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The Ethical Turn in Performance and Collaborative Practice: Mapping Frameworks for Inclusive Collaboration
Run of the Mill's The Engine Room project. Photo: Madeline Mulqueen

The Ethical Turn in Performance and Collaborative Practice: Mapping Frameworks for Inclusive Collaboration

Event · Workshop

1st March 2023

11am - 5pm

The Lab, Foley Street, Dublin 1

price & booking
There is a limited number of places for this workshop. To apply, please email Vance Lau at producer[at]create-ireland.ie with 100-200 words on why you are interested in attending this workshop and a recent biography. The deadline for application is Wednesday 22nd February, 4pm. This workshop is offered free of charge. Please indicate in your email if you have any access requirements.

As the theatre and the performing arts community increasingly engage in co-creation with diverse publics and communities of interest and place, Create is delighted to partner with Dublin Fringe to offer The Ethical Turn in Performance and Collaborative Practice: Mapping Frameworks for Inclusive Collaboration

This will be an in-person workshop for performance artists engaging in or learning about collaborative practice, to be held on the 1st of March. 


Led by artists Aisling Byrne and Mark Smith, this day-long workshop will explore the ethical dimension of inclusive theatre and performance making where the artistic expressions of artists with intellectual disabilities are facilitated by non-disabled artists.

Exploring the always-evolving methodologies, creative conversations and ethical frameworks that underpin their ten years of collaboration and wider work at Run of the Mill Arts, the workshop will guide participants through an exploration of approaches to practice and consider some of the key questions, themes and learnings that are consistently present in our practice as disabled and non-disabled collaborators. Throughout the day participants will engage in practical exercises, drama based activities and constructive dialogue, and be offered a window into a way of working, whilst reflecting on their own practice.

This workshop is part of a series which will explore complex ethical questions that emerge in performance-based collaborative practice. The workshops will examine the power relations that come into play in such collaborations and the need to create an ethical framework that opens up questions around integrity, the process of exchange, adaptability, honesty and reflexivity as well as representation and legacy.



Aisling Byrne is a theatre artist, filmmaker and artist facilitator and is the founder and Artistic Director of Run of the Mill Arts, supporting artists with intellectual disabilities, and Co-Artistic Director of Talking Shop Ensemble alongside Shaun Dunne. Through her work at Run of the Mill she strives to create a platform for artists with intellectual disabilities to make work and have access to high quality training and development opportunities. Recent projects include All Abilities Casting Initiative (in collaboration with Ardán and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) and The Engine Room, a 6 month artist development programme at Maynooth University supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. Recent film work includes Headspace (Winner of the Grand Prix Irish Best Short and European Film Awards Nomination at Cork International Film Festival, 2022) and the upcoming Misread (Winner of the RTE/ Ardán Short Film Commission, 2022). Recent theatre credits include the award winning Making a Mark (National Tour, 2022, Dublin Fringe, 2019) and Singing for Survival (Draiocht, 2019). She also directs work for young audiences most recently The Land of a Hundred Hills (2022), Wunderground (2022), and Treehouse (2021) for National Tour with Ceol Connected. As a facilitator she collaborates regularly with Dublin Theatre Festival, Playacting Youth Theatre, Helium Arts and Dublin City Council Culture Company. She holds a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies, a Postgraduate Diploma in Drama in Education and. M.Ed in Drama all from Trinity College Dublin.


Mark Smith is an award winning actor and founding member of Run of the Mill. Mark was nominated for Best Performer at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2019 for his work creating and performing in an autobiographical, documentary theatre piece Making A Mark (winner of Judges Choice Award, nominated for Best Production). This production also completed a nine venue national tour in April 2022.

Mark has also performed in short films, most recently Headspace (winner of Grand Prix Irish Short at CIFF, 2022) and the upcoming In the Cards (Dir. Leah Moore, 2022) and previously; Outside History (St. Patricks Festival, 2021), Vulnerable (Abbey Theatre, Dear Ireland 3 commission) and Quarantine (Culture Night Commission, 2020). Most recently Mark has completed filming on a short poetry film Connections, an original piece co-created with Colm Keegan.

He regularly advocates for artists with Down Syndrome and disabilities in National media and was featured to widespread acclaim on The Tommy Tiernan Show (Season 4, 2020). Mark also has a Diploma in Anthropology through NUI Maynooth.


Providing a safe and inclusive space/ workshop

It is important to us to keep everyone as safe and comfortable as possible and therefore would like to make you aware of our suggestions before you come on the day:

– Facilitators will be unmasked to avoid communication barriers, but will maintain appropriate distance as feasible

– We encourage mask wearing, according to individual needs

– Please continue to use good sanitation with hand washing and sanitising

– Please maintain social distancing where possible

– Please follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and safely into a nearby bin

– If you have any cold, flu or COVID symptoms, please do not attend the workshop

We will:

– provide masks and sanitiser on-site

– ensure good ventilation where possible

– provide regular comfort breaks

Run of the Mill Theatre
Dublin Fringe Festival