DRAMA / THEATER in EDUCATION – Regional Conference 2024 – Sharing & Caring – every child matters … the place of young people in the world



Althof Retz, Retz, Lower Austria


...every child matters!" - the place of young people in the world

Sharing & Caring - every child matters

Young people - children, adolescents and young adults realize that their world is no longer secure. This can make them angry or desperate - or both.

Drama /theatre can encourage young people's strive for self-efficacy and active participation in an increasingly complexe world.

We should empower them to put forward their demands, we should use the political dimension of drama / theater to raise publilc awareness about global issues.

In addition to this self-empowerment, we must support them in their strive for a conscious and careful use of all resources as a basis for self-determined life.

See the Schedule - See the program you can expect

This is the program you can expect - please ask for information if you need.
Details available soon.

Register at the WEBSITE - green button!

Registration Deadline: Friday, 8th of March 2024


Our Facilitators and Workshop Leaders

Katrin Janser Fors (CH)

Kinder- und Jugendtheater Turgi

Joe Winston (UK)

PhD University of Warwick

Nicola Abraham (UK)

PhD Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Theater pedagogue & actress; a recognized course instructor of the Swiss Theater Association (ZSV) as well as the Association of German Amateur Theaters (BDAT).

She works at schools as a teacher for theater improvisation & rhythm, gives modules for universities and was for a long time a guest lecturer and examination expert at the "Akademie für Improvisationstheater Zürich (AFIS)".

She is co-director of the "Kinder- und Jugendtheater Turgi", leads acting courses in Zurich for professional actors.

Also she is president of the European Theater Meetings EDERED (Council of Europe Strasbourg) and on the artistic advisory board of the European Theater House Lingen. Workshops in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Russia, India, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Tyrol, Turkey and Great Britain. She represented Switzerland at the Voices for a Better World Project at the Royal Albert Hall London, at the International Improv Theatre Festival Chicago and at the Int.Theatre Festival in Rio.

Professorial Fellow in Drama and Theatre Education at the University of Warwick, UK.

He was co-ordination of the university’s highly successful MA in Drama and Theatre Education and he co-founded the MA in Drama and English Language Teaching (running since 2014). From 2005 to 2015 he was co-editor of Research in Drama Education: the Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

Throughout his career, he has published many books and research articles for academics and teachers. His publication ‘Beauty and Education’ was book of the week in the Times Higher Education Supplement in April, 2010.

More recently he has been researching the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company in schools in England and tracking its impact on teachers and their students.

Currently Is working closely with drama and theatre groups in China interested in developing educational drama programmes.

Senior Lecturer in Applied Theatre Practices at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

She has most recently been working on a range of digital applied theatre, film and virtual reality storytelling projects in NHS hospitals to develop new person-centred approaches to creating bespoke creative artefacts, including VR 360 videos, intergenerational augmented reality-based process dramas with primary school children and older adult patients living with dementia, and films to improve subjective wellbeing of patients in acute dialysis wards.

She has published in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (RiDE), Applied Theatre Research, Contemporary Theatre Review and co-edited the 2nd Edition of The Applied Theatre Reader (2020), and Applied Theatre with Urban Youth: Witnessing Change (forthcoming, 2023).

See here the content of our ONE-DAY-WORKSHOPS

Joe Winston: STORY TELLING as a practice for democracy

..... "the practice of storytelling theatre as a democratic, inclusive performance practice that encourages knowledge of stories from different cultures and important work on witnessing and experiencing the potential to play with different identities".

Nicola M. Abraham: EXPLORING WONDER: Virtual and Fantastical Innovations in Applied Theatre to Support Positive Wellbeing

For the past three years I’ve been working within our national health service through COVID, working on Medicine for the Elderly wards with people living with dementia and having to adapt to COVID regulations whilst also ensuring my applied theatre practice does not compromise on the values of person-centred approaches to creativity offering meaningful, bespoke, co-produced experiences for participants. This practice has been used in intergenerational workshops connecting older adults and young people at a time of social isolation and beyond. The work I have been doing has now expanded to support holistic wellbeing for communities across age groups. The methods I have adapted and developed will form the workshop content for my sessions in IDEA Austria. We will explore new tactile technologies like Makey-Makeys, create interactive virtual reality 360, generate scaffolded approaches to song-writing, explore community film-making, and game based process drama. The session aims to explore how technology can enhance experiences of ‘wonder’ as an aesthetic goal to promote positive wellbeing for participants across age boundaries.

