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I’m focused on theatre in social contexts, in particular work in sites of conflict, prisons and community-based social justice practice

Michael Balfour is a multi-award winning university researcher and teacher.  Michael’s research is in the social applications of theatre. He has worked on international studies exploring arts–based work with returning veterans, performances in sites of war and conflict, performing arts practice in prisons and correctional facilities, and with newly arrived refugees in Australia. In 2013, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, he was the recipient of a Creative Partnerships Award for an arts project working with people with mid-to-late stage dementia.

Professor Michael Balfour

School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science

Deputy Head of School Learning & Teaching

Fields of Expertise

  • Applied Theatre
  • Drama
  • Arts practice in sites of war and conflict
  • Performance Essay

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Michael is an internationally renowned speaker focusing on his research expertise and teaching experience. A key note speaking highlight includes

  • Theatre, conflict and the social: making theatre in a post-political context, Rethinking Political Theatre in Western Culture. (2015) Tel Aviv University, Israel

Industry Experience

  • Awards Playful Engagement and Dementia, Creative Partnerships Australia Award 2013 (Qld), Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Australian Awards for University Teaching, 2012 and National winner, Australian Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities and the Arts 2011

Research Expertise

Michael’s research expertise is in the social applications of theatre, theatre in communities, social institutions and areas of disadvantage and conflict. Specialist areas of research include: Prison theatre, Play and dementia, Drama work with participants from a refugee background and Arts based work with returning military personnel. Research highlights include:

  • Book: Applied Theatre: Resettlement. Drama, Refugees and Resilience
    Year: 2015                                            Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama
  • Playful Engagement and Dementia: assessing the efficacy of applied theatre practices for people with dementia in residential aged care facilities
    Year: 2012-2015                                Research Partner: Australian Research Council

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