key mechanics behind humour to enhance understanding rather than expecting participants to produce new comedy material.


Discussion Panel: Writing the World (with Mary McCallum, Tim Jones, Nicola Easthope and Renée)

Sunday 13 September, 3:15pm - 5:00pm

Be entertained by this panel of acclaimed authors as they robustly discuss how writing fiction or poetry can bring about social or political change and why a number of activists are now turning to the medium.