Katrin Janser Fors: Move your message! - A course in PHYSICAL THEATRE

In this class we experiment and learn how to express your message with your whole body. We will have fun with movement, play and improvisation. We'll brush up on the basics of movement theater, an art form that combines elements of dance, theater, mime and performance. We will explore body language, facial expressions and gestures to convey your feelings, thoughts and stories. In this practical workshop we will also put our personal messages on paper using different techniques and then focus on moving them with or without text. Sometimes it is difficult to convey a personal message with words, or our audience is international. So we will look for ways to bring the message to the stage in an artistic, "moving" way.

Groups of Special Interest

See here the content of the TWO/FOUR-HOURS-WORKSHOPS

Tomas Andrasik (CZ): MENTAL HEALTH & DRAMA

The workshop with an integrated talk will address the possible role of drama and theatre in the nourishment of mental health and well-being among children, teenagers, and young adults in contemporary society. Drama is a unique integration of tools that are in line with the needs of today's generation. In the workshop, we will explore aspects relevant to the theme in order to support drama in education facilitators in their work towards healthy communities in schools and other educational settings.

Tomas Andrasik (CZE) works part-time as an assistant professor at the Department of Social Education, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University. He teaches courses on applied drama, experiential learning, and social and emotional learning for educators. Tomas also has complex training in gestalt psychotherapy and therapeutically works with groups and individuals. Apart of standard practice, he integrates drama and gestalt therapy both in theory and practice.


The setting: A celebrity wedding with plenty of media coverage. When something goes wrong, the press scrambles to tell the world what happened.
In this workshop we will use process drama to unpack the complex concepts of leadership, authorship, and the writing of (his/her/their)story. This workshop will hopefully provoke discussion and reflection around questions such as: Who gets to tell our stories? Whom do we choose to listen to and what compels us to give certain voices power over other voices? This may lead to an exploration of how we pick our leaders, and/or how a group or society’s narratives can be shaped and curated over time: How do we determine which narrative(s) to believe in and which to disseminate?
Using drama techniques and conventions such as voice sculptures, still images, and soundscapes, we will examine some of these key questions through a fictional frame.

Eva Göksel (CH/SWE) holds two master's degrees, one in Germanic languages and literature (2004) and one in education (2011). She has a diploma in broadcast journalism (2006), and she defended her PhD thesis in Drama in Teacher Education in 2023. She has held several teaching appointments from primary school to university, as well as teaching continuing education and training teachers. She regularly publishes in academic journals and she co-organizes the annual drama in education days. She has a keen interest in languages, drama in education, storytelling, and listening.


In this workshop we are trying to find our Status- comfort zone. Are you a lion, a yappy, a meercat or a turtle? We will find out.

"Based on these experiences and with the goal of enabling equality and connecting, constructive communication, I developed concrete instruments and principles in many years of practice and direct exchange with young people in Neukölln. These initiate and accompany - starting from the veto right of all participants - individual development processes." (Maike Plath,2022)

Maria Lodjn (A)
is a primary and secondary school teacher. She strives to address democracy and participation in her lessons and to empower her students to participate in everyday life. Fascinated by the Maike Plath system ("Das theaterpädagogische Mischpult"), she is now the first and so far only certified facilitator of the VETO principle (c 2022 Maike Plath).
She teaches children, young people and adults, in school organizations and beyond. Besides teaching she is writing and acting.


The Things We Left Behind

Context: As part of my PhD artistic project, I have developed a workshop for schools and institutions of higher learning aimed at helping students grapple with the difficult choices and often unexpected/unpredictable journeys that immigrants, especially refugees, are forced to travel in search of safety. The workshop is organised as a LARP, a live-action role playing game, which provides the students with an opportunity to experience a glimpse of what that journey is like for many who flee their homes for reasons beyond their control. Even though it deals with a serious theme, the workshop is designed to do this in a simple and accessible way. Pedagogically, the workshop focuses on giving the students a chance to walk in someone's shoes, offering them an intimate connection to an issue that may have at first seemed distant.

Synopsis: Regardless of our varied reasons to migrate, the journey always begins with packing. While some might have the luxury of time and the resources to contemplate what to bring, others only have only a moment’s notice to take what they can. This larp invites you to traverse the layers of things we lose and gain, the challenges, and opportunities we meet in the process of migrating.

 What will you pack when you leave?

Players will play members of a collective trying to balance their personal needs with the needs of the collective. Throughout the larp, the characters will have to flee different situations, forcing them to leave many of their possessions behind each time. With time working against them, players will have to decide what to pack or leave behind.

Eliot Moleba (NOR / SA) (Research fellow at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts, KHiO). He is a researcher, playwright and theatre director. He is one of the founding members of PlayRiot. He was the resident dramaturg at The South African State Theatre. He is currently a Research Fellow at KHiO and an Editorial Committee member of VIS – The Nordic Journal for Artistic Research.


Drama and visual, connections and proximity

Drama and visual are connected vessels. Searching for connections between them will lead us to a new path of thinking of the creator of the performance. In this workshop, we will show how to create a stage symbiosis between drama and visual, in the form of practical exercises.

Naďa Uherová (SK) studied directing and dramaturgy at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava Slovakia, where she defended her doctorate in 2015. Since 2009, she has been a part of the World Theater Training Institute. She has been sharing her knowledge as a lecturer through theater workshops, acting courses and creative team buildings for more than ten years in Slovakia and middle Europe. At the instigation of her growing number of students from various career and social backgrounds, she founded the everydayACTOR institute in 2015, through which she decided to share and show that the theatre and acting training methods is really useful for everyone in the process of creative grow and self development. As a director, dramaturgist and acting coach she has worked with different theatres and art institutions in middle Europe. 

Our Conference Venue

Althof Retz - mit freundlicher Genehmigung

What can you expect from our event location Althof Retz?

If you stay at Althof Retz, you have access to the fantastic Vino-SPA area! Enjoy wellness on 5 levels on over 1000 m2, Sauna, wellness rooms, relaxing; swimming pool with breathtaking view.

We will be able to use several rooms for theatre / drama work (Workshops) and rooms for joint work, meetings and relaxation. There is space indoor & outdoor. The Kaminbar will be the meeting center for a nice talk or discussion - accompanied maybe by a glass of wine.

You travel very comfortable by train - from Vienna Main Station you go in about an hour to Retz, Lower Austria. Arriving there takes five to ten minutes to Althof Retz. No car is needed. We will publish detailed information about travelling in time.

The rooms in Althof Retz are very attractive - prices for accomodation and meals are guaranteed until March 2024. You get a rich buffet for breakfast. For lunch and dinner you can choose out of three dishes. Althof Retz is flexible for booking lunch / dinner.

Althof Retz has about the same atmosphere we are used to. It is an old castle with historic buildings combinded with modern comfort and service. We are probably the only guests (if the house is booked by us accordingly).

If you want to apply for cancellation insurance we can arrange that for you. Please tell us via registration form.

We follow UNESCO Sustainability Goals. If you need more information please look here:


Retz is charming small town in the north of Lower Austria at the border to the Czech Republic. You can use the infrastructure of a small town (pharmacy, medical assistance, souveniers, stores, etc.) Read more about Retz (sorry, only german site)



We are sure you will enjoy the lovely city and the fascination of Drama and Theatre work!

Althof Retz - mit freundlicher Genehmigung
Althof Retz - mit freundlicher Genehmigung

Conference Fee 2024 & REGISTRATION

SORRY Early Bird Time is over! Made the Conference Fee 10% off.
Early Bird was given from March 2023 to the end of October 2023. Now look at REGULAR!

Please, be aware that you need accomodation and meals additionally.

But - for accomodation and meals the price for IDEA AUSTRIA is more favorable than for other guests, as it was already agreed and fixed in January 2023. Please note the facilities of Althof (Conference Venue, SPA area, swimming pool, three menus per meal, etc.)

YOUR STAY AT ALTHOF RETZ - HOTEL (accomodation & meals)

You have to book yourself at the hotel!

Please inform us which accommodation option you book at Althof Retz.
We inform Althof Retz only about your name and the room decision.

Hotel Althof Retz
Phone: 0043(0)294203711
Mail: you will get information about booking your accomodation and melds

Price list per day and person
bed in double room incl.breakfast€ 81,00
extra charge for single room€ 15,00
lunch or dinner€ 26,50
lunch and dinner€ 44,00
local tax€ 1,75

The costs for the Althof Retz Hotel (room & board) must be paid separately at the hotel desk!

Cancelling conditions of the hotel: AGB (althof.at)

Register here:


Please, look for REGULAR. If you want to apply for Student or Unemployed, please contact us as fast as possible. Only few to offer!

[source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_L%C3%A4nder_nach_Bruttoinlandsprodukt_pro_Kopf]

Sustainability Concept

for detailed information look at the next BLOG Entry

We will plan and organize the Conference 2024 as a GREEN EVENT.

We ask our visitors and participants to be mindful of resources.

What do you get when paid the Conference Fee?

Workshops / Groups of Special Interest - Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

meet top speakers: NICOLA ABRAHAM (PH D, Royal School of Speech & Drama, Reading, UK); JOE WINSTON (PHD, University of Warwick, UK); KATRIN JANSER FORS (Theatre in Turgi, president of EDERED Encounter; Organizer of Children & Youth Festival Turgi, CH)

meet top speakers in Special Interest Groups

SURPRISE WORKSHOP on Wednesday Morning


ADDITIONAL PROGRAM: best practice, project presentations (marketplace)

2 EVENING EVENTS: Walk through the wine cellars, Night-Watchman tour, Weinviertel wine tasting, Theatre Play Attendance

Project Presentations / RESEARCH - ANNIVERYARY

50 YEARS OF DRAMA IN EDUCATION IN AUSTRIA – Participation in Conference Dinner, Ceremony on Saturday morning

GROUPS OF SPECIAL INTEREST on Saturday afternoon

OPENING EVENING Friday: Conference Dinner (We will entertain you!)

professional information and exchange

personal exchange in an informal setting / SOCIALIZING

let’s GET TOGETHER with a glass of vine - national and international audience / let's create friedship - let's talk about new projects

DOCUMENTATION - digital final report;

BOOKSHOP (requested)

interactive design of the opening conference dinner (Friday)

moderation and support by IDEA TEAM

UNESCO Sustainability Goals - please, look at our concept

Sustainablility Concept Certification (request)

✔  EXHIBITION (request)

Confirmation of Participation

IMPORTANT INFORMATION for Austrian Teachers:

This event is an official training (OFFIZIELL ANRECHENBARE FORTBILDUNG) from University College of Teacher Education Lower Austria (PÄDAGOGISCHE HOCHSCHULE NIEDERÖSTERREICH)

only if you have registered at PH NÖ (from 28th of August to 15th of September)

nevertheless everyone has to register at ÖBV THEATER website (IDEA AUSTRIA)

Confirmation of Participation maybe can help you for refunding training, travelling and/or accomodation. Depends on your type of school (SCHULFORM), the federal state (BUNDESLAND) and the principal management (DIREKTION).

Bitte, nehmen Sie diesbezüglich so rasch als möglich Kontakt zu Ihrer Schulleitung auf.


You find us in the planning phase, but not yet finished. We publish changes HERE as soon as possible. So it's worth it if you check back here regularly!

Make your registration!

Please, registrate at IDEA AUSTRIA via ÖBV THEATER. This registration is necessary for everyone - Austrians and all Non-Austrians.

Registration via ÖBV THEATER / IDEA AUSTRIA will fix your participation.


26 Replies to “DRAMA / THEATER in EDUCATION – Regional Conference 2024 – Sharing & Caring – every child matters … the place of young people in the world”

  1. It’s incredible what you are putting together. The reflections make me so curious about everything that is announced and promised here. I have heard from colleagues how all these promises have been kept …. and more!!!

    Unfortunately, I am now too late to attend your conference. But PLEASE make sure you add me to your NEWSLETTER – or I can become a MEMBER so I don’t miss out on anything ….. So I hope…

    Best wishes for your further work!

  2. I am really excited when I look at the program. The content of the groups for special interest sound so very good – I cannot wait! ***LOVE***

  3. I am very pleased how much program you provide for this Conference. The venue seems to be perfect; travelling is easy! Hopefully I will be able to arrange with my work. Hope to see you again! John B. (from Boston High)

  4. Haven’t I said lately that I love this picture so much! Extremely good stuff. And – the topic is important. Get all children to theatre / drama experience. See you!

    1. yes, please have a look here.
      Prices are ONLY for the Conference; you need also accomodation and meals.
      best, idea austria team

    1. Dear Benedict, it’s great you like our event.
      We hope to see you there – any question? – Please, do not hesitate to ask us!
      idea austria team

  5. I was in Retzhof some years ago; it was really great time. We had marvellous workshops and a brilliant group. Organizers were excellent. I think I will come to Retzhof again. Get me in! 🙂

